A hint of autumn

Prairie grasses along the fence are beginning to head out, which always feels like fall to me. We have Indian grass, Big Bluestem, Little Blue, Side Oats Gramma and Switchgrass. New last year is the beautiful Dallas Blues (left) that has a gorgeous purple-blue cast to it.

Butterflies and bumblebees and bugs, oh my!

The Blue Mist Spirea is the most amazing shade of blue now, and teeming with butterflies and bees. Dozens, if not hundreds. (Click to enlarge the photo and see for yourself!) You can hear the buzz from several feet away. Yet when I water and fill the birdbath, the bees pay no attention ... too busy sucking that sweet nectar apparently.

Jury is still out on Gazanias

I have mixed emotions about the Gazania Spendens we planted in pots this year. When the sun is bright and they are open they are stunning, but with our deck on the west side of the house, we mostly enjoy time out there in the morning and evening when the Gazanias are sleeping. And sadly, the foliage of these daisy-like flowers looks a bit too much like dandelion leaves for my taste.

Now that mornings and evenings are cooler and we're able to spend more time outside, I've decided I really like Gazanias! They're bright and cheery.

Liatris finally blooms, September 2009!

A friend gave us this Liatris plant from his pasture two or three years ago. It bloomed this month, early in September, for the very first time! Pretty purple flowers wave above feathery stems, demonstrating the plant's nickname, gayfeather. It looks perfect nestled among the False Sunflowers.