The Ordinary

There is a spot in one of my flowerbeds where the soil is about 8″ to 10″ deep because there is a 10′ x 4′ rock just under the surface of the ground.  It works well to plant flowers with shallow root systems there.  So I usually seed it with ordinary Zinnas.

zinnaangelFinally, after seeding that area with Zinnas for four years, they are coming up voluntary.  Before this year I was gathering seeds and replanting.

The above picture shows why I have come to dislike garden cloth.  We used it because we thought it would keep the native Bermuda grass out of the flowerbed.  Wrong.  The grass and weeds just come up through the cloth.  Then they are even harder to pull out.

Plus, after time, the cloth gets uncovered by animals or heavy rains, even with mulch on top.

zinna3Back to Zinnas.  They’re pretty flowers that are very inexpensive.  I guess they’re ordinary because they are they are a common sight in older gardens.

goldlantanaAnother plant that is common in Texas is Lantana.  There is a native one that has yellow and orange flowers.  The one here is New Gold Lantana (Lantana x hydrida ‘New Gold”).

goldlantana2It grows low to the ground.  You can see the grass that has come up into the garden cloth is in the middle of the Lantana.  It is impossible to pull it all out.  Believe me.  I’ve tried.  Each spring I plan to get after it and keep ahead of the game.  Obviously, I have not suceeded.

goldlantana3The color is so bright on this plant.

goldlantana4All Lantanas are hardy and deer resistant.

goldlantana8Last evening I spotted something that is not ordinary, but unusual.  Several Hummingbird Moths (Macroglossum stellartarum) are feeding on the Gold Lantana.

Hummingbird Moths are also called Sphinx Moths or a Hawk Moths.  The wing span is about 5″.  It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that the Moth is a hummingbird because they dart so quickly from flower to flower.  But there two antenna on top of their heads.

goldlantana7They are in flight the entire time they are feeding.  From this picture it is possible to see the pink color in the wings.  The back part of the body looks like a bee.  The proboscis seems even longer than a hummingbird beak.  While hummingbirds use their tongue to lap liquid, the Proboscis functions like a straw.

hummingbirdmothThis picture is from the internet and gives a clearer picture of a Hummingbird Moth.   To get this picture must require a special feature on a camera or a more masterful photographer than I am.

goldlantana5Seeing them made my day.

sedum2This ground cover Sedum is great to fill in gaps.  I’ve been using it at the edges on some of my lasagne gardens (see previous post) to help hold the soil in place.

Sedums are great plants to share with friends.  Just break a stem and stick it in dirt.  Water regularly until it roots.  Voila – a new plant.  My original plant came from one of my Mother’s.

I love having plants in my yard that remind me of people who them gave to me.

“Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”  Jim Rohn

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