Some hits( and a few misses) from my kitchen and garden
September 5, 2010
Is It Fall Yet?
After a little rain and some (slightly) cooler temperatures, I forayed out into the garden this morning to see what was still holding on after our hottest ever August.
In this picture, you will notice the Lindheimer senna looking prety perky with its sunny yellow flowers and velvetty soft grey- green leaves. What a winner- it takes the heat and the dry without losing a leaf. Five years ago one of these seedlings piggy- backed into my garden in the pot of a Barbados Cherry I bought at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I didn"t know what it was but I gave it a shot and it shot up and bloomed it's heart out for a few weeks beginning in September. It produces lots of long seed pods that will provide you with plants for years to come. I love the leaves on this plant and look forward to the splash of color it brings in the fall when lots of plants are pretty done in.
The aptly named beauty berry has colored up almost overnight, it seems. I'm enjoying the vivid purple berries while I can. The birds really love these and they don't last long. Putting it near the birdbath was a good choice- one stop shop for the birds and this plants likes the extra water it gets from frequent fill- ups of the bath.
Alas, the weeping bottlebrush tree did not make it through the summer. Below in happier, greener times, now re- purposed as a rustic hook for the bird- feeder. I have to say it was all for the best. The tree was not that attractive and it honestly looks better in this form. The birds love to perch on the upper limb and the little twig below. Notice the little senna at the right that volunteered once full sun was able to penetrate that area. The oak tree hanging over the fence is full of acorns and the front yard is full of falling leaves from the cedar elms.
It may still be in the nineties, but these are all signs that fall is on the way. (Sigh of relief!)
I came to gardening through my love of food. Growing up in the Midwest, most of our meat, vegetables, eggs and dairy came fresh from my grandparents farm and gardens. When I became a chef, the quest for hard to find or good quality fruits and vegetables spurred my first forays into gardening in upstate New York. I made ice cream from the antique roses and canned jams, jellies and relishes from the bountiful harvests.
But gardening in Texas has been a whole 'nother story. The heat, the years of drought, followed by endless rain and flooding not the mention the bugs and critters like I'd never seen. The years I got maybe 6 tomatoes from 3 plants.
But it just renews and lifts my spirit to see the flowers and the birds coming back in the spring or to pick a big juicy orange right from the tree.
I look forward to sharing my adventures with you and invite your participation and feedback.
Thank you for visiting.