Friday, July 15, 2011

The Thunder Moon

The Phoenix Moon Grove named this moon the Crepe Myrtle Moon, which is my least favorite of their moon names. Yes, I admit it, I'm a bit of a native plant snob. To me, native plants are like local mom and pop shops and restaurants, while non-native plants that people plant all over the place are like the McDonald's and Wal-Marts of landscaping. The common crepe myrtle is native to China, and while it's not nearly as invasive as some other non-native landscape plants such as Nandina, Privet, Chinese tallow, and Chinaberry, it seems wrong to me to come up with a Texas-specific full moon naming scheme with one of your moons named after a non-native plant.

Until I can think of a better name for this moon, I'm going with one of the traditional moon names for right now. Especially since Sunday we had a little thunderstorm! Too bad it didn't last long, so it didn't get a chance to really soak the ground, but it did fill up the rain barrels.

We're still in exceptional drought and Stage 3 water restrictions, so I can only water once a week with a soaker hose. I don't have enough hose to cover the whole garden, so I had to make some hard decisions on which plants to keep alive and which to let go.

Here's a picture to show you just how BROWN my whole yard is. One thing that annoys me is whenever they have a story on the local news about the water restrictions, they have someone on there reassuring us that it's fine to let your grass go brown, and as soon as it rains again it will come back. Yeah, who says that I'm worried about the grass? I never water my grass!
One of the crops I'm trying to carry through the summer are the California Wonder bell pepper plants I got from my CSA farmer. I don't expect to get any fruit until it starts to cool down in fall, but so far the plants themselves are healthy and might survive that long with their once-a-week watering.

The tomatillos are in the same situation. No fruit, but maybe I can get some later if I keep them alive.
I've got one Malabar spinach plant still alive, even though it's still very small.
One luffa gourd vine is left, starting to grow up the fence among some wild vine (not sure if it's a Balsam gourd or cow-itch vine) that's been growing there the whole time I've lived here. The luffa is being optimistic here, putting out a male flower.
I'm surprised this one White Wonder cucumber plant is still alive.
The regular pole beans are almost all dead. This is one of the Blue Coco beans that's still trying to hang on.
Some of the yardlong beans are still hanging in there, but aren't growing much. You can see the sunburn on the one on the left of the picture here.
My Thai basil isn't doing too bad. It's in full flower and actually looks kinda pretty. I picked a bunch of it one time to make some Thai food, and Daniel came home and asked me, "Where did you get those flowers?" He was surprised that they were basil and not something ornamental.

I also went ahead and planted the rest of my Ms. Burns Lemon basil next to the Thai basil. It's still small, but hanging in there. This is supposed to be an especially drought tolerant variety of basil.

I also planted the Asian Red Amaranth I had in pots, but I'm afraid they might have been in pots too long, and have gotten stunted. They're already bolting even though they're not very big. The flower clusters look cool, though.
The black eyed peas and cowpeas and lima beans aren't doing too bad. Still no pods, but at least the plants themselves look good.
Now the sad part. I decided to quit watering the tomatoes, and this is what I got. I got a decent spring tomato crop, and tomatoes have trouble setting fruit in this heat anyway, so the tomatoes were one of the things I decided to sacrifice.

This is where my sweet potatoes used to be. It was mostly grass with just a few sweet potato plants under there getting smothered, so I decided to give up on them and mow the whole thing down. I did the same with the watermelons. Maybe next year.
Really, that's about it for the garden. Everything else not shown here is dead. Here's a picture of my hope for fall. The fall tomatoes and eggplants have been put in separate pots, while the peppers are still in communal pots. I hope I didn't start the peppers too late, but I had a bunch of seeds that were getting old, so I thought I might as well experiment with them.
The little bit of rain we had made my mystery flowers happy. I'm not sure what kind of flowers these are, but they have been growing in my yard the whole time we've lived here. They have narrow leaves and tuber-like roots (which I discovered by digging up the ones coming up in the garden). The yellow flowers only open in the evening. I'm assuming they're some kind of wildflower, but I have no idea what they are. Pretty though.

Finally, I just thought I'd share a cute picture of our old lady cat, K.K., enjoying her Kitty Pool on the front porch. It's the tray from a large plastic plant pot that I filled with water and put outside to supplement the bird bath for wild animals to drink out of. K.K. is one of those odd cats who likes to play in water, and she found a better use for it. She had just been dipping her paws in it, but she finally went ahead and got all the way in, so I just had to get a picture. Doing this on the porch is much less messy than when she splashes around in her drinking water in the kitchen.

No comments:

Post a Comment