Carmel proved to be just as pristine and unique as expected.

The downtown shopping area was adorned with flowers in pots and beds everywhere available for planting.

Bougainvilleas were huge, full of blooms and gorgeous.  The mild climate allows every bush and vine to flourish.  The Morning Glory in the foreground is climbing up the building.

Upscale shopping is the name of the game.  Lots of tempting shops.

The succulents on tall stems are everywhere along the coast but I couldn’t find anyone that could give them a name.  The pot to the lower right contains Cigar Plant (Cup0hea ignea).  Should have gotten a closer picture of that.

Landscapers must do a booming business in this town.

The lavender colored flowers are probably Pincushion flowers.

Lovely sentimental bronze statue.  Note the heart in her hand.

All different kinds of architecture.

But the one that surprised me were the Hobbit looking ones.

Probably cost a lot of money to get this roof that looks like a drunk laid the shingles.

Sunglasses in a bush – very Californian.

Another ubiquitous succulent with lovely pink flowers.  Wonder if it’s too hot here to grow that.  But I would need to know its name.

Wondered if this pot is hypertufa.  And how is it attached?

Wandered into a storybook setting.

An outdoor eating area of a restaurant with a fire pit attracts these Western Bluebirds.  No one seemed to be worried that they might land on their plate.

Just doesn’t get any quainter than this.

The source of those mysterious dried flowers that come in florist arrangements.  When dried, Purple Statice Sea Lavender outlasts the fresh flowers by a long shot.

Had a lovely day strolling in and out of shops.  But mostly, the flower caught my attention.

More Pictures from Rose Emporium

Although this nursery in Brenham is named Antique Rose Emporium, there is so much more there than roses.

Like these Cleome Spider Flowers (Cleome hasslerana).  It’s an annual that reseeds.  Every time I see them, I promise myself that I’ll order seeds and try them.

Notice the white rose buds to the left of the picture.  One reason I enjoy this nursery so much is how they mix roses with other flowers.

Not sure what these small flowers are.

Lots of garden art from small gnomes to larger objects create odd and interesting vingettes.

These are some fancy, feathery Dianthus.

Wish I knew where they buy all their unusual yard art because they don’t have it for sale.

Pretty sure this is Zexmenia, a hardy Texas native with low water requirement.

How about this strange combination.  But it works.  What is that old contraption?

Dwarf Mexican Petunias  (Ruellia brittoniana) circle behind the angel.  They are a Texas Superstar plant and are not as aggressive as the taller ones.

Unfortunately, they never seem to have these Celosia from the Amaranth family for sale.

I also like the cluttered look of the flowerbeds.  Beware, Neat Freaks, this is probably not your kind of place.

These are huge Morning Glories.

Really like the stacked pots.  These suckers are heavy, so where ever they are positioned is permanent.  Couldn’t quite figure out how the top pot is elevated.

Airy Cosmos always provide fun movement in the garden.  I’m also going to give these a try.  But they need some space.

Every time we’ve visited this nursery, seasonal annuals are planted around this lady.  Can’t decide if these are a new type of mum or marigold.  Maybe neither.

The nursery acquired its name from the fact that antique roses were all they sold at the beginning of the business.  The owner was one of the original Rose Rustlers in Texas that propagated roses from those in cemeteries and old homesteads.  Those were treasured because they had scents, were hardy in unforgiving weather, and lasted decades after they were planted.

Now, the owner has branched out to some new roses that are scented and hardy.  He has hybridized a few himself and has recently hired a young man to extent their efforts with some new methods.

“Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.”  unknown

Early Morning Golden Glow

In an attempt to beat the harsh sunlight, I went out early to get some pictures.  Only when I looked at them on the computer did I notice the eerie gold cast from the rising sun.

earlymorning glowBy the gate a couple of young rabbits were hopping around.  At first, they looked like cottontails.

earlymorning glow1But some of the pictures show characteristics of jackrabbits – tall ears, long front legs, and coloring.  So it seems that the jackrabbit population in the yard is growing.

earlymorning glow2In the backyard flowerbed everything is waning.  Flame Acanthus (Wright Anisacanth) or hummingbird bush on the left with slender red blossoms provides a perfect tube for hummingbirds to feed.

reblooming1The flaky bark on the branches, along with its shape, makes a nice winter accent.  Acanthus does well in sunny, well-drained soil. It is hardy throughout zone 8, and root hardy to zone 7.

reblooming3The Thryallis (Galphimia glauca) with the yellow flowers had a burst of reblooming after a few cooler days a couple of weeks ago.  It’s a gorgeous bush when covered with bright yellow flowers.

earlymorning glow4In the background of the previous picture is this new arbor structure.  The plan is for this Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata) to cover the sides and top to make a shady nook.

The stats say that the vines grow 50 feet, so I think it will happen.  It also seems to be evergreen here.  Another vine in the same family, Trumpet, is greatly maligned as being too aggressive.  They both have pretty orange tubular flowers.  So far, I’m happy with the look.

earlymorning glow5The root system of this Mexican or Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) still concerns me because it’s so close to the house, and the tree itself is larger than I expected it to grow.

earlymorning glow6Bees were extremely busy in the early morning.

earlymorning glow7So active that getting a pix required some patience.

earlymorning glow9For some reason, the Duranta (Duranta erecta) has not bloomed very much this year.  I suspect it’s because I did not do a good job of fertilizing everything or applying mulch this year.  The bees were enjoying the few flowers on it.

earlymorning glow8Also, the Morning Glory only has a few blossoms.

earlymorning glowcClammyweed (Polanisia dodecandra),a  small native bush was given to me by a friend years ago.  It’s one of those plants that comes up in different spots every year.  Insect holes in the leaves appear every year.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty little bush.

earlymorning glowaA couple of wildflowers, Snow on the Mountain (Euphorbiaceae), came up in a flowerbed.  At first, I kept planning to dig them up.  Then, I decided to leave them because they brighten up the area.

earlymorning glowbThe actual flowers are yellow and tiny set in white and green bracts.

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog.

“Chocolate comes from cocoa which comes from a tree. That makes it a plant. Therefore, chocolate counts as salad. The end.”  unknown

Rambling Along

Years ago as we were driving on the back roads in Arkansas, a common sight was wooden shacks slowly crumbling away.  Old stoves, sofas, refrigerators, etc. were sitting on the front porches.  Often people were hanging out there, too.

I wondered how anyone could let their property get so rundown.  Now, of course, I realize there are many reasons this could happen – no money for repair, no energy to tackle the job, and no motivation for improvement.

vineoncar7This is not that situation, but similar.  These are wrecked cars parked outside an automobile shop in a small town near us.

vineoncarIt’s obvious that they’ve been here awhile and the parts have not been needed yet.

vineoncar2This Morning Glory Vine lives as long as there is a little rain in the spring.  But summer heat and lack of water will dry it up soon.

vineoncar4Aging has made me realize how easy it is to ignore mundane tasks and get complacent with one’s surroundings.  There is an adage that says if you lay down something in your house, like a stack of newspapers, it becomes common place.  In a few days or a week, you won’t even notice it.

When I started thinking about this, it shook me awake to take a fresh look at what needs to be done in my house and yard.

vineoncar5Cedar is the choice for fence and other posts around here because they last so long.

vineoncar6As I’ve said before, flowers add their own beauty.

vineoncar8To me there’s something poignant about this scene.  Call me sappy, but can anyone wax poetic about these scenes?

Here is my attempt:


growing, grasping and coiling tendrils, climbing over barriers
blooming, twisting, and snagging metal, drawn by the Sun.
producing seeds
till withered on the soil

stretching, clinging and holding to hope, climbing past hindrances
prevailing, persisting, soaring upward, lifted by the Son
worshiping in awe
bowing before the genesis

ramblingThis is just one reason why I try not to judge others.  Maybe I’m the only one with this experience.  But when I start to criticize someone in my mind, I find that eventually I will notice a similar fault in my own life.

This Morning Glory vine spreads like wildfire.  This hose is used once or twice a week and it grows to cover this hose in between those times.  Sprigs also come up from one end of this flower bed to the other.  I try to be diligent, but…

“Money won’t buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem.”
Bill Vaughan.

Morning Glory Vine

Good ole common, reliable Morning Glory Vines are a staple in city and rural gardens.  Five years ago a man who worked at a place in Brownwood where I do volunteer work gave me an envelope of seeds.  No one else wanted them.  My husband had installed three trellises in concrete, and I still had one that was empty.

These Morning Glories are on the east side of the house with full morning sun but no afternoon sun.  They have blessed me year after year with abundant blooms.  They don’t require much attention – just some water.

Deep purple was their original color.  They have gradually become pink.The cause of this is a mystery to me.  I’ve read that it’s the pH balance of the soil that determines the color.  Also, that color change can happen naturally within the plant itself.  So I don’t think there’s anything I can do to revert it back to purple, which I prefer.

There are still plenty of blooms and it grows like wildfire.

Hey, I really do trim it sometimes.  It just gets away from me and reminds me of kudzu.  Sometimes, it’s comic relief to see it spreading.  But I know it will die when it freezes.

Since it reseeds, all I have to do is cut down the dead vines in the wintertime.  That’s really the only thing that I don’t like about vines on trellises.  The vines become a tight interwoven mass that make it difficult to cut out all the dead growth with hand clippers and takes more time than I like for the task.  If there’s an easier way to do that, I don’t know it.

“A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.”   Chinese Proverb