Saturday, June 30, 2012

They're So Cute When They're Little

Last month on a stroll through my garden, I spotted something on the coneflowers.   As I got closer, I realized they were teeny tiny baby grasshoppers.

I can almost hear the collective "aaawe they're so cute" out in blogland.

And they are cute...when they are little.

But they grow up to be really ugly yellowish-green eating machines!

The Differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis
is one of the most common grasshoppers in Texas. 

Here's one (among many, believe me) on my 'King Humbert' Canna.

The chewing has commenced!

Have I gone bug-eyed over this plague of evil beasts,
or are they chewing holes in the shape of hearts?

Are they only tormenting me further by chewing butterfly shaped holes, too?!

Here are a few pictures of the cannas before the munching mayhem began.

When the grasshoppers have had their fill, I will cut the shredded remains to the ground, and hopefully they will return to their former glory.

In an effort to find a glimmer of good amid the gluttonous grasshoppers, 
I'm linking to Guest Heart Thursday 

Hop on over; it'll do your heart some good.

I'm also linking with Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Toni :-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Backyard Bling #4 - Luxury Tweet

I've always loved the look of a dovecote birdhouse perched above a long sweeping border of perennials.

Several years ago on a trip to Wisconsin to see my family, I purchased this decorative "dovecote style" birdhouse for about $20.  And if you've ever priced an English dovecote, then you know that that was such a screamin' deal that I could not pass it up.

I placed it among the perennials in a long sweeping bed in my backyard.  

Good to go, right?

This birdhouse has served me well, giving me photo ops even in the dead of winter.

Well, you get what you pay for, 
and let's just say this birdhouse has seen better days.

It lasted about five years, so I would say I got my money's worth out of it.

Since my garden was on tour this spring, I decided a renovation -- make that demolition -- was in order.    Every time the wind blew, I knew this poor little birdhouse was just one step closer to being a pile of rubble on the ground.

So to the internet I went in search of a new birdhouse.   I may have been swooning over the English dovecotes, but the price was just as dizzying!   I kept looking and finally came across   I found just what I was looking for, placed my order, and within just a few weeks, I received this lovely copper-topped birdhouse!

This picture was taken in April when the 'Little Henry' Sweetspire was in full bloom.

As a side note, the Red Admiral butterflies just loved the Sweetspire this spring.

This birdhouse is not all bling.  It is move-in ready!    I sure hope the birds like their new home as much as the butterflies loved the blooms below.

Now the birds can tweet in luxury :-)


Saturday, June 23, 2012

June's Bountiful Blooms

Lest you think I have fallen off the blogosphere, I thought I'd post some pictures of my June garden before the month is over.

Welcome back to my garden!

Enjoy the tour...

The shady backyard is full of colorful foliage and varying textures:   
Ferns, Japanese Maples, Leopard Plants, Caladiums

The front perennial beds are in full color this month.

Bee Balm, Daylilies, Ox-Eye Daisies

Purple Coneflower, Catmint, Salvias, Mexican Milkweed

The crape myrtles are in bloom, too

Caladiums, Summer Phlox, Canna, Oxalis, 
and Creeping Jenny add color to the front walk.

I'm sure enjoying the fountain I purchased earlier this year!

I love the spikes of  'Morden's Pink' Loosestrife 
against the dark foliage of the 'King Humbert' Canna

The Rudbeckia and Cosmos add a little yellow and orange 
among the pinks and blues.

I'm having the best green bean and tomato crop ever this summer.

Last year at this time we had already begun our journey to a summer of record-breaking temps and drought.    But this year we have had milder temps and ample rainfall.   Sweet relief!  No complaints from this gardener :-)

Happy Summer!

Toni :-)