• 30 Days of Writing,  Creative,  Gardening

    Second Summer | 30 Days of Writing

    Second Summer has arrived. We still get that tease in the early mornings that perhaps we can pretend it is fall. That has been quickly dissipating, though, as the day warms up. In August I decided to get a head start on some fall veggie crops and sowed kale and cabbage seeds, which all germinated. In my head I envisioned planting them all out mid-September and by October there would be great growth with the cooler weather. I went ahead and transplanted the kale and cilantro seedlings on Sunday evening and am hoping that adequate mulch and frequent waterings will get them through the upcoming high 90s, possible 100*, temperatures.…

  • Gardening

    The Pond is Back in Business

    August 12, 2022 August 19, 2022 4.5″ of rain on Friday and the subsequent runoff upstream has filled the pond back up! The saying goes that a flood will break a Texas drought and it looks like that’s where some of us are heading this coming week, starting with the DFW area overnight. August 12, 2022 August 19, 2022 August 12, 2022 August 19, 2022 – Lost my chance to get that tire this go around! Next drought!

  • Gardening

    Wingstem Delights

    The garden is running wild these days but one corner of the garden is a delight and that is the wingstem corner, Verbesina alternifolia. I added this plant in several years ago when I realized the deer didn’t touch its cousin frostweed and then set out to find other similar plants. I found wingstem, which in Texas is only native to a few North Texas counties. It has done really well here, though. I am working on growing out another cousin, Verbesina helianthoides, which I discovered growing at Mission Tejas State Park last spring and quickly found seeds at Prairie Moon to order. They have germinated and I hope to…

  • Gardening

    A Queen Visits Tadpole Hollow

    Last night I had a few minutes to check on the garden before I went to a community meeting and as I was walking back towards the house I noticed a butterfly was nectaring on the tropical milkweed. It flicked its wings a few times before I figured out it was a queen, Danaus gilippus, and a male to boot. The queens usually visit in late summer but we don’t always have them. I’ll have to keep an eye out for females because on the occasions that I have had queens in late summer, they will often lay eggs and I will host caterpillars. I haven’t raised any caterpillars this…

  • Gardening,  Thoughts

    Whatever thrives, thrives.

    As it turns out, a lot of my extra energy and oomph in getting this blog going again with steady entries was that I had the free time to work on it! Forest was at various grandparent’s for the last week of July and first week of August and because Chris and I were actually home and not galivanting about for work or pleasure, there was time to just be. And now, he’s back home, swimming lessons are back on schedule, there are bedtime routines, and school started today! Needless to say, life is full once again. I’m currently trying to figure out how to navigate my never-ending creative ideas…

  • Gardening

    Purple Hyacinth Bean Happiness

    I couldn’t tell you the last time I grew purple hyacinth bean, Lablab purpureus. Ok, so a quick search through my archives suggests it may have been back in 2013, and wow what a different scenario the garden is now compared to then. I decided to grow this continental African native this year on its own trellis in one of my beds, primarily after my cucumbers failed to thrive earlier this summer. It was such an easy replacement and the beans grew very well, tolerating the drought conditions happily. I wasn’t sure if they would bloom in the constant heat but alas, they have rewarded my patience! A certain delight…

  • Gardening

    Ruby Eclipse Sunflowers

    One of the highlights of early summer were the Ruby Eclipse sunflowers I sowed in the spring. I planted a couple of different varieties and these were the only ones to come up but it wasn’t until they bloomed that I was able to figure out which ones they were. I watched as they went from knee high to chest high and then eventually towering over my head. I thought these were tall but I have a tithonia right now (Mexican sunflower) that’s several feet taller than these sunflowers were! I originally bought these from Floret but I believe you can find them other places online. I’m saving seed for…

  • Gardening

    Wetland Conversion Down On The Pond

    So, before I start this post let’s travel back in time to late June and early July 2012 when we moved into our house. We were coming off of the 2011 drought and even had some drought conditions (and flood) throughout 2012, which also meant some lower water levels in the pond our property abuts. You can see Chris here getting a hole ready to dig to plant a new tree, a water tupleo which died last year, likely from the deep freeze we had. The hailstorm a few months later didn’t help when new leaves were coming out. But, I digress. The stream that feeds our pond has brought…

  • Gardening

    Zinnia Love

    When I decided to dedicate one of my edible garden beds to flowers I was originally planning to make it half native and half zinnias or other flowers. That is what it is this year but I am planning to change that next year to an entirely native bed and move the zinnias to one of the side beds once they are finally built. But, I’m liking my idea for the year because the zinnias are so delightful and I am in awe of their beauty every time I go out to water the garden. My original inspiration for doing zinnias was in the gorgeous flowers that Cassiopeia Farm in…

  • Gardening

    Tomato Season Begins

    It was a bit of a rocky start to tomato season and unseasonably hot temperatures in May thwarted a lot of the production but we are finally starting to harvest some tomatoes. So far they are all primarily Chris’ tomatoes that he ended up buying not long in the planting season after the ones he started from seed weren’t thriving. My tomatoes are doing well, a mix of ones I started from seed and others I supplemented with nursery grown plants, but I’m still a few weeks away from any appreciable harvest. And with summer temperatures and a lack of rain in the forecast, I’m not sure how much I…