Friday, May 17, 2013

Phase 2 of my spring flower garden with huge antique climbing roses

My antique roses are getting huge this year!  They are about 7-8 years old.  I ordered them from the  The soil is black clay gumbo - typical for North Texas.  I didn't do anything extra to it - these roses have lived through severe drought the last few years - that is why I picked them.

Below is Red Cascade.  This year it has just outdone itself.  My fence is 6' tall, for perspective. 

The white (with shades of pink) rose is New Dawn.  This is the first year it has looked so beautiful.  The antique climbing rose in the back is Cramsoi Superior

New Dawn

Another shot of Red Cascade - a red antique climber.  The antique rose behind it is mutabilis (butterfly rose).  I have better pictures of this rose in more beautiful bloom in previous posts.

The antique pink rose climber Souvenir de la Malmaison
It is not as full and huge as the others, but its blooms are more defined and have more petals.

Orange daylilly

When I bought this perennial I thought I was getting a Black Eyed Susan - unfortunately, this variety didn't have a black eye.

The perennial below is some type of blue salvia that I picked up years ago.  It has come back each year and is very dependable.

Antique Rose - Caldwell Pink

I have 2 colors of Lantana.  Some years it does well.  However, when you read gardening magazines, they make it sound like it is foolproof.  In my opinion, that assessment is not accurate.  I have had many years where it gets some type of fungus and looks horrible.   I end up cutting it back - I've even threatened to remove it.  However, this year it has redeemed itself.

Pink Lantana

The first of my daylillies is blooming - I have a lot more that will be coming later in late May and early June.

Another shot of Caldwell Pink

My pomegranate tree is full of blooms this year.  I should have a lot of fruit in the fall.

Anothe shot of the New Dawn climbing rose.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Update on Vegetable Garden - Early May 2013

I thought it was time I posted about the current happenings in our vegie garden.

The broccoli will be playing out soon - we are cutting heads often.  It won't be long before we harvest the cabbage - when it starts getting hot.

Joe just added another "board layer" yesterday to the Potato Box along with extra soil.

This is side view of inner strawberry planters- we replaced the strawberries this year with peppers, carrots, eggplant, and herbs.

Back view - you can see that the tomato plants survived the late cold snaps.

It won't be long before the onions are ready to harvest.  Also - note the trellis behind the garden - we have several varieties of grapes growing on them.

Back view of tomatoes - just put the cages on the tomatoes.

See peppers on the bottom row.  Carrots and swiss chard on the center planter.  Joe planted parsnips on the top.

I found 2 bulbs of garlic at the store for .69 per bulb.  That was a lot cheaper than the garlic sold in the gardening section - I thought it was worth a shot and hoped it hadn't been treated to not sprout.  Good call - look at all the garlic in the bottom section - I'll be giving a lot of it away. The chives are also blooming (note purple flowers - I need to cut give them a serious haircut).  The Cilantro is also getting out of control.  It needs to be chopped.  Asparagus on the top and back has already been harvested for the season.

This is our compost bin that Joe built.  It is amazing how much kitchen waste and chicken poop we put in it and how it degrades so quickly.

The beans are coming up.

This is a separate garden bed - we planted zucchini.  In the back notice that our chickens just got let out.  They are searching for bugs.

See squash coming up on planter in the foreground - bottom row.

Good view of the peppers on bottom row.

Another shot of the beans

Our chicken tractor that Joe built - you can see the solar panel on the top left side of the fan he installed to keep it somewhat cooler during the hot summer months.

We have 5 hens.  In order - Australorps (Joanie), Rhode Island Red (Rosie), Ameraucana (Clara), Barred Rock (Pearl), and a Delaware (Myrtle).  We don't let them out all the time because our previous Barred Rock was killed by a hawk while my daughter was in the back yard with them!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bees are a buzzin' on the holly bushes

Check out videos of the huge numbers of honey bees buzzing my flowering holly bushes on April 15, 2013.  I'm thankful to see them in my garden because there are so many concerns about bee colony collapse disorder causing huge decreases in bee populations.  I'm attaching a link to a New York Times Article which discusses the Federal Government's findings:

Bees on the Nellie R. Stephens Holly

Yaupon Holly

We built a Mason Bee House to encourage additional pollinators to the garden.

Here are a couple of close ups of the honey bees