Cafe at the Ridge Gardens, Part 2

Lots of creativity in the gardens at the Ridge.

Displays on the long porch outside the Cafe include this old wash tub with an interesting mixture of succulents.

Not sure what the original purpose of this long wooden container was.  Looks old.  Anyone know?

Not a big fan of pink flamingos in the yard, especially in Texas.  But these glass ones are classier than the plastic ones usually seen.

Drawing a blank on this flower identification.  Anyone?

The gift shop was originally built as a storage building.

The gift shop displays some of its wares on the porch.  Cute chubby bumble bee.

Another building contains potting soils, fertilizers, etc.  I’ve been trying to figure out what the sign was painted on.  Looks like a hood but is tapered too much – maybe a race car.

Even a pile of rocks (which Central Texas has plenty of) can be spruced up.

An old colander makes a nifty planter.  Vincas or Periwinkles are a great annual for our hot summers.   They are so bright and cheery.

Old tire is considered a hillbilly planter of choice.  But it certainly has character.  This one has Bat-face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea Flamenco Samba), some Petunias, and Blackfoot Daisy.  Don’t know what the small purple flowers are.

Really sturdy and heavy picnic tables.

The grass is artificial.  We were told that liquids penetrate it, and that it is strong and long lasting.

Plenty of pots and succulents to choose from.

I was fascinated by these posts for the outside patio.

These tree trunks serve a purpose.

Molded to look like tree trunks, they are coolers to ice drinks for a gathering outside.

This has a Spanish mission look to me.  Very southwestern.

In the spaces between the flagstones, small succulents have been planted close to the edge of the walkway.  Lil Miss Lantana on the right with its pink blooms loves Texas sun.

Don’t know if this wishing well is a true well or not.  But it is iconic for garden lovers.

Birdbath makes a perfect miniature succulent garden.

Another old wash tub.  They’re hard to find without paying an arm and a leg for them.

Check out counter for garden purchases.

Just like at the grocery store checkout, before you pay out, more items to tempt you. Unusual containers that are already filled make it easy to take home a completed pot.

On the left is a Thorn of Crowns plant without the thorns.  So beautiful that I couldn’t resist.

Have an old broken mixer or one you don’t use?  Make it a planter.  Great imagination.

Great place to visit, especially for gardeners.

“You know you are a gardener when everything you see becomes a planter.”  unknown

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Porch Sitting

Porch sitting is an American past time, especially this time of the year.  But enjoying the outdoors gathered with friends is not unique to the US of A.  Think about Paris cafes, Aussies and their barbies, campfires outside of yurts in Asia and thatched homes in Africa, and picnics just about anywhere.

frontyard614iOutside decorating has become an art form.  While I don’t have that skill, I do like plants just about anywhere outside.

By the front porch are some pots that have some perennials and some annuals for color.  Truthfully, I leave whatever survived the winter and then fill in with annuals.

The large pot on the left has some Artemisia that has been there several years.  To that, Coleus and Impatiens (Vincas) were added.

The right back pot has some Yellow Columbine that ended up there by wind or was carried by birds.  In the pot in front of it is Autumn Sedum, that thankfully, made it through all that cold this past winter.

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frontyard614z3The late evening sun makes the Coleus glow.

frontporch2Beside that grouping of pots is this Asparagus Fern that is over 24 years old.

frontyard614z2At the other end of the porch is this white pot.  You can see a little green on top.

In the background is another Asparagus Fern.

frontyard614yEvery year I get impatient for the Rose Moss to come out.  Sometimes I even go buy other plants to put in this pot.  This year I’m determined to wait for it to fill out and bloom.

frontporchLooking back to the corner are three pots of Boston Fern.  These are also 24 years old.  Who would keep plants that long or even care?  An old lady, I guess.

The deer horns in the wagon weren’t really planned.  It just seems that when anyone finds horns in the pastures, they get deposited here or on a table on the back porch.

frontporch1The Boston Ferns have been divided many times.  In fact, there are three other pots around the house in other places.  Some have been given away, but most people aren’t interested in storing a big pot in the winter.

frontporch3This bunny pot holds an heirloom Geranium.  It must not be getting enough sun and needs to be moved.  I really like the bunny but can’t seem to find the right size pot for it.

Hope you have some time this summer for some serious porch sitting with friends and family to laugh and enjoy each other or for some alone time to spend in quiet contentment.

“Doing nothing is very hard to do.  You never know when you’re finished.”  Unknown

West Texas Garden

It’s amazing what an occasional rain will do for plants – especially in West Texas.  These pictures are from a Thanksgiving Day visit to a relative in northwest Texas, but not as far north as the panhandle.  They had a five inch rain two months ago.  This year has been way below their average rainfall of 25″.  So that much rain at one time is a strong gully washer.

This Lil Miss Lantana is easily 10 feet wide and deep.  This backyard belongs to elderly relative who can’t do yard work anymore, but has a guy who helps her.   He will cut this lantana down to the ground in the near future.

At first, I thought this was a monarch or viceroy butterfly on this lantana.

When it lowered its wings, I was totally confused. There were several on this bush, so I kept taking pictures thinking that the photo was blurred in an odd way or my eyes were deceiving me.

Can someone tell me if this a butterfly or a moth?

There were also lots of tiny grey butterflies and several of these yellow ones.  But getting a picture of them with wings open proved to be impossible.

This pepper plant is 4′ tall and 3′ wide.  I thought the peppers had not developed fully yet, but was told this size of the pepper (about 1″) is mature.  When they turn red, they’re ripe for picking and are extremely hot.

Common names for Dianthus are carnation, pink, and sweet william.  There are about 300 species in this family.

One common characteristic is the fluffed edge that looks like it has been cut by pinking shears.

This backyard is small and protected somewhat by a solid wooden fence.  This has allowed these flowers to still be blooming in spite of some cold weather.  Plus, they are all container plants, which can be watered during the summer water rationing.

We Texans are proud of the Lone Star and display it in as many different mediums as possible.

The owner couldn’t identify this grass.  It was sold at a local gardening store, so it may not be a native one.

I was raised in West Texas, so this speaks volumes to me.  An empty pot in the sand with a man carved from agate  taking a siesta brings back memories of how sun and sand dominate the landscape.  Also, the Mexican influence is  important to the culture of the Southwest.

Petunias are an easy flowering plant to grow.  Most varieties today are hybrids.

This little clay goat reminds me of many products that come from Mexico.

This Vinca, also called periwinkle in English, is definitely on its last leg.  It’s a hardy plant that usually is an annal.

This foxtail fern is protected on a porch.

Also, the geranium is on the porch and only receives early morning direct light.

It’s great to see so much color and life in a small garden in a harsh environment.  It brings much joy to the owner and others.

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks.”  John Muir