First of all, a big congratulations to Pam at Digging for her excellent article in the Austin American-Statesman. You're a talented writer and gardener, Pam. Thanks for letting everyone know about the Austin Garden Bloggers. It was a privilege to meet all of you. I'm honored I was included, despite my newby status.
The plants in my garden continue to grow. The front porch basket of petunias and vinca minor is finally starting to fill out.
My next project will be to make this bare front porch more inviting. I'm considering a rail basket and a planter topped with a trellis to add some color and structure to the porch.
Last week I laid a set of 4 stepping tiles under my back garden faucet. There's not much in that shady, damp space besides mud and tiny weeds at this point, but the tiles at least keep my toes clean.
I'd love to plant some moss around the tiles if I thought it would live. I saw some for sale at a nursery, so might just try a little as an experiment. If it doesn't work out, I may plant ajuga there instead.
Re-evaluation seems to be my gardening M.O. lately. For example, I was going to replace the crepe myrtle (lagerstroemia) in my front garden with a native Texas orchid tree. But this week I noticed dozens of butterflies on the crepe myrtle blossoms. I still want the orchid tree, but the crepe myrtle has won a reprieve.
Here you can see a Red Admiral sharing a blossom with a honey bee.
They don't keep their wings open for long. So this was a lucky shot.
I love watching the Banded Hairstreaks (Satyrium calanus) flutter about.
This little fellow seemed to stare at the camera defiantly as if to say, "What are you lookin' at?"
When the Banded Hairstreak lands he moves the false 'antenna' on the back of his wings with his legs. This fools an attacking bird into pecking his tail instead of his head so the butterfly is more likely to escape.
My hummingbird feeder was such a high traffic area with so many hummer 'wars' I decided to buy a second feeder. The Black-Chinned Hummingbird male cannot guard both feeders as well, so more hummers are able to drink in peace. Though peace is a relative term when it comes to hummingbirds. They seem to love bickering and chasing each other. Here's the Black-Chinned Hummer drinking sugar water at his favorite feeder.
Below you can see him coming in for a landing.
I've noticed the hummingbirds seem attracted to the solar fountain when it's running. I keep trying to take a photo of them buzzing the spray, but they are so fast the shot has eluded me thus far.