Old and New

Old or new?  That can mean friends, habits, experiences, tastes, or whatever.  Do we have to choose?  Sometimes circumstances, such as locations or life changes, dictate that we can’t embrace the old and the new at the same time.  But fortunately, it’s possible to enjoy old favorite plants and the acquaintance of new plants at the same time.

birdofparadise5This was one of the first bushes we planted after we moved here.  We did make a mistake where it was planted.  I certainly don’t recommend planting a Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) in a flowerbed beside the house.

birdofparadiseIt was a surprise that it grew so fast.  If allowed, it would grow into a small tree.  We cut it back almost to the ground every winter in an attempt to keep its roots from damaging the foundation.  I’ve learned that doesn’t really work because the roots continue to grow even when the trunk is managed.  My hope is that it has deep roots like most plants that are drought tolerant.

birdofparadise2Bees flit from the end of one red stamen to the other.  How they can gather pollen that quickly is a mystery to me.

birdofparadise3They are not alone on the bush.  The spider in this picture successfully netted this bee.

birdofparadise4Not only is the spider enjoying one meal but has another trapped for the upcoming meal.  It’s barely visible in the picture, but the bee on the right is caught in the same web.

Yes, almost every part of this bush is poisonous.

blackberrylilyA new friend in the Garden Club comes up with more varieties of Texas natives or plants that have adapted to this area than anyone I know.  And she’s always willing to share.

This Blackberry Lily (Belamcanda chinensis) is just one of many plants that she has introduced me to.  It is a bulb plant in the iris family.

blackberrylily2The flowers are rather small.  Clusters of shiny black seeds are exposed when the seed capsules split open.  I haven’t seen this yet, but look forward to it.

Blackberry Lily is native to China and Japan.  Crazy that it grows here.

I’m thankful for friends who have taught me so much and for fellow gardeners who are generous with their knowledge and their pass along seeds, bulbs, and plants.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you.  You have to go to them sometimes.”  Winnie the Pooh

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