Toad's

New Growth

New growth came in this year with the cold temperatures. I am especially happy to see new growth on the bits of my blueberry plant that I was pretty sure was on the brink of death, but without further delay…

Flowers for your eye holes

A beautiful pumpkin flower

Silverado Sage flowers

Plant Now: Bulbs for Spring

Year zero was not as productive as I wanted it to be and so I am actively working towards making sure that i am actively adding pollinators and fruit producing plants. One of my favorite ways to do that is with my fall flowers. They will not shoot up until next spring and will add color in front of our berry bushes between our sage and juniper bushes.

I am glad I chose this weekend to do it because the soil was much better than usually. Of course, I went out and grabbed some potting mix to help because the ground around here isn’t the best for most plants.

All of these are spring blooms. Most of the stuff I have already blooms in the late sumer or early autumn. I think having flowers around year round will be the best.

Pickwick Crocus is going to flower to for around three weeks and are said that they can do well in clay soil. They allegedly will come back year after year and the more I read the more excited I become. Pickwick Crocus has flowers that close at night or during the rain and open in the morning when the sun reaches them. A few weeks after flowering they get yellow and die. I think it’ll be worth it.

I also grabbed some Sieberi Tricolor Crocus. I am planting these with the others that I have grabbed. I will dig up other areas later and plant different flowers. Now this plant will only get better with time, each year it will come back stronger and better. She will bloom from late winter to early spring (allegedly) and beautiful flowers. I cannot wait to see what this baby will look like next year.

Scilla Luciliae is a fun flower and it looks like little stars. This one flowers in early spring and then goes into dormancy until next year. I cannot wait to see what that looks like. I think they will be a lovely addition to all of our additions this fall.

Then I just got a random crocus mix. I want it to have purples and blues in it. I figured that this will add it some whites as well. I do not know how it will all turn out in the end but I do know that I want all of the pollinators at my house. One of my favorite things is to watch the butterflies and hummingbirds come in. That was when I found out how territorial they are.

I cannot wait for Spring to arrive so that I can see these beautiful flowers. I hope that you have something you’re excited about as well. Until next time…

My pumpkins are flowering

That’s right. You heard it right. My pumpkins are beautiful and they have the most amazing flowers. Ignore how weedy my garden is.

Pumpkins have two kinds of flowers: male and female. The first flowers to show up are male flowers in order for the pollinators to be attracted.

Female flowers are easy to spot because you can see baby pumpkins at the base. I was told that I might want to cut off the earlier ones in order to let the better ones come in.

They also say that when there are three or four on a vine that we should cut away all of the ones that aren’t promising as soon as they get to be around the size of a soft ball.

Night time is when pumpkins do must of their growing so try to keep the leaves dry in order to prevent disease and mold or mildew. It’s good advise for any plant as I have recently had to learn. Thats how we got our lemon balm runners and I stopped letting my kids water the plants.

One year ago

It is hard to believe that one year ago my property had nothing on it. There was no pumpkins or even a house. One year ago today my land was simply a pasture out in the middle of no where.

Last year

There was no juniper bush or blackberry plants there was only pasture. It’s hard to believe that one year ago there was only pasture.

This was the month that this became our property. It was just a big open pasture filled with nothing but grass and a tree.

When our foundation was put in

There was something amazing about seeing this sunset and just think. It was only a year and now we have so much to enjoy.

Why Cilantro?

Cilantro is related to carrots, celery and parsley. This little herb is good in salads, soups and as a garnish. An excellent source of antioxidants and in one study about prostate cancer in 2019 saw a difference and leads towards it’s ability to fight cancer.

Freshly planted baby cilantro

In a separate 2015 study they determined that cilantro could be used to assist with pain and inflammation- which is cool.

Cilantro is an easy to grow herb that grows in the early spring through summer in my zone and can be planted in the fall or winter in zone 9

Some people make claims that cilantro can be a perennial but there is no evidence found online by a reputable source to back these claims.

That was before I clipped the leaves. It is lovely and I planted more just to test out if I can have two growing season as well. After all, we do have warmer winters than most zones. Who knows, but I look forward to adding more cilantro to my garden.

After all, everything I have read so far states that Cilantro is a super food. They say you can take this to cleanse yourself from poisonous metals. It helps with lead poisoning and other conditions. I am super excited about cilantro and I can’t wait until I have a whole bunch.

Flowering: My Silverado Sage

I have three silverado sage and one texas sage or at least that is what the tags say. I have to say that I am impressed with how well sage grows here. Maybe I should start making smudge sticks or something. It is crazy.

Don’t judge me, I am a simple sage grower. They sure do look pretty when they are flowering. I like that they don’t have to have fifty gallons of water in a week and that it grows so well in my dirty clay soil.

Soil tests are what’s up when you are buying property. Don’t ever forget to get that down. I am having to cut out too many things because my soil is so compact.

But sage grows really well and looks so pretty. I mean, these flowers are only going to look prettier with each passing day.

Now that sage in the picture above I don’t know what is weird about it because the leaves are always a little yellow. Every other one looks amazing and this one is still flowering. I am just nervous it has plant herpes or something.

Having sage makes the plant murderers like me feel better about themselves. They don’t seem to die even when you don’t always remember to water them.

Happiness is your plants not dying and showing off their beautiful flowers.

My Collection: Discounted Aloe Vera

Yes, my guilty pleasure is buying fifty cent aloe vera plants from Walmart and saving their lives. I have not named them. We haven’t gotten very close.

You can see that some were suffering and others suffered for a little bit here before truly coming to life.

I do not know what is happening with this one but I like that he is a little weird.

Some are smaller but I am sure they will grow out. They seem to be doing a lot better lately and I don’t know what I am doing but I will take it

None of them were looking like they would survive but at the price they were getting rid of them at I couldn’t pass them up.

Now I have to push for more aloe vera and I want it to line my driveway. Until next time when we add new stuff or update on the old.

Update: Lantanas are Beginning to Flower

It turns out that out of all of the lantas we bought only three survived but they are the prettiest three lantanas. Now don’t quote me on it but I am ninety percent sure that I will be the proud plant mom of two purple lantanas and one white lantana.

They are really loving this little lump of land. The flowers are pretty and I honestly thought that they would be smaller than they are. I heard that lantana can be invasive and I sure hope so. It is just so pretty.

I really enjoy the green of the leaves and it has grown around six ot eight inches since it has been transplanted. Honestly, I am surprised that any of our lantanas survived.

You see my cats enjoy brand new fresh soil to roll around in and play on and around. They are a little crazy but we still love them.

We shall see and I will post more pictures of updates on these beautiful little transplants. Got to say each day that I see how great some of my plants are doing it makes me want to plant more.

Update So Soon: Morning Glory and Bachelor’s Buttons

I am much happier during the early growth season. Here I am planting new seeds right before it starts to get chilly. I know I will bring them in and I already have the best idea for where I want to put them, but for right now I have them outside basking in the sun.

I am just so impressed with the growth on these babies. They are absolutely popping up. The larger plants are the morning glories and they love the sun, they love the water and they enjoy the cool breeze on their hair.

The buttons seem a little insecure and they don’t seem to grow as fast but I am excited to see what they are all talking about. They are allegedly perennial in my zobe, but we shall find out. Something i have determined is that zones are Excellent indicators but do further research. Not everyone who blogs is personally killing plants and documenting it for your entertainment so that I’ll be able to look back on it when I am old and don’t remember anything.

I am enjoying these plants and i plan on bringing them inside and hanging them in my windows in order to get the most sun. I think that sitting back and watching the plants grow is the best way to spend my time. It is amazing to see how much joy watching a plant not die can give you. Regardless i hope my morning glories and bachelor’s buttons make it through the dark and cold and spooky winter inside my home with my whole family. Whose to say what is good or bad? Will my plants survive or will they be trampled, eaten, destroyed or any number of other terrible things? We shall see.

Introducing: Yard by Yard

My favorite place to buy plants most certainly is going to be Yard by Yard. They have these huge greenhouses with so many plants. They have always been great, and it turns out that my father has painted the guys house.

They mainly grow pretty things. They aren’t primarily fruit trees or herbs, they just don’t sale as well. It is a shame, I feel like that is the best part.

They have classy statues and other amazing items. I am only showing pictures of the plants. I will do a different segment about their gift shop. They just have beautiful plants and such a variety.

Now just because it is not their primary business they do carry herbs. I wish I did better with basil this year but there will always be better luck next year.

I always walk around that place for a good thirty minutes or so. They just have so much to offer.

I find myself just sitting there watching the place because they have free roaming lizards.

Large greenhouses that are full of Beautiful green life. It is just amazing seeing everything that they do.

Happy flowers everywhere you go. It is just so peaceful. It makes you feel as though you have walked into another space.

So when I came today he said that this was their slow season and I was like, “for why?” He said that most people prefer to grow starting in spring and aren’t as interested in the fall growing season.

I figured that I could help by posting how amazing they are and highlighting how great their plants are.

So I encourage everyone to show up at your mom and pop greenhouse. Take some pictures, tell your friends, and of course buy a plant.

After all, plants are the future of the entire planet as well as being beautiful and amazing.

Update: My garden September 5, 2020

I have three sets of peas that are growing well. As you can see I have grown lazy since thus last rain and have not weeded my garden, although I plan to very soon. I just don’t know when I will.

My pumkins seem to be doing well on both sides. Each day that passes I see them getting a little taller. It is great to watch the progression.

Look at them grow, I am impressed by how well they are fighting back the grass. I am hoping to have this are cleaned up a bit pretty soon.

The thing I am most proud of is the amount of corn that is growing. Some are doing better than others, and you can still see there are a bunch that just seemed to have shoved together. Again, I did not think that this many corn would root but look at them grow. Amazing specimens of wonder reaching for the sun.

Unknowing that they are simply a means to an end and I plan on ripping their children away and devouring them. Forgive me, I’m in a mood. I look forward to eating some corn and taking more beautiful pictures of it.

Everything seems to have taken off but my Brussel sprouts. I am mildly disappointed. The reason is we don’t really like or eat Brussel sprouts but then again I did want to be able to say that I grow them.

My squash, zucchini and cucumber seem to be doing super well over here too. I think that this soil over here is better than on our other plots.

I am excited about my garden and can’t wait to post more updates in order to keep myself motivated. Thank you for reading and have a great day.

New addition: Bachelors Buttons

Bachelor’s Buttons are absolutely stunning. This is also called the corn flower but there are a few plants called that from different species. Just so you know this is just an honorable mentiom, it is not revelant to what I am trying to do here.

This plant is both an annual and a perennial. It is an annual if planted in zones 7 and below; it is a perennial if planted in zones 8 (my zone) and up. I think that means that these buttons were made to attract me some butterlies.

I planted these babies when I planted my morning glories. They are slower to sprout, and look so cute and tiny. I have to watch these suckers though because they can be wildly invasive in my zone. I sure hope so, I am not just planting them for looks.

They will get to be around two feet tall, long and steemy. They are drought tolerant and enjoy the full sun. Bachelor’s Buttons look like miniature carnations and have beautiful blooms. They are self seeders which is one of the ways that they can just take over an entire area. (My dreams are coming true, flowers everywhere and all the humminh birds I can take pictures of)

September 5

Do not eat them, if you plant them they are not for you they are for the surrounding hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. I cannot wait for mine to get large and in charge and take over my yard.

September 5

New addition: Morning Glory

Morning Glorys are more butterfly and hummingbird feeders. They are viney and have beautiful flowers that come in many different colors. Growing up to 10 feet a year morning glories make an excellent climber or thick ground cover.

Morning glories have tough shells on their seeds and usually need to be germinated before put into the planter. I germinated mine for twenty four hours and they popped up quickly. I them planted them and left them outside during the warm days.

It did not take them long to start popping up and showing off their lovely heart shaped leaves. They can be grown as a house plant in front of a full sun window and will bloom all year round this way. Otherwise Morning Glorys are annual plants that self seed and come back each year. Although I am germinating and planting them indoors for now I plan on planting them next year.

They are tough little plants that can become invasive and their seeds are poisonous to beds and children especially in large quantities. Morning glories do not like to be transplanted but I am going to try it anyway, because I think they will make a lovely addition to our butterfly garden area or maybe another area.

Morning glories need full sun. They do not like shady places and bloom better in nutrient dense, well drained soil but are also drought tolerant and can survive harsh summers.

Regardless, I am super excited about my morning glories and cannot wait until they are large and in charge.

Update: The Others

First, let me say I didn’t mean for it to end this way. No matter how many successes that we have there also must be failures. So we can talk about that a little bit.

Of my four lantanas only three have survived but those three have pretty white flowers. I went by yard by yard (which is my absolute favorite nursery) and they have so many other colors. I don’t need anymore right now but man am I tempted.

My autumn sage is doing amazing. They sure do love my clay soil and they attract all of these hummingbirds.

My blue berries are dying. I am embarrassed to post a picture, just know my north east texas clay soil is destroying them.

My lime trees are loving life and growing up very nicely. I enjoy seeing their leaves reaching for the sun. They have such a beautiful shade of green on their leaves. It seems they prefer rain water to anything that I am doing to them.

H

Sage

My sage looks amazing and I went from small little wimpy sage to full on in your face sage. I love it. The leaves are calling out to the sun and requesting it’s love. I love my sage.

My cuban oregano is amazing and I can’t tell you how much this hardy plant. It was my first plant to give me hope and that is why it holds a special place in my heart.

My pineapples seem to be leaners. They want to just lean over and it makes me so mad. I forget that these are baby bushes and I am like, “GROW.” Just like with children it is pointless, but it does make me feel better.

Baby fig do do do do do. I love my baby fig. Too bad my son ran it over at the beginning of the season. I was so bad, but look at her grow. She is just fighting against all odds. I am so proud of her.

Cilantro

Clinatro is great and I actually planted hundreds of baby seeds but I haven’t seen a single sprout.

Sometimes Lemon Balm Has Runners…

So everything I read about told me no. This is not usually how lemon balm reproduces but my son waters plants like a waterfall.

Day 1

My lemon balm got stuck under the dirt and grew out of it. I found out when I pulled it up that roots had sprouted.

Day 1

I was happily surprised and now I have two more babies. My first clones, but I spoke to the guy at Yard by Yard and he said I am supposed to be calling it propagation. Words aren’t important check out my babies.

September 5
September 5

Little love for your eye holes

Zone 8a: Pear Trees

I have heard good things about growing pears in my zone. A couple of my neighbors have some pear trees growing here and there. I know that they can grow in my area and rumor has it they do super well.

Our list of pears that fair well in zone 8a:

1) Kieffer Pear– they do well from 4 to 9 and do well in heat. This tree has a fast growth rate and can grow up to 2 whole feet a year. (I wish I knew the metric system). Yields in September and October, and is self furtile, but they encourage you to plant your pears in pairs just in case.

2) Shinseiki Asian Pear– this pear is preferred by people who like granny smith apples. They are usually imported from Japan (which I thought was cool). This pear tree fruits from July to August and enjoys having friend pear trees to produce.

3) 20th Century Nijisseiki Asia– this is another gem from Japan. This one is a late bloomer and will start to produce after 7 to 10 years. This pear is so popular in Japan that the first tree was declared a national monument in 1935. It’s original name was also Shin Haidaku and that was changed earlier in 1904.

4) D’Anjou Pear– this pear ends in zone 8. It is drought and cold resistant. This pear is not a heavy producer and is said to be primarily decorative and need a small orchard to produce. They attract pollunators and are harvestable in September. (It was also said to be sweet and juicy, for your own records)

5) Summercrisp Pear– these pear trees are bushy and are said to be healthier if you see barely any bark. I thought that was neat. This one is a dwarf tree and is resistent to fireblight.

6) Comica Pear – this pear has a redish blush and is called the sweetest of all pears. Kind of like the fairest in the land. It grows well in our area and is supposed to be one of the juicier pear types.

7) Bosc Pear– this one is a tan/brown, grows fast and harvests in September. This is a hardy tree. The fruit is large and they say it is one of the spicier pears.

8) Hosui Asian Pear– this grand producer. It is drought tolerant but produces better with regular water. Another fireblight resistant. When paired with New Century they allegedly produce better as well

9) New Century Asian Pear– the fruit is round and reminds me more of a pear colored apple. These pears ripen in late August.

10) Bartlett Pear– this is a dwarf pear tree and is the number one pear tree in the world. It is shorter with a spicier pear taste.

11) Moonglow Pear– this one is a strong pollinator for other pear trees. It produces in September and is juicy.

I’ll have to separate them soon

12) Seckle Pear– a desert pear, sweet and a bit spicy this pear is good for canning or fresh. It is also resistant to fireblight. They have small tye dyed brown fruit that produce mid September. It takes 4 to 6 years to produce fruit.

13) Starking Delicious Pear– fruit keeps well in a refrigerator, and is another strong pollinator for other pear trees. It is harvested in August and is allegedly a sweet pear.

14) Honeysweet Pear– harvesting in early September and a self pollinating pear this beautiful tree. The stark Brothers said, “sweet like honey”, whatever that means about sweetness.

Who knows what these are

15) Peggy Asian Pear– it takes 4 to 6 years to produce. This one was discovered in 2003, he named the pear after his wife. It blooms in late August early September. It’s juicy and sweet, which is great in a pear.

16) Chojuro Pear– definitely look like pear colored apples. They alleged it has a butterscotch flavor and like many others originated in Japan.

All pears require full sun. No exceptions and most need pollunators. Sure some self pollinate but they produce better with friends. I didn’t know there were so many but I can’t wait to plant them all.

This is exciting news and I can’t wait to find out what is going to grow in 8a next. This is super exciting.

Update: Autumn Sage

This plant seems to truly enjoy the clay soil. I did some more research it turns out it thrives in dry heat. Autumn Sage claims to be drought resistant, bug free and doesn’t need to be fertilized. I did it anyway, because I researched but obviously not well enough to see that one coming. I am hopeful that this little plant survives because it has done wonders for my small area.

This beastie has been attracting all of the hummingbirds. I didn’t know that this little perennial was going to attract them like that. It has pulled in bees and butterflies as well. You most certainly see the rise in pollinators and that in itself makes these lovely little devils worth it.

I love how it bushes out. The colors add a nice little pop of red which is probably why they sometimes call it firecracker sage.

You would never guess that those flowers on the ground are from the humming bird wars of August 2020. Those guys get really competitive and beat each other up and I’m like, “Guys calm down, I can plant more.”

I probably will next year- especially seeing how well they are doing this year in attracting bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to my home.

This was a couple of days before the rain and before they bushed out. I am really happy with the rain and I will continue to water them even if they are genetically water resistant. I hope that maybe they will grow larger than 3 feet tall but who knows.

Regardless, I think they are happy in their new home.

New Addition: Pineapple

Oh yes, I did not realize how sharp these leafs are. Someone should have warned me, now I have these cuts and we were only trying to give it a home.

Since this one is so fighty we placed it near some nonproducing plants. I did not even look it up. It was sitting there lonely and we were looking for plants to commemorate an occasion. I know these beasties do well near Galveston, but who knows here.

There are conflicting stories, but we have been excited since we got them. It is an amazing day when you can being home something like a pineapple.

We do not think we will be planting anymore as their leafs are straight savage. I did not realize the universe made ninja plants, but here we are.

I do enjoy our pineapples. I hope that they do well just so that we can say that we have them. As I look at where I planted them I really see everything coming together. It makes my heart swell.

Even if you don’t reach for a pineapple, I encourage everyone to buy a plant today. Give a plant a home.