Sunday, January 29, 2012


It was perfect gardening weather this weekend with high temperatures around 70 and lows in the 40s. I'm working on a major project in the front yard, but took time out to find some nice things to photograph. I'm funny that way; I get distracted by beauty. The projects get done.....eventually. I enjoy the journey and try to not stress about gardening projects. Goodness knows there's enough stress in our lives already.
"Fiery Bloom"
(shrimp plant) Justicia brandegeana

Harvey the Monarch Caterpillar (I only have one so I named it)

A pretty weed in the carrot family.

Two leaves make another leaf between them. Can you see it? (Loquat tree)

Gravel for the project. I scrape it from the road gutters before it washes down the storm drain.

Healthy root system of an agave plant.

Transplanting a new agave.

Agave 'Sharkskin'. This is a cross between two agaves to form a beautiful hybrid. It is one of the most beautiful agaves I've grown.
More info on this agave:

The first phase of the project is complete. The second phase will get rid of the carpet grass. This will be replaced with drought tolerant ground covers and gravel. I'll plant about 5 blackfoot daisies around these agaves. I can already envision the little white flowers intermingling and contrasting with the spikes. I have looked forward to this day for a long time.
It's going to look really good by summer if all goes well and nobody runs over it with a car.
 Have you ever had one of your flower beds run over by a car? I have...twice!
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you get some nice gardening weather soon.
David/ :0)


  1. 70 degrees, wow, it's under 40 degrees here and getting colder. Good luck with the project, and watch out for those cars.

  2. What a great post! I love your sense of humor. I get that same carrot like weed in my garden. You are so lucky to have a Monarch caterpillar in your garden. I keep checking my milkweed, but no caterpillars yet. I’ve never had a car drive through my front garden, however more than once I’ve dreamt some did. THAT WAS A NIGHTMARE! Please continue to post photos of your progress with the front of your house. I would love to see the completed project!

  3. Aren't agaves great architectural plants? Even we have some in chilly Scotland. Admittedly they are in pots in the green house and are only allowed out when it warms up.
    Your last comment about gardening weather must have been meant for us shivering at 2C...

  4. NO stress. The garden isn't the's me putting stress on myself to get the little projects done for spring and finding the time and money to get them going:)

  5. Wow, amazing shot of Harvey. What kind of camera do you use? Don't feel strange for naming him (her?), I named the resident Hummingbird, Beatrix!

  6. Can't wait to see how your new garden bed looks this summer. Does that agave get big? I've got a new obsession going with succulents and the like.

  7. Hi,
    Just drop-by from Blotanical.
    You got a lovely garden here.

  8. Love the leaf within the leaves! And how fun to have a Monarch in your garden now :-) I actually have had a car (er, truck) drive through my flower bed, and yours truly was behind the wheel!! I was in a hurry, drove in my driveway, put my truck in park (or so I thought), hopped out to run in the house to grab something, and as I was getting out of my truck, I realized it was backing up! I totally freaked out, and ran for my truck, jumped back in and slammed on the brake. Unfortunately my truck had driven several feet into my flower bed at that point. But, hey, I was grateful for that. It originally started heading for my neighbor's yard, but when the tires hit the curb of the driveway, it changed direction and went into my flowerbed instead. I sat in my truck shaking for a good bit. It was a scary thing to think of how bad it could have been. And all I did was crush a few salvias. Whew!!! God is gracious to me!! I replied to your comment on my blog about the Nandina pruning. Please do give it a try. I am on a mission to teach people how to properly prune Nandinas. They are a great shrub, but just need to be pruned correctly to look their best. Cut them as close to the ground as you can possibly get. It will make a big difference. Just cut about 1/3 of the shrub at a time; don't cut every stem. It keeps them from becoming a bunch of leggy sticks. They will look bad right after pruning, but just wait a few weeks and you will be so glad you did it. Keep me posted on how it goes. And then spread the message!!

  9. Great pix to enjoy during all our gloomy English weather!

  10. Hi David,
    aren't our current temperatures and weather in general a big difference to what it has been like last year? Last year we were afraid of our plants to die from the freezing cold and this year we are already sweating doing our garden projects early in the year.
    I'm looking forward the pictures once your latest project will be finished.
    Thank God nobody has run over my front yard flower beds yet and hopefully never will. I'm living in a very quiet street with hardly no traffic.
    Best Regards
    Paula Jo

  11. Hi TropicalTexana,
    I have awarded you the Versatile Blog Award. Please visit to accept it and see the rules. I hope you will do so. Thank You, KL

  12. Dave-o, love projects. Looks like your heading in the right direction with those plant combos. 70 here today also. maybe we need to plant some crazy daises. lol.

  13. I'm so envious about your weather, although 50 in January in Wisconsin is not bad. I love the photo of the leaves forming a leaf. And I agree with you about not letting the projects stress you out. There's so much beauty in nature and the garden. If we don't stop to appreciate it, the projects really aren't worth the trouble. Enjoy your perfect weather!

  14. Nice detail in the first few shots. Really liked the vibrance of the shrimp plant and the formation of the Loquat leaves. Can't wait to see your flowerbeds. As for getting run over, we don't have sidewalks and sometimes the cars park on my groundcover and the doors open and hit my flowering plants and people trample on them.

  15. The weather has been beautiful this winter, we deserve it, after last year... I was checking my winter posts, apparently snowed 4 times here, and then that drought!

    Do you grow the agave they make tequila from? I'm starting to get real interested in that one... Apparently can be used like sugar cane, or sugar beets... that's for me...

    I have built flower beds for people in bad places, where they were run over... nothing to do except put in gravel or cobble stones.

  16. David, I may be able to give you some Blackfoot daisy seeds or small seedlings for that bed. Don't buy any till you check with me!

  17. I love the agave. It is so interesting to learn how other gardeners garden and with which plants in different parts of the country and the world. With this warm weather we have some blooms, but not as much as you do.

  18. Lovin' your Fiery Blooms... we can only dream of Tropicals here.

  19. Those are indeed beautiful photos, and i also love your agave. I just don't plant them in ours because of the small animals which might be pricked. In general, i don't plant those with spines, e.g. Euphorbia.

  20. Its such fun to visit your blog - you always make me smile if not laugh!! Amazing what you have in your road gutters in Texas!
    I grow Helichrysum too, and love it!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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