An indigo bunting and a male cardinal are at my bird feeder in my yard. This is the first time I’ve seen the blue one here – but with such a dry year here in Texas, it’s not surprising that he’s coming by the feeder.
The top flower is a species of spider wort (Tradescantia) that is small, shorter one in our area and the bottom picture is of the taller species. The shorter one we dug up and transplanted from the edge of our property – we moved it close to where we can see and enjoy it. The taller one we transplanted from a large clump on public property (that has since been bulldozed) as we haven’t seen any like that on our 3 acres.
This is a native to us dogwood tree to us, just planted this fall. It’s already got flower buds on it, preparing to bloom in May.
We like the native plants – partly due to so few remaining, thanks to cattle grazing and urban sprawl. We also plant natives because they are easier! We don’t have to water them nearly as much and they help the local critters by providing food for them. Plus, they are used to our sandy soil with lots of shade!
But, as nice as the natives are, the vegetable garden is equally nice. This is our first year with a garden at this house. Within the first year of moving here, we lost 13 65 foot tall pine trees in the front acre alone. Partly due to drought and partly due to the pine bark beetle, the trees just didn’t have much of a chance. One chain saw later, we’ve cut down all of the pine trees and most of the cedar trees (who while native, are not native at such densities and are a huge water hog) and as a result, gained some sun light!
We used the cedar logs for the edge of the raised bed garden, free and rot resistant, and then bought some chocolate loam soil that was trucked in. That’s 12 tons of dirt in that garden! (That we moved all by hand…)
We hope to fill in the rest of the space over time with compost and pick up truck loads of dirt as we can. For now, the pots are used for spreading plants – like potatoes and tomatoes and cucumbers. Greens and carrots and herbs went into the raised bed garden. We chose a raised bed garden as there are just so many roots in this sandy soil – we’d spend years digging it all out! The loam provides better water retention and nutrition while giving us a help in getting the garden started.
My mom and grandmother and great grandmother always gardened… My husbands father is very much into gardening - it’s time to pass on the tradition to my daughter, too. I think that Gram would be proud.