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When flowers and plants become a passion, as with any hobby, then your time and money are in jeopardy.

As my love affair with roses continue, I have found another favorite:  Sheila’s Perfume Floribunda Rose.  I was a little hesitant to order a rose from Breck’s, but it arrived healthy and does have the promised aroma.

Couldn’t be happier with it.  Such a beautiful color and the scent is marvelous.

It is planted in a pot until the flowerbed is prepared.  Back-breaking work is in progress to get it ready.

Since I have discovered that I can overwinter Coleus in the shed, I’m really enjoying the different colors of them on the market.

Another Coleus and a ground cover I don’t know the name of.

After last year’s success with Petunias, I had to plant some this year.  Who knew they would last all summer and into the fall.  The Spiral Tush Curly Wurly (Juncid effusus) was saved from the pot the petunias were in last year.  Like the look of the combination of them.

The fresh look of Irises brightens up spring.  All the irises in the yard are re-bloomers, so I can enjoy them in the spring and again in the fall.

Bearded iris are my favorite.

Black Iris that I don’t remember ordering.  Senior citizen moments are frustrating.

Sweet Broom (Cytisus x spachianus) called to me as I entered Walmart.  Great marketing technique – grab shoppers’ attention even before they enter the door.  This plant needs six hours of daily sun.  Good to go there, but it is winter hardy for zone 9 – 11, so we’ll see how that goes.

Stella de Oro Daylilies are one of the few short daylilies.  I’m trying to keep up with pulling spent flowers, so they will continue to bloom.

Ox-eye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) are putting on a grand show.

One Hollyhock has returned.  A couple of years ago, rust spots covered them.  So they had to be dug up.  Obviously, some roots remained for this one.  So far, so good.  No sign of rust.

The Spider Worts (Tradescantias)  are just finishing their spring flowering.

I’ll just enjoy the bright color of this lone one.

Hope your springtime is filled with a chance to enjoy lots of flowers.

“The best thing about being over 40 is that we did all of our stupid stuff before the invention of the internet, so there’s no proof.”    unknown

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Antique Rose Emporium, Again

For people who like whimsy in the garden or just creative ideas, Antique Rose Emporium is the place to visit.

emporiumThese stacked pot arches are in several places in the gardens.emporium3

emporium6Several older houses and buildings are scattered around the grounds.  This one may have been the home of the owner at one time.emporium1As one would expect, there are lots and lots of roses for sale.

emporium0I absolutely love this vine.  It is tropical and so impractical for me, but I was sure tempted to buy one.

emporium5The flowers are breathtaking and exotic.

Skyvine (Thunbergia grandiflora) has lots of common names such as Blue Thunbergia, Bengal Clock Vine, Bengal Trumpet Vine, and Blue Sky Flower.  It has naturalized in many tropical areas around the world.

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emporiumaCute.

emporium7There are so many of these extra tall towers for climbers that I couldn’t pass up snapping shots of them.

emporium2More roses.  It’s fun to walk around soaking up the scents.

emporium8The bushes with blue flowers are Cape Plumbagos (Plumbago auriculata), which must have winter protection in my area.

emporiumbSomething for everyone.

emporiumjlI only remember the story line of The Wizard of Oz in a general line.  Here is one of the wicked witches.

emporiumlThe sign:  “Come in, my pretties”.  The old lady Elmira Gulch rode a bike and was swept into the tornado.  The same actress played Elmira and the two witches.

emporiumjThe Tin Man has run out of oil.

roseempcToto waits for Dorothy.

emporiumcInteresting plant with the pink tips.

emporiumdSpiked Cockscomb (Celosia spicata) definitely attracts butterflies, even at the end of blooming season.

emporiumeTheir twisted stems also got my attention.

emporiumfAs you can see, each photo opportunity seemed better than the last one.

emporiumgA simple flat bucket of Marigolds, I think.  Put a rabbit and a mailbox with it, and voila, you have something to draw attention.

emporiumhA new favorite bush, Firebush (Hamelia patens) is a tropical bush that requires zone 9.  I’ve been debating with myself about giving it a try.  Maybe I could find a protected spot where it could make it through freezes.

emporiumiLike the hair on this one.

emporiumkGrasses, ferns, and other plants, all mixed together.

emporiummThey make gardening look so easy.

emporiumnLast year I looked for a deep red Coleus but couldn’t find one.  Now I know where to find one.

emporiumoAlso liked this unusual Coleus with a polka dot look.

emporiumpLiked it so much that I just had to take a picture of one in a pot with a spiky plant.

emporiumqThis metal cat greets visitors or hisses a goodby.

Our visit at Antique Rose Emporium sparked my creative juices.

“If a man says he will fix it, he will.  There is no need to remind him every six months.”  unknown

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San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Part 3

During this last post about my visit to the gardens, we’ll move out of the tropical plant areas into a more xeric zone.santAs we exit the shady area, the uniquely shaped green houses catch my attention.

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sant2I think I’ve finally identified a plant that we have in one spot in a field: the Mexican Grass Tree (Dasylirion longissimum).  There are at least a dozen (some sources list up to 17) species of this genus though only 4-6 are regularly seen in cultivation.

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sant6Firecracker Plant or Coral Fountain (Russelia equisetiformis) is a sun loving, drought tolerant plant.

sant67jpgZone 9b – 11 makes it another plant that won’t grow here.

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sant8jpgThis looks like Kangaroo Paws ( Anigozanthos manglesii) planted with Aloe Vera.  Kangaroo Paws grow in western Australia and are not cold hardy and neither is Aloe Vera.

santa Each solarium is designated for particular types of plants.  This one must be for tropical plants.

santbThese Pink Coral Bell vine (Antigonon leptopus) covers a large fence.  Love the sprays of blooms, but alas, it is sensitive to frost.

It is native to Mexico and can grow up to forty feet.

santcSo pretty.

santdA children’s vegetable garden is sponsored by the local Master Gardeners.  Every Saturday they work with children instructing them and demonstrating the how-tos of planting and caring for the garden.  Talk about dedication.

santeNatchez Blackberry vines.

santeeAiry and lacy Asparagus plants.

santfJust looking at these Persimmons makes my mouth pucker.

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santggBeautiful deep red Begonias.

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santhhsantjLove the deep red of this Coleus.  I actually searched for this exact color this year but didn’t find it.

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santkThis duck kept following our group, but our tour guide warned that it would peck us.  So we stayed clear.

santlAn old farm house built in 1900 by an early German settler had been moved to the back of the Botanical Gardens to preserve it.

santlllWas curious about this plant that had produced these pods.  Anyone know?

Loved the gardens and recommend them to anyone who is in the area.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”  unknown

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