Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hanging Gardens

Effusive Fuschia

It's nice that being identified as a gardener, friends and family give you garden gifts. After a year of missed connections, an old friend finally visited my house for the first time Thursday and came bearing a large hanging basket holding a fuschia plant. It's quite serendipitous, as I've had an empty bracket hanger on the front porch since I've moved in. Voila, empty hook problem solved.
This fuschia is something I would never had bought myself. The flowers look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, all exotic two-tone globes and pendants, drooping like chandelier earrings. It has no doubt been prepped in a greenhouse and brought to its peak lushness and bloom to tempt the unwitting shopper at a nursery. My internet search confirms that it will be a miracle if I can keep it alive. Apparently it may even need to come inside during the worst heat. If anyone has experience with this showstopper, please holla!

Evil Weed
This last week has seen the virulent return of my backyard's most obnoxious and widespread weed, a vine that never blooms, but has little green seeds. It strangles the plants it climbs on and cannot be killed or pulled up. Worse even than nutgrass. Annie, if you're stopping by, please i.d. this scourge so I can curse its name while I'm attacking it.
The geckos are all over the place; this dude was chilling on the cable with his little feet clasped together.


Anonymous said...

Is it what they call bindweed?

Libby at Aurora Primavera said...

All the pix of bindweed show that it has a morning glory-like flower. This thing never blooms. Maybe it's a variant. Grrrr.

Diana said...

I love your fuchsia and yes, it's a little tender. It might like some dappled shade as it gets hotter. I grew mine when I lived in Minnesota many years ago, so that tells you something. Just keep it well-watered and watch for swooning!

Lori said...

I feel your pain! Evil Weed has made a kingdom in my flower bed around the bigger of the two mesquite trees. It's awful. No matter how many times I pull up every bit I can see, it pops right back up to strangle everything in sight.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Kiwi,

Does it have spines? There's a thorny thing called Smilax/Cat briar.

The native Carolina moonseed gets red berries and is considered a choice vine for wildscapes... wonder if those green seeds would turn into red berries if you waited awhile?

Carolina moonseed from Houston Bot Garden

Same plant from the Wildflower Center site.

There are so many native plants that I'd love in moderation but they either die or go nuts.

Why do fuchsias never become invasive ;-]

I used to grow hanging baskets of fuchsias in Illinois - and up there heard them nicknamed ladies' eardrops. Here the advice is to bring them into A/C if it's over 90 degrees.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Cindy, MCOK said...

The fuchsia looks fabulous there. Keep us posted on how it does ... I wonder if watering it with ice cubes would confuse it into thinking it's in Seattle or Vancouver or Minnesota?

I enjoyed talking with you on Friday night at the Fling. Hope we'll get to meet again.

Libby at Aurora Primavera said...

It's not smilax; I know that from my previous yard--no thorns. And not moonseed either. Arggghhhh.
The fuschia is enjoying our San Diego temps--so far!

kate smudges said...

The fuchsia is lovely, but I like the photograph of the little gecko better! Bindweed ... that grows here too, but at least I get the satisfaction of seeing it freeze to death every year.

Anonymous said...

beautiful site! I found yours while doing research about cross-vines. I just planted mine along my fence two weeks ago. I read your post about the cross vine. How did yours end up doing?


Anonymous said...

The pests of the garden can be so discouraging! Fuschia are even particular up north. They hate it hot and cannot dry out totally. It is pretty though and the hummingbirds love it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Libby,

Thanks for your comment. I'm excited about our cross vines and I'm excited it will grow so quickly. Our yard is in the very early stages of landscaping, so this will be a quick fix.

We are refugees from Boston and so happy to say we made it down here and don't have to endure another 9 month winter again. It was a tough city to live in because it's so transient (with all of the university students and medical residents). It does seem like the natives never really leave. I think they must have thicker skin or something. My husband was originally from Baltimore and I grew up in Pittsburgh, so we had no real ties to NE. Maybe he'll fall in love with Austin once he visits a few times.

Oh, and one more thing, would you be interested in being a guest blogger on my site?

thanks so much!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I know that geckos are harmless, but they still give me the willies. We had similar creatures when I lived in Florida and they always made me scream like a little girl!

Robin at Bumblebee

Anonymous said...

Hi. Very nice blog. I believe that little guy on your cable is a green anole. They can also change color to grey/brown under stress according to Tx Parks & Wildlife. The gecko is that homely little thing that's pale grayish tan with spots. The texture and color of its flesh reminds me of a gum eraser.

Anonymous said...

Your lizard photo is a green anole, or Carolina anole, not a gecko. Anoles can alter their color, like chamaeleons. Their only other color is a brownish gray (or grayish brown). The geckos in Austin are light tan with darker brownish markings, shorter and apparently fatter. Both feed on insects and cockroaches.

Libby at Aurora Primavera said...

Thanks to Eleanor and Anon for correcting my careless nomenclature on anoles, who being frequent and highly valued guests in my garden, deserve more respect.

Peterson said...

Beautiful blog. Wonderful images.

I've also spent the past three weeks wrenching up that 'evil' bindweed. In just a 10' x 30' patch, I've already pulled several thousand feet of tangling roots. Many are nearly 10' long.

Still hoping I can get my sotols and sages in there instead.