Recently, our resident yellow garden
spider, lovingly named “Charlotte,” had
a mishap when she and her intricate
labyrinth were inadvertently swept away
by the removal of vines. By the following
morning, she had rebuilt an entirely new
replacement and was once again on the
alert for flying insects that might come
Often referred to as damsels and dragons,
damselflies and dragonflies are similar, both
belonging to the Odonata subspecies of
insects. More than 5,000 species of these
insects exist, with dragonflies being more
common than damselflies. Both are typically
found near fresh water and are commonly
seen during warm, sunny days. And while they
share some physical characteristics, there are
ways you can differentiate between the two.
Red Bud, Live Oak, Bradford Pear, Crape
Myrtle, Holly, Hawthorne, Red Tip Photinia,
Magnolias—all are “old reliables” that
came through the recent snow and ice
storm with barely a pause in their growth.
Unfortunately, countless others were lost
and are too numerous to list, but there were
some surprises as well.
A number of these survivors certainly
merit an honorable mention and should be
considered to replace some of those that
recently succumbed to the frigid winter.
The National Gardening Association reported that
in recent years there has been a significant shift
toward more Americans growing their own food
in home and community gardens, increasing from
36 million households to 42 million in a span of five years.
This translates to one in three households now growing
foodstuffs, and 76 percent of all households with a garden
now growing vegetables. The increase represents the
highest level of food gardening in more than a decade.
They appear in abundance across Galveston Island
from the east end to the far west end—along
roadways, in abandoned yards, city lots, cemeteries,
pastures, and even residential gardens. Over five thousand
species of wild, flowering plants exist in the state of Texas,
a statistic made even more incredible by the fact that
in order to be considered a common wildflower, it must
occur over a large area, have a long bloom period, or be
widespread in a particular region.
When thinking of fall blooms, we often begin with chrysanthemums, the flower of November. Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb in the 15th century BC and then in Japan around the 8th century AD. The Emperor of Japan became so enamored of the chrysanthemum that he adopted it as his official seal, and a Festival of Happiness is still held there in celebration of the plant.
Folklore supports the notion that certain plants attract fairies, whose sole purpose and motivation is the care of the garden. Though they may be perceived as mischievous, engaging in occasional pranks and games, fairies are born with a dedication to their chosen plant, flower or tree. It is said, when a seed sprouts, a Flower Fairy is born, and each fairy lives in its plant caring for and nurturing it.
Galveston gardeners share a distinct fondness for hibiscus, as evidenced by the proliferation of these plants in landscapes and gardens all over the isle. However, there are three varieties that are sighted less often than others—the cousins. With over three hundred species, Hibisceae is the largest clan of the family Malvaceae, a group of flowering plants with over four thousand species including okra, cotton, and cacao. Popular hibiscus such as Rosa Sinensis, the Bahama Bay Collection, Hollyhocks, Confederate Rose and Turk’s Cap are cousins to the lesser-known Althea, Swamp Rose Mallow, and the Texas Star.
Grasses that can both grow well during the extreme temperatures of coastal summers and tolerate the salt spray and cool to cold winter months can be a challenge but not necessarily an imposible task.
On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall over Galveston Island as a powerful Category 2 hurricane packing sustained winds nearing 110 mph. When the storm hit at 2:10am, it brought with it a wall of water more than 13 feet high, a storm surge like that of a Category 4 hurricane.
In the morning light, the full fury of the hurricane was revealed. The island was decimated. More than 24,165 structures suffered damage, and many homes were uninhabitable or completely destroyed.
Cannas were among the earliest known domesticated plants and have been cultivated in Latin America and by Native Americans for thousands of years. All canna species can be traced to the Americas, affirming that the canna is an American genus that was spread around the tropics primarily as a valuable food source since the tubers are edible and a good source of arrowroot starch.
If you are you contemplating a spring vegetable garden,
now is the time to organize, plan, and prepare your
garden. The danger of frost has passed and the warm
temperatures ideal for growing vegetables have arrived.
It’s the perfect time to join the millions of families who
have discovered the rewards, gratification, and pleasure of growing and consuming your very own harvest.
Fall Creek is one of the oldest 100% Texas-grown and Texasmade
wineries in the state. It is a quintessential stop when
hitting the Texas Wine Trail whether in Driftwood, located
outside of Austin, or at their original Tow, Texas location.