Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Loving the Clouds!!

Who knew that a few clouds could make such a difference.  It was so much cooler this morning and I finally was able to get out there and take a few photos.  
The Caesalpinia yellow Pride of Barbados is blooming and they are so pretty.  The regular ones are blooming as well but I only photographed this one as I thought it was so different.
The bark on the Arbutus Madrone 'Marina' is so captivating.  I love how it is red and it peels.  I think it is such a neat tree, someone came in the other day and said they had grown up calling it a Strawberry Tree, as the fruit it sets resembles a strawberry.  (but does not taste like one.... I tried it....).

I have finally been able to capture the fish.  They seem really happy as of late and the lily pads have a really pretty bloom that has opened up. 
 These two little ones (Huey and Duey) love to come up and say hi.  I know they think every time they see me they are going to get fed.  Such is not the case.  Luey did not make it as I reported earlier in a post but these two guys seem happy as can be.
 Cleo has finally warmed up and comes up to the top now.  I will admit I had to throw a little food in there to get her to come up, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
 Here is a shot of Cleo and Alex.  Alex is still realllllllly shy and comes up for a SPLIT second and whoosh is gone again.  This was the best shot I could get.  They are so much fun.  If you have not been to The Austin Aqua-Dome, I highly recommend it.  It is a great place for the fish, lily pads, plants for the pond etc.. and they are so helpful.  (and patient I might add....) I had a lot of questions as this was my first little fish pond/tank and they could not have been more helpful.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tidbits on Thursday

It's too hot to be outside right now.  I don't care what anyone says.  It is hot.  It is not even summer.  Guess we either get used to it or move, or do like I do and just keep hanging out in the shade area and the shade house.  
I was ducking out in the shade area the other day and found this little nest in one of the Pineapple Guava Standards that we have.  What a random place for a nest I think.  They are about 5 feet tall, I rarely see nests so low. I have no idea what type of bird this belongs to, maybe someone knows.  I thought perhaps a hummingbird nest but when I Googled those, they were miniature compared to this, so a hummingbird nest it is not.  
Here is a closer shot:
I think nests are just amazing.  How the birds manage to create these perfect little circular homes is incredible.  I have been watching without getting too close to see if I can see who lives here but have not seen the occupant(s) yet.
While out today walking around I had to admire the Kalanchoes.  I really love them.  We have a few different varieties and I am not sure I can decide which is my favorite.  They are all so different and so unique in their own way.  
Kalanchoe Beharenis- almost "warty" looking but really unique. I have this in the front planter along with some of the Black Prince Echeveria and variegated Society Garlic and it is doing well.

The Donkey Ear Kalanchoe as it is referred to is another one that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.  I put this in a planter with some of the Dichondra Silver Pony Foot and I am happy with the way it is turning out.  It still has a ways to go as far as growing to get the look I was going for but I am pleased.
And last but not least is the Kalanchoe Fantastic which has been a favorite for a while now.  I have it by the front door and love how it throws off the white babies here and there.  It shoots out these huge spikes in the fall that are covered with little flowers.  I resisted forever to cut the spike off but eventually did and it has bushed out and is growing fuller and fuller every day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!
I think this is a really neat thing that May Dreams Gardens has done to ask everyone to post what is blooming in their gardens!  
To be fair I only am posting plants that are blooming in the planted beds today with the one exception of the Cereus.  It was just too pretty not to share.  
Here we go- here is what is blooming today:
In the front planter- I really like this plant- it is a Brazilian Pavonia and I like the burgundy center.  I think it makes a nice contrast to the pale pink.
 The Delospermum are growing like crazy in the front planter.  Such a neat contrast to the Queen Victoria Agave (which is not blooming so no photo).
The Hamelia are full of blooms.
The Tecoma are full of blooms as well- little late in the day to be taking photos on most of these but I got here late so had to deal with the sun on the plants that aren't shaded so sorry some of the photos aren't better.
Plumbago, how can you ever go wrong with Plumbago? 
The Mexican Bird of Paradise Caesalpinia.  So interesting I think with the red sprays.
The White Salvia are blooming like mad- did a close up so you can see the touches of pink.
The Palo Verde- got a little bee in the one bloom to the right.  He was unphased I was there nor was he phased by the wind which was making my photo session difficult.
The Thyrallis are blooming away.  I will admit this has never been my favorite plant but Shonna swears if I just give it time I will come to love it.  We shall see. 
Mystic Spires Salvia, oldie but goodie.  How can you not love these?  I have it in the side bed by the Caesalpinia - I think there are only purple and yellow flowers in this bed.  I also have the other Caesalpinia at the opposite end that is all yellow but it wasn't in full bloom today- when he is showing off I will post that- a really pretty one.
Cat Mint bloom- in my purple and yellow bed of course.  This is a neat little plant.
There you have it.  Everything I have that is in bloom and pretty enough to post. Hope you enjoy.  I wish I had gotten here a little earlier so the sun would not have been quite so bright for the shots.  Now I am off to continue looking at all the pretty posts!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Swear I Am Not Turning This Into A Hummingbird Blog...but...

Ok, can't help it, more hummingbird shots!  But this one of the hummingbird with this bug?!?!?!  Love it!!!!  I was so excited Wednesday after capturing some shots of the hummingbirds that I have basically been stalking all year, and thought FINALLY!  I captured them!!!  Well, then I got even MORE shots.  I was and am so excited.  It was unreal.  They were so close to me- they were not bothered that I was standing out there at all. They definitely seem to have their preferences though plant wise- the White Salvia and the Black and Blue Salvia.  They venture to other things but inevitably come back to these two.  

I was having so much fun with them buzzing around me.  They could care less if I walk up closer to them or stand right in the middle of the Salvia to get the shot.  There seem to be two groups of two that fly together.  I have yet to capture that- them in air playing Avatar but I also haven't tried, maybe I will go for that next.  
Today someone told me that they are more than likely fighting.   Interesting.  I am going to keep watching and see.  I knew they were territorial but these two sets that keep together seem fine with each other- perhaps a male and a female?  I don't know a lot about hummingbirds and am still reeling that I have even been able to get any shots of them that are not total blurs that I don't hardly know what to do with myself.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Finally! I captured the hummingbirds.  There are 5 that are constantly buzzing around the nursery and I have yet to be able to get a good picture.  Until now.  I have had so much fun out there with them- they buzz right by me and make the most unusual little sound as if they are chirping while flying.  
There is one that loves to swoop down then go sit on a branch and just observe.  They have been so much fun to watch.  
They are confused I think by the Bay Laurels, as there are no blooms right now but they continue to go over there in hopes to find one.  The Black and Blue Salvia and the White Salvia leucantha seem to be the top two favorites.  Then it would be the Trumpet Vine and the Calandrinia.  A few find their way to the Hamelia but tend to stick right there in the group of four I have been calling it as I can stand right there in the middle of it all and they fly around me.  Hopefully I will have more photos to post soon!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Blooms are Coming!!!

 The Cereus Cactus are getting blooms on them.  I can't wait.  They are night bloomers but I get here early enough that I see them in the mornings.  I don't remember how long it takes from this point but I just noticed these and there are 5 between two of the cactus.  So exciting!
 Here's another one and you can see behind it is yet another!
Not sure what this is going to amount to on this little guy, maybe this is all it does?  I have been watching this develop for a while now wondering if it will bloom or if this is it's thing.  This is the Peruvian Old Man Cactus.

Here is a shot of one side of the front planter- it was just planted up so it is going to take a while to fill in but I like the way it looks.  Shonna did most of the design/placement, I must give credit where credit is due.  Here we have a  mix of things and I think they all compliment each other nicely. The Furcrea gives it nice height I think.  Other plants in there are the Hamelia (which the hummingbirds have been all over by the way), Variegated Sedge, Delospermum Ice Plant, Queen Victoria Agave, White Salvia leucantha, Crassula Silver Dollar, Tecoma stans, Calandrinia, and  Schizocentron.
Here is a shot of the outer bed- it is not finished but it's a start.  The Mystic Spires Salvia are going strong and the Chocolate Mimosa I think adds a nice tropical touch to the bed.  We put a few grasses in there and two different types of Caesalpinia- the yellow form of the Pride of Barbatos and the Bird of Paradise.  I like the yellow and the purples together so I threw in a Buddleia with purple blooms to round it all out.  I am not done, still have to mulch etc... but I like the way it is coming together.  I will do close ups of the blooms and post but it is just too sunny right now to capture them nicely.