Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Plant Fairy

Last week I ran into my neighbor down the street, and of course we started talking plants.  I didn't see much of her during the winter, and right before it got cold, she had given me several cuttings of different things.  Thanks to the heater mishap, I lost almost all except one of the plants she had given me.  She mentioned that she was going through her plants because her and her husband plan to travel a bit this summer in their new RV and asked if I wanted anything.  Of course!!  I told her I'd take anything that she wanted to get rid of.  I pulled in the driveway Thursday night and it looked like the Plant Fairy had made a stop at my house.  Oddly, I didn't think to take a picture of it all together, but here are some different shots of what she left. 

There's a huge Epiphylum oxypetalum 'Night Blooming Cereus' that Amy and I took apart tonight.  She's lovely like this, but needed a little attention and cleanup.  We can't wait for her to bloom, Amy's a bit more excited because she's had one that bloomed in the past.  Me, I'll be the loon up till midnight or whenever to get the full bloom on camera!

She brought more of the Heurnia schneideniana 'Red Dragon Flower'.  The funny thing with this one is, when when brought me the first cutting I wasn't too sure about it.  As I've watched mine, and of course Amy's do way better than my own, it's really grown on me and I was thrilled to get more.

Ignore my nasty, unorganized husband is always after me to clean it up, but it never seems to stay that way.  I had to be able to show off the really long piece and this was the quickest option.  Of course, she's already been separated with new pots started as well. 

Here's a grouping of several of the others that she brought.  We separated the Kalanchoe tonight as well, everything else will have to wait.  One thing I'm really excited about are the Neomarica gracilis 'Walking Iris'...those beauties have a perfect home waiting for them under the Crape Myrtles that line one side of our backyard.  I googled them and can't wait for them to bloom...gorgeous!! 

We finished up well after dark both nights, so we failed to get pictures.  We both have our little "nursery" sections in our backyards where we are growing the new guys along with other things we have going.  They're all tucked away and ready to grow!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Deer, Deer, Go Away

Deer are beautiful creatures.  However, when they begin invading my yard and eating things they shouldn't be, they are not so attractive any longer.  I realize that until yesterday we had gone 90 plus days without rain, but seriously...does it have to always be my yard they deem their feeding ground!  They did eat one of our neighbor's Double Knock Out Roses and sampled Amy's Zinnia, but they go to town at my house.  They started with the Coleus around the tree.

What's odd is that they only ate some of them.  There are still a number of the red ones that they left alone. 

Smart me decided last Friday to stop by and pick up some "deer resistant" plants to filter in among the coleus in hopes to detour them.  Thankfully, I only put in half of what I bought, because Saturday morning I was greeted by the day to them all being mowed down!  They ate the Mexican Mint Marigold down to numbs, ripped the Black-foot Daisies to shreds and de-buttoned the Bachelor Buttons of their buttons.  Grrr...   I know, I know, they were young and if they were more seasoned they might have been left alone. 

Adding to my trauma, I left the house Monday with a yellow rose getting ready to open...when I left the house Tuesday, it was gone! Then I realized they were eating my Heart Leaf Ice Plant...they've never, ever bothered that before and we've had our share of droughts.  Even on the front porch, they walked right up the the door and stuck their snouts in a pot with a Double Impatient and 3 coleus and snipped of just the Impatient buds!  I guess they just don't like red Coleus very much.  Excuse the picture, I snapped it with my phone in the garage as an afterthought. 

What's really irritating, is that my next door neighbor (the one with all the cats) planted new Impatients out front and they haven't touched them yet...everyone knows they love those things, but nooooo, they'd rather eat my lovlies!

I picked up some Liquid Fence Deer Repellent last night.  I decided it would be a good time to apply it while we were sitting out front talking to the neighbors tonight.  Not such a brilliant reeks, and that's putting it mildly!!  Everyone started with, "Mandy, stop! Put it up, that's nasty!", and made their way to the end of the driveway.  I kept spraying and trying not to breath, you can still smell it out there!  It's supposed to dissipate, so I hope it's a little less offensive to our noses tomorrow. My husband told me that I sure know how to break up a party! I thought it was funny anyways, although I think I need to wash my hands again.

If the Liquid Fence fails, my next plan of action is to cover myself in deer dung, lay in wait and give the unsuspecting thieves a punch in the nose!  I'm joking of course, but they're really getting on my nerves!  Maybe I should instead just be a little more serious in my prayers for rain...I think I'll try that option first. 

They're so beautiful, but really, they need to pick on someone else!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hummingbird Moth

Thanks to Cindy at Bug Safari for stopping by and cluing me in on the little moth that visited my blooms Saturday evening!  What we thought at first was a hummingbird is a White Lined Spinx moth, also known as a Hummingbird Moth.  How fun is that!! I've Googled it and found a lot of neat pictures including the caterpillar stage that Cindy has featured on her blog.  I knew that Julie over at A Succulent Life would know what it was, and sure enough she knew where to go and who to ask!  Thanks, Julie!! 


Monday, May 9, 2011

My Own Little Charlotte

I suppose I'm feeling a little buggish this evening.  A week or so ago, I went out to smell my newest Plumeria blooms and realized that a white spider has taken up residence on the largest of the two plants.  When I went the next time, I interrupted her dinner time.

The fly

She's got a good hold on the fly.

A complete look
My favorite shot of predator and prey!

The Plumeria is gorgeous, but I think the spider is pretty as well.  She seems to be pretty happy living in the plant, pretty busy too! One thing I didn't realize, probably because I only got one bloom last year, but not all the blooms are the same.  The speckled ones are my favorites on this one, and they smell even yummier! 


It's a, it must be a moth!

Saturday evening, my friend, Amy, and I were sitting on my back porch when she thought she saw a hummingbird hovering around my petunias.  I grabbed my camera real quick and started shooting away.  It had the prettiest little wings and I snapped away as it went from the petunias to the Esperanza.  The guys even humored us and looked at the pictures I caught.  Only after looking at the pictures a little closer, I realized it had four wings and antennae.  It must have been a moth, but I'm not sure even about that.  I just thought it was the prettiest little thing and thought I'd share.

Petunias and Wandering Jew
From this angle, it does look rather hummingbirdish don't you think? 

From this angle though, you can see the four wings and the antennae.

I was excited when I thought it was a hummingbird, a little bummed upon figuring out it probably wasn't, but then excited again at the lovey shots I got of it.  Wouldn't you know though, that the next morning, my husband spotted an actual hummingbird through the window at the Esperanza.  The little stinker flew away by the time I got outside!  It did get my attention though, and there is now a full hummingbird feeder to welcome it back.  I can't wait to get a picture of a real hummingbird next time!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Checking In

Where does the time go?  It seems that at least in our house that the closer the school year comes to an end, the busier we are.  Of course both girls are still playing volleyball, although that is coming to an end in the next few weeks and I'll risk of offending either one by saying, "Hallelujah!!".  I'm looking forward to being able to come home, make dinner and just sit.  Maybe then I'll get moving on all these books I want to read.  Let's not forget blogging on a regular basis either. 

Amy and I have still been on the hunt for interesting plants to add to our collections.  The latest being a couple of Hoyas and some other funky hanging basket thing that we think are in the same family, but look different.  I'll have to get pictures and post on the chance that someone recognizes them. 

Another day is gone and my bed is calling me!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!