Sunday, April 27, 2014

Late April 2014 - Best Garden Time of the Year

Cedar Waxwings visited my backyard again!

A whole flock of Cedar Waxwings!

The first ladybug of the season on my spinach leaf.

A male Cardinal singing his heart out.

The Mutabulis Rose in the front is in full bloom right now - this rose blooms in spring and fall and has no black spot issues.  It is a highly recommended rose.  The fence is 6' tall for reference - so plant in a place where there is plenty of room for growth.  Old Blush Climbing rose in back.

Close up of the Mutabulis rose (butterfly rose).  As the individual bloom ages, it changes color!

 Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison

A close up of Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison.  Although this rose is beautiful, a rain will ruin the blooms.  Because they have so many petals, the rose can't dry out properly and the petals ball up.

This is my monster antique climbing rose - Climbing Cecile Brunner.  It is easily 9-10' tall and 15-20' wide.

For reference with my good friend!

Some current pictures of the vegetable garden.

The asparagus is yet again out of control.


This one is getting too big.  We should have cut it a day or two ago.


This is the first crop of Almonds I have ever had on my Almond Tree!  Hopefully spring hail will not beat them off before I get a chance to harvest them.  Notice how close they look to small peaches - they are in the same family.

The Almond Tree is now 5-6' tall.

At least once every couple of weeks we find a drowned "Least Shrew" in our swimming pool  Although they are very common, I had never seen one close up before we moved to this house as they live their life tunneling underground.  I thought I would share these pics in case my readers had never seen one up close either.

 This is an antique rose bush that has a nice habit.  It also smells nice.  Unfortunately it has issues with blackspot and only looks its best in the spring of the year (although it does bloom in the fall), just not as prolifically.

Close up shot of the antique rose bush above.

A picture of my front yard - it looks its best this time of year.

The Blue Salvia is blooming now.  It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

The duck family has taken up residence in our backyard now.  They don't like it when I run them out of the swimming pool!  I read this interesting article that said Mallards are very devoted to each other - a 91% devotion rate.  Here is the NPR link:

We checked on the progress of our Purple Martin families this week.  This mother was sitting on her nest.

We found 2 nests with 6 eggs.  We didn't open all the gourds - we were just glad that we saw some new families!

 Merlin goes straight for the Catnip in the herb garden.

Kitty drugs are heaven!

Merlin bids you goodbye!

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Visit to the Fort Worth Japanese Gardens

We are lucky here in the North Texas DFW Metroplex because we have several beautiful gardens to visit and enjoy.  One of the nicest gardens is the Fort Worth Japanese Garden.  I visited this garden last fall in 2013.

Before we entered the Japanese Gardens we went through the entrance of the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens - I captured this image of a beautiful Gulf Fritillary butterfly sipping nectar.

The Botanic Garden Center Building also has some lovely shell displays.

We went directly over to the Japanese Gardens.

Making our way through the entrance.


 The Three Wise Monkeys:  See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.  Here is some background on the monkeys in this link:

Zen Sand Garden:  This story gives some background on the Zen Garden.

A lovely bamboo forest. 

Huge bald cypress trees.  See their knees?

Close up shots of the knees. I found this interesting article speculating on the reason that these trees have knees.


Red Spider Lily  (I've also heard them called naked ladies!)

Lovely Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Hungry Koi!



We saw this lovely Stone Pagoda on our way out.  I highly recommend that you visit this garden!