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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hummingbird in the Sun

I was so happy when I snapped this photo earlier today. We've seen what appears to be a pair of hummingbirds zipping around the garden for the past few days, but I never have the camera handy.

At breakfast this morning, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and realized it was a hummer at the bottom of the garden.  Luckily, by the time I grabbed the camera, positioned myself at the back door and zoomed in to the feeder, I caught her just as she was landing to check it out.

Unfortunately, since that time I have spent a frustrating morning being frustrated by technology.

Let me explain.. For my birthday, my husband bought me a new iMac with a 27 inch monitor, which I love. 

However, some tasks that used to be simple on my old iMac don't seem to work quite the same way on the new one and I spent a frustrating morning trying to figure out how to edit the photo, add my watermark and save it for the web.

Hubby came to the rescue like a knight in shining armor and all is well with the world.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Here we are in July, and here I am posting on my SECOND contribution to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Since the last time I managed to post on time was in January, I'll just call this my semi-annual contribution :-)

We have some beautiful rich colors in the summer garden, but they are mostly concentrated in just a couple of areas.  With other areas already past their best, or not blooming yet.

Even while I battle the nutsedge and insidious bermuda grass in the island bed, the blooms, such as the marigold above, are glorious.  They seem to look at the blazing sun with a sort of "back atcha" defiance, and bloom on regardless of the heat and drought.  I've been deadheading them to encourage them to keep blooming and I've also been spreading the seeds in colorless areas of the garden.


Also in the island bed, the Profusion zinnias are blooming.. profusely!  I think I mentioned before that these self seeded and are living up to their name.  I really like them and will have to look out for some other colors in the future.

This is a "Little Lucky" Lantana I planted in a container a couple of weeks ago.  I believe it's "Lemon Cream" although I have another (out of focus) photo which shows a similar plant with more lemon yellow on it.  I like how compact these are.

This Purple Trailing Lantana shares the half barrel with a sweet potato vine and a Persian Shield (which isn't doing too well in the heat, it may need less sun).  I may need to trim it up a bit, to encourage bushiness instead of just a couple of long trailing bits.  I understand the butterflies love it, so I hope it does well.  I haven't had it in my garden before.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, the tropical Milkweed was looking rather puny, but it seems like, all of a sudden, it's all bursting into bloom.  We have a LOT of it, all along the back of the border at the front of the house, as well as around the borders in the back garden.  I've been reading about the low numbers of Monarch butterflies this year, but if they ever get here, we're ready for them.

The final photo is of a Turk's Cap I have in a container next to the Southern Wax Myrtle. I got it last year and it made it through the winter and seems to be doing quite well.  By the way, I played around with this photo a bit, blending in a photographic texture  to disguise the ugly cinder block wall.  I rather like how it came out :-)

That's it from me today.  It's 10 o'clock Central time, so technically it IS still Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Please stop by May Dream Gardens to see what's blooming on this date around the country.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Nutsedge is Driving Me Nuts!

Soon after we moved in here and I started planting in the beds and pottering about in the garden, I started noticing a grass like plant that kept popping up everywhere.  I would pull it out and it would just come back.  It has become the bane of my existence.  If I don't diligently keep after it, it completely takes over, as it has done here, in the front border, among the milkweeds.

A little investigation quickly identified it as "nutsedge."

From Texas Cooperative Extension:
Nutsedge, often called nutgrass, is really not a true grass, but instead a member of the sedge family. Its proper name is nutsedge or for you Latin lovers, Cyperus esculentus. It is closer 'kin to Papyrus (used to make the ancient writing paper of Egypt) or the ornamental Umbrella sedges, than to St. Augustine or bermudagrass. This African native plant has thrived and spread throughout the New World. Because of its ability to thrive and persist, most gardeners and farmers would agree that to know it is to hate it.

When a nutsedge shoot reaches the surface it forms a basal bulb, from which grow roots and thin, wiry underground stems with new tubers at their ends. In one year, the outward growth from one tuber has the potential to produce 1,900 new plants and 7,000 new tubers. Now you can see why it's so tough to control! If there is any good news it's that individual tubers do not last longer than 3 years (thanks a lot, right?).

For read the entire article visit:

It appears that the only way to control nutsedge is to use chemical pesticides such as Round Up and since I have pledged to keep my garden chemical-free, it appears that I am doomed to pull these bloody annoying little things out of the ground by hand or hoe forever.

I'd be interested to hear from other gardeners who have problems with nutsedge (you know how the saying goes: Misery loves company!)  Or perhaps there's another weed that is the bane of your existence?

Let me know in the comments.

And now, lest you think my garden has completely gone to ruin, here's a shot of the self-seeded zinnia "Profusion" living up to its name in the island bed.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.