• Outdoors,  Texas

    Quiet Evening on Barton Creek

    Last week I was in Austin for a conference and on Wednesday evening I tried to capture what was left of the daylight at the end of the day for a little exploration around town. I had contemplated driving out to Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge but didn’t think I had enough time to get out there and do anything useful so I opted to head downtown to Barton Springs and Zilker Park. It was smooth sailing south down the Mo-Pac expressway until it wasn’t and then I found myself ducking off the highway and heading down the still congested Lamar Street that leads towards the west side of downtown.…

  • Gardening,  Wildflowers

    Clematis crispa | Texas Native Plant Week

    It wasn’t until we moved to Texas that I discovered the awesomeness of native clematis species. We encountered this species while working Big Thicket National Preserve two years ago and since then we’ve become enamoured with the plant, looking for them in nurseries we visit. Ours is growing well on a trellis in our garden having put on blooms multiple times this summer. The bottom photo is from a seed pod we found in the Big Thicket. In Texas the species is located in moist areas in the southeastern section of the state, while the similar appearing Clematis pitcherii is found in the central and western portion of the state…

  • Gardening,  Wildflowers

    Gaillardia aestivalis var. winkleri | Texas Native Plant Week

    I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of Gaillardia. Commonly it is known as Indian blanket or fire wheel however, I like to refer to it by its genus. This genus is relatively hands off in regards to fussiness; plant it and it thrives. You may see the more commong Gaillardia pulchella or aristata and even aestivalis, but other varieties such as this one are more rare. This particular species is endemic to southeast Texas—only. Here are a couple of interesting links in regards to its history. In our garden we, like always, had to fend off the deer and hope for the best. When the plants were finally…

  • Gardening,  Outdoors,  Wildflowers

    Calyptocarpus vialis | Texas Native Plant Week

    Horseherb, aka: straggler daisy, is an interesting kinda-sorta native plant. You see, we have some *in* our flower garden from a pot that we bought, and where we bought it from called it native. It wasn’t long after we bought it that I actually paid attention to the grass around my yard and noticed that the same plant grew throughout the yard, intermingled with the grass and other weeds. It had been on my mind for awhile to check the plant out online and follow-up with digging more information on it, and finally a few weeks ago I actually looked it up. I had a suspicion that perhaps it wasn’t…

  • Gardening

    Lobelia cardinalis | Texas Native Plant Week

    Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, is a showstopper in the garden. When it sends its flaming red stalk up to bloom, it’s hard to take your eyes off the plant! Ours is a very recent addition to the garden and has had its share of abuse from our feral cats using the stalks to lean up against, which in turn have left the plant leaning on the ground instead of in an upright position. Nonetheless, the plant continued to live and bloom, though now the blooms are fading into seed pods. Typically this plant is found in moist locations, such as stream edges, ponds, or moist bottomlands. It seemed to do…

  • Gardening,  Wildflowers

    Echinacea purpurea | Texas Native Plant Week

    The purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, has been a tricky plant to grow in my garden. The deer love it! I don’t know how many times it has been chowed down on by those feisty rascals, but it took all summer and just in the past few weeks have the bloom stalks survived being eaten long enough to actually produce a bloom. We started these plants from seeds that I received from my mom. Pass along seeds and plants are the best as they always have some sort of story or memory attached to them. It probably would have helped if we hadn’t planted the flowers front and center along the…

  • Gardening,  Wildflowers

    Bidens laevis | Texas Native Plant Week

    A couple of weeks ago I was on the Native Plant Society of Texas webpage and somehow came across Texas Native Plant Week. The Texas legislature signed the week into law in 2009 and this week for praising Texas native plants has been going on now for several years. I’m sure there are events associated with this week, however I thought it would be fun to cover native plants in my yard and garden currently growing over the next seven days. I’ve got a great list of them and this week we’re going to start with Bidens laevis. Last year was our first autumn in this house and that’s of…

  • Gardening

    Rainy Day Lycoris

    It wasn’t actually raining when I took photos of these Lycoris radiata, aka: red spider lilies, a few days ago but this morning we’re receving a good, soaking rain. It actually poured heavily for an hour yesterday afternoon which helped in raising the water levels of the community pond we’re on. Not only that, I’m sure the trees and vegetation are happy with a lovely dose of rainwater, someting we’ve had a meager amount of these last few months. We were in Beaumont last year at a nursery just outside of town when we found a box of these bulbs sitting off on the side of the storeroom of the…

  • Gardening


    The purple tomatillos have decided to start fruiting which makes me happy. I’m hoping there is a lot of tomatillo salsa in my future! The purple variety is new to me and I haven’t grown tomatillos in many, many years, so this will be a relatively new experience for me. Have you grown tomatillos? Got a good tomatillo recipe?

  • Gardening

    The Garden Is DONE! | A Video

    Done! Come see! I wish I could invite you to have a cup of coffee and sit on the bench. If you know me in real life this is definitely a possibility if you come by to visit. I’m sorry for the brain farts a few times—I seem to have trouble focusing on what I’m saying and recording at the same time. If you can take 5 minutes out of your afternoon, click play and let me know what you think.