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Blog series by chscholz consisting of 24 parts so far

Part 1: Critters

05-05-2011 11:43 PM by chscholz | 5 comments »

Hope you enjoy our friends in the backyard as much as I do.

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Part 2: Nandina

05-13-2011 04:52 PM by chscholz | 5 comments »

Ok, nandina is not a TX native and in the long run I plan to replace it. They came with the house and we are not quite at the stage where we can start taring them all out. Having said that, they grow like weed and sure are purdy!

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Part 3: Nandina

05-13-2011 04:58 PM by chscholz | 4 comments »

Looking closer at my nandina bushes I noticed a particular insect. Never seen it anywhere else before and it appears to have a strong preference for nandina flowers.

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Part 4: Grashopper

05-27-2011 08:55 PM by chscholz | 2 comments »

We bought a Japanese Maple at the garden store last weekend. This tree will be turned into a pensai (bonsai) over the next few years. It is amazing what you find when you are looking at nature closely. I don’t know if this little grasshopper came with the tree of if he jumped on it when we put the tree into the backyard. I don’t quite understand why a green animal wants to sit on the red leaves of a Japanese Maple, I am sure he has his reasons.

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Part 5: Flowering Catnip

05-31-2011 09:10 PM by chscholz | 3 comments »

No idea if catnip is TX native or not, it sure grows well over here.Wikpedia says that it has soothing properties on humans. “The plant has been consumed as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion or poultice, and has also been smoked.” and even better, it is said to be a mosquito and fly repellent.Maybe I’ll try to smoke some catnip next time.

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Part 6: Good Guys or Bad Guys?

06-09-2011 12:17 AM by chscholz | 5 comments »

I checked my salvia last weekend. They are growing very well, finished blooming (at least for right now) and have produced plenty of seeds.One thing I noticed though are lots of green and brown insects that seem to enjoy sitting on the salvia. I inspected the salvia closely and could not find any insect damage. All these guys seem to do is to hang around and enjoy life. So, what do you think, good guys or bad guys? A few leaves “downstairs” I fond a little spider with huge a...

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Part 7: Backyard Critters

08-22-2011 10:37 PM by chscholz | 6 comments »

It’s been a hot and dry summer in Texas, even the sweet potatoes are suffering, two Japanese maple trees are badly burned. We are trying to keep cucumbers and a few other plants alive, and wonder during every of my daily watering rituals if it is worth it. Beans, wintermelon and waterspinach are ok though. I even harvested some salvia leaves for tea. Looking at the weather forecast it will take a few more weeks unit we see a significant drop below 37 degree (100 in the US) and hop...

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Part 8: Fort Worth Botanical Garden

08-22-2011 11:01 PM by chscholz | 5 comments »

Visiting the Fort Worth Botanical Garden was quite an experience. On one hand it is amazing what the gardeners are doing over there on the other hand we did see quite a few plants that did not take the Texas heat and this year’s extreme drought very well. It was a wonderfully overcast day and I brought my macro lens along. Here are a few hit-and-run shots. First a moth foraging on flowering salvia Eggs of some sort on Eve’s necklace pods and finally a little green lizard bas...

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Part 9: Collected Seeds

09-14-2011 10:42 PM by chscholz | 2 comments »

During this year we’ve been collecting sees in the wild. Overarching goal is to gradually increase the content of native plant in our yard and decrease the amount of invasive plants. With our exceptionally hot and dry summer hopefully winding down it appears to be a good time to start rising the native plants we collected. First of here is a Texas Mountain Laurel. I collected the seed from a parking lot of the Hyatt Place Arboretum Hotel in Austin TX. The seeds have a characteristic ...

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Part 10: First Leaves

09-21-2011 11:44 PM by chscholz | 3 comments »

Believe it or not, yes we had some more rain… I am proud to report that my bean trees are doing well. The large elm tree on the South side of the house starts dropping leaves and I am using the leaves as mulch. Necklace trees show first leaves, Texas Mountain Laurel is sprouting, too.

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Part 11: Turks Cap

09-22-2011 12:24 AM by chscholz | 3 comments »

Another Texas native plant. Grown from seeds last year and has established itself quite well. In fact it’s been thriving through this year’s terrible drought. Wikipedia states that turks cap is a member of the mallow family that also includes cotton, cacao, kola and durian.

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Part 12: Backyard Critters

09-24-2011 10:30 PM by chscholz | 4 comments »

It’s amazing what shows up when you just sit still for a few minutes. This butterfly really enjoys the Turkscap flowers And of course my friend the lizard is still around enjoying the cooler weather (yes, mid 30’s feels cool).

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Part 13: Salvia is back

03-27-2012 08:29 PM by chscholz | 4 comments »

One of my goals is to gradually convert ordinary lawn into native flower beds. Last year I planted two varieties of salvia, one of them did quite well, the other not so much. I am not quite sure if this is because of last year’s extremely dry summer or if it is because the trees in the backyard provide too much shade. Last time I checked salvia was said to tolerate a reasonable amount of shade, but who knows, maybe it is just a little bit too much. In any case, I am excited to report...

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Part 14: My friend the lizard is back!

03-27-2012 08:56 PM by chscholz | 5 comments »

Yes I’ve been wondering if he will be back this year, and he is. He’s been sitting on one of the sandstones I dug up in the yard when preparing the vegetable beds; must have been watching me for quite some time while enjoying the warm spring sun. It’s nice to sit back for a wile, watching my little friend watching me. And I can’t help wondering what’s going on in his head. Is it curiosity that makes him stare at me watching my every step from a save vantage point...

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Part 15: Tandy Hills Natural Area

04-03-2012 12:17 AM by chscholz | 5 comments »

Never before did I hear of heard of Tandy Hills Natural Area, one of the many public parks in the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area. This park is quite different to the usually uninspiring TX parks: no parking lot, no drive-in BBQs, no drinking fountains, no road/mountain biking, no generators, not paved roads, you actually need to walk in order to get anywhere! Tandy Hills is a rocky/limestone outcrop with caliche soil (think Portland cement) that has never been farmed and is now turned into a p...

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Part 16: I found an Easter Egg

04-09-2012 08:24 PM by chscholz | 3 comments »

A while a go we dug up a creosote in Souther TX. This will eventually be made into a bonai, assuming of course we can keep it alive. The creosote seems to have survived the trip an starts setting new leaves. I took a closer look today and guess what, there’s an Easter Egg of sorts on one of the leaves. In fact this winter was extemely mild and nature is quite generous with eggs, unfortunately of the wrong kind… Happy Easter to y’all!

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Part 17: The good, the bad and the ugly

04-25-2012 12:49 AM by chscholz | 5 comments »

This years mild winter has brought out all sorts of critters, many of them are not so good for our little vegetable garden. Our neighbor’s photinia seem to be a great hit with the butterfly population. The pattern is becoming pretty clear now (over simplified and skipping a few steps): First they forage on the photinia blossomes, then the they rest on our fence for a while. After that the flutter over into our vegetable garden lay eggs and head back to the photinia shrubs. Oh well, I...

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Part 18: Beans and ...Ants

06-23-2012 07:44 AM by chscholz | 2 comments »

For one reason or another we’ve have had no luck growing long string beans in our yard. No idea why but this year is different, the long string beans are doing quite well. Went out this morning to take a few pictures of the string bean flowers. That was the idea, ...got side-tracked by the cute ants that are rummaging around on. Actually, it took us a while until we noticed that the contract we had with the termite control company included killing all the ants around the house. Gi...

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Part 19: Went shooting in the backyard this weekend...

08-27-2012 08:02 PM by chscholz | 2 comments »

...that’s what folks do in Texas. Ok, I’ve been shooting photons and collecting what bounced back. Anybody know what bug this one is?What do you think, do you usually clean these bug up in photoshop or do you prefer the “as found” look?

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Part 20: Bugs

09-24-2012 07:55 PM by chscholz | 4 comments »

Folks, it’s been a warm winter and a wet summer over here (wet as compared to last year, in other places of the US that would still be considered rather dry). Like with everything in life there is a downside to all that: BUGs. Here are some prime examles of a herd of afids muncing on out peppers. After a closer look at the big white blob, this turns out to be some form a bug, too. Let’s hope for a cooler winter this year, ok, not too cold, we planted some turmeric (in a ...

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Part 21: Walk through the Pairie

11-24-2012 09:08 PM by chscholz | 5 comments »

We had beautyful weather this Thanksgiving. Drove down to Cedar Hill and walked through the Prairie for 8 miles. It is amazing how different things appear do be after spending some time in the garden. We used to do hiking with the goal to get from one place to the other, now we stop frequently, try to identify plants and discuss if it would be good bonsai material. Amazing what you can find just a few miles outside of the major metroplexes.

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Part 22: Winecup and Columbine

04-23-2013 12:42 AM by chscholz | 4 comments »

The native plants I seeded are coming along nicely. Here’s the yellow columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha): White winecup (Callirhoe involucrata. v. lineariloba):

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Part 23: Wheel Bugs (arilus cristatus)

06-26-2015 04:07 AM by chscholz | 1 comment »

Found these little guy in the yard this weekend

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Part 24: Turks cap (malvaviscus arboreus)

08-04-2015 04:09 AM by chscholz | 1 comment »

Pretty much the only flower that can stand the TX heat…

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chscholz

156 posts in 2462 days
hardiness zone 8

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