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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Herbaceous Plants...and, A Gentle Reminder!

Schoolbus * Fort Worth, TX * September 2012
Hi everyone!  I guess we all know by now that school has been back in session for several weeks.    This is my favorite schoolbus.  I get to stop for it almost every morning on my way to my 'big people's' school, lol!  I decided to get my phone out and take this photo one morning while I waited for the children to board the bus...I had a front row seat!  And, now, after stopping for this bus for the past few years, the bus driver and I waive to each other!  So, if she saw my phone flashing, I guess she didn't mind my taking the photo.
The other day I came across the name 'herbaceous', and, naturally I said, "What the heck does that mean?" Then, of course, I went 'nosing' around, and found out what it means!
Herbaceous plants have little or no wood within their structures.  As the season ends for these plants, their leaves and stems die back, and, virtually disappear...seemingly without a trace!  In truth, 'herbaceous' plants, during their disappearing act, are 'kinda', just barely above ground, or a little below ground.  They can be annuals, perennials, or biennials.  And, they're just waiting for the new season when they can pop back up and start over again.  I learned that when the new season begins, 'herbaceous' plants come up quickly, and grow fast!
The Stella D'Oro is a perfect example of a 'herbaceous' plant.
photo by suzanne
Stella D'Oro lilies will bloom into the fall, then, die off as tho they were never there.  Of course, at this time, you can thin them out and transplant them to other areas.
The Hosta is also 'Herbaceous'
photo by Suzanne
Oh, don't mind 'Frogmalion'...he's just the keeper of the greens!  So you see my big Hosta? It is also on the 'herbaceous' list, and, totally disappears in the winter...again, no trace!  Then, starts peeking up thru the soil in early spring.  I've had this one for 7 or 8 years now.  The bulb is like a little cap, with some stringy roots attached.  You wouldn't think that small clump could produce a plant this nice!
And, then, there's the 'Coleus'
photo by suzanne
Now, I don't know why the Coleus is on the 'herbaceous' plant list.  I've had plenty of Coleus plants over the years, and, true...they don't have woody stems, but, if these sweethearts die back, that's it folks!  I usually take clippings from the tops that have a few leaves on them, and put them into other they go, growing into new, lovely plants.  Sometimes in the late fall, I take small clippings, plant in small 4" pots, and take them into the shed for the winter.  I just lightly water them throughout the cold months.  Granted, they're not just 'beautious' during the winter, but still alive.  In the spring, when all seems safe, I take the baby Coleus out of the shed, and, either plant in larger pots, or into the ground.  I have not ever experienced a Coleus plant returning from the ground in the spring.
  Have you?
Liriope, aka 'Monkey Grass'
photo by suzanne
How about those Zinnias?  This large bouquet of Zinnias were a result of 'flying seed'.  Believe it or not, Karo had spread some dried seed from other spent 'Broadleaf Zinnias', and, the following spring this 'momba jamba' cluster appeared 'outside the box', in front of the liriope border!
Which brings me to my last example of a 'herbaceous' plant.  The 'Liriope', otherwise known as 'Monkey Grass' is on the Herbaceous plant list.  It does meet most of the requirements to be included, as, in some cases, it does die back.  But, for the most part, 'Liriope' is evergreen.  You can cut it back, or mow it back to nothingness...and, then it will return, full of life and vigor!  This variegated grass that I have, is very invasive-YAH!  I can't divide it fast enough!  But it is very pretty, and, I gladly share with anyone who desires it.
Other plants on the 'Herbaceous' list include, Geraniums, Canna, Salvia, and Banana Trees.  This was a very fun, new term for me...I'll try not to wear it out!  Haha!☺
AND, speaking of projects...I implore you, my gracious readers, to please send me photos of your favorite windowsill for my windowsill share event.  I have received photos from several of you...Thank you so much-and, they're great!  I would like to receive your photo(s) by the end of this coming week, so, I can begin my post. 
I am thanking you in advance for participating in this sharing event!
I'm so grateful you stopped by to see what I've been up to...  Maybe we'll have a POP QUIZ on this post one day, haha!  Just kidding!  But, all kidding aside, I appreciate're fabulous!  Thank you for humoring me- I treasure your comments and input!  Have a safe weekend...come by anytime!♥
Thank You also:
***  one more for the road, ok? ***

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Summer's Not Over Yet!

White-Winged Dove

photo by Suzanne * August 18, 2012
Fort Worth, Texas

Well, this is a first...I've never seen 'white-winged dove' before, but on this Saturday afternoon, as we were driving toward our house, Karo spotted these white beauties flying around this light pole. It's the only light pole on our street.  When we pulled into the driveway, I ran into the house and grabbed my camera in hopes that they would not forsake me by flying off.  I quietly, hurried up the street...lo, and behold, they had lighted on the pole to scout out the neighborhood.  And, they stayed long enough for me to get a few shots-they were beautiful!

* We do have a few items of 'business' to take care of today (HA!  I don't have a business bone in my body!).  I know it's September, but, for some of us, the fall weather just doesn't begin until late October...drats!  Even, tho we think we can push our weight around and force it, we have to wait until the first leaf falls!

~and, here it! 

~Yahoo Images

I don't know about you all, but, I have never thought that some of our everyday spring blossoms could be potentially poisonous.  Oh, I know of a few that I've heard could be a bit 'numbing', such as the 'Oleander', 'China berries', and, oh yes...that much adored houseplant, 'Dieffenbachia', otherwise known as 'Dumb Cane'!

A couple of months ago, my friend and co-hort at the office, Cindy, brought me an article from the UT Southwestern Medical Center.  This is a publication Cindy receives periodically, and, this was the summer issue.  It is a toxicology report regarding some of our favorite garden flowers.  And, I thought it would be beneficial to share with you as you plan next spring's gardens.  The article lists potentially harmful plants, and safe plants.  I must say, I am surprised at their findings, especially since these flowers are our all-time favorites.  But, I'm sure we all use precaution when our youngsters are outdoors admiring these beauties...give them a snack first!

I hope you can see the chart well enough.

* Next on our agenda is the matter of my Windowsill 'photo-sharing' project.  Please don't forget to send me your 'windowsill' photo(s) no later than September 25, 2012.  I have already received photos from three of you, and, I'm so excited about that...thank you so much! ♥

Thank you all for coming by to see what we're up to in the Lone Star State.  It is a bit cooler today-well, to us, 84° is cooler!  I've managed to get a little gardening done...and, I'm still cutting zinnias every week to bring inside.  What a treat-colorful blooms all summer long!

I want to send a great BIG Thank You to my friend Cindy, for sharing her article on toxic and safe plants-thank you so much Cindy!

And, thank you's go out to:
UT Southwestern Medical Center 
Yahoo Images
~and, my Grandparents~

* and, lastly...
I saw this quote the other day, but don't remember where:

"The best thing about Grandma's house is Grandpa!
Scooter and 'PawPaw'

~photo by Suzanne * 08-18-12

Be safe, be happy!  Happy Grandparents' Day!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mini Cactus...and, A Sharing Proposal!

Photo by Suzanne * July 21, 2012
Good Day everyone...hope this Saturday finds you all enjoying, relaxing and ready for the long Labor Day weekend!  I just have a short post today, I think!
Above is my 'mini' cactus bowl.  I do love succulents, but did not want to dig and plant a massive cactus garden this year...actually, it's been quite a few years since I've raised cacti.  But, I always admire the tiny cactus at Home Depot and WalMart, so, I broke down and purchased a few, and, they are still faring well. 
* The lighter colored 'roselike' plants are called 'String of Buttons'.
*   The darker green ones are named 'Mini Pine Tree'.
(these two specimens are native of South Africa)
* Now, the pink cactus in the center is a 'Grafted Gymnocalycium' other words, it's two cacti in one.  The pink part of the graft is pink because it is deficient of chlorophyll, thus, it cannot live on its own.  So it is grafted onto a green cactus stalk, known as 'Hylocereus'.  This cactus is indigenous to South-Eastern South America, and, it is strongly advised that you grow them indoors, or in a greenhouse.  But, oh well, mine is on the front porch!
Here is what the Gymnocalycium looks like on its own:
***  And, now...this just in-across the wire from ***
Scooter's Scams!
photo by Suzanne * August 18, 2012
"Good evening folks!  It has been brought to my attention that Susan from this blog...and, that other blog, is planning a little photo-sharing event.  She asked me to tune in today to send her request for your participation.  Susan loves windowsills (she's always taking pictures of her kitchen windowsill!)  Her plan is to display various windowsills that have flowers, fruits/veggies, knick-knacks, or, nothing at all.  However, Susan doesn't want to 'GRAB' them from the internet...she wants real 'downhome' photos from you, her blogmytes (OOPS! I mean blogmates)!
a technical glitch, no doubt!
Susan plans to run this post early in October, and would like to have your photos no later than September 25, 2012, and, she already has 2 windowsill photos!  Trust me, it's not a contest...just fun, sharing with each other.  So, please, if you would email a photo to her, she would be so excited! 
 Her email address:
Thank you so much for tuning in to MyTexasGardens!  I remain gratefully yours..
'The pawn! (OOPS again, I mean, Shawn, aka Scooter, Scootie, etc.)
Please, please, have a safe Labor Day weekend!
And, We Thank!
Yahoo Images
" Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while,
But our hearts forever."
~author unknown