Random photos from the past week:
Butterfly vine flower buds (I think):
'Joseph's Coat' rose:
River oats (a little out of focus...):
I've had a request to show a close-up of the bark of a tree that was in the background of a recent photo. The tree in question is a crepe myrtle that looked whiter in the photo than it does in real life. It's actually more of a grey-beige. "Greige", if you will.
Here's another crepe myrtle with a completely different type of bark. These white-flowered crepe myrtles in the southwestern corner of the yard have darker bark (cinnamon/chestnut):
And since I was out taking photos of tree bark, anyway, I snapped one of the bald cypress, too. ~~It's watching you...~~ See the "eye"? (g)
A couple of photos of the western side of the flower garden from across the yard (which I just noticed make the arbor look kind of oddly short):
The tree in the background here is the bald cypress (from a couple of photos back). It's one I planted back when we were still living in the trailer, and it's getting to a decent size now.
I was surprised that a number of last year's gladioli came back, because I haven't had the best luck with them, in the past. The first to bloom is a giant in fire engine red:
Last year's purple coneflowers are blooming here and there around the garden, but this year's new seedlings are far behind.
This bougainvillea was from Mom's clearance spree. I put it under a sunny window in the house to overwinter, then put it back outside when the temperatures warmed back up. It's blooming! Still a very small plant, of course, but there were times I doubted it would even make it through the winter. I've read recently that in a sheltered location, these can survive our winters, so I might give that a try-- find a warm spot and plant it in the ground in autumn, then see what happens. I don't think I'll want to bring it inside the house again, at least...
Red KO rose:
I've noticed something strange about the bee balm. I mentioned before that last year, I divided the original clump and planted them in two different spots. Well, the one closer to the house looks like this-- medium-dark pink:
Meanwhile, the one by the fence is a pale lavender pink.
They're two pieces of the same plant, so the difference in color must be a reflection of the soil or sunlight (though I think both get pretty much full sun).
And finally, we harvested our first trombone squash this week!
It's a little over a foot long. I've read that they taste better ("sweeter") when picked small-- 8" to 12" or so-- but I've also seen people picking them quite a bit bigger, so I'll probably let the next one get a little larger before picking.
We each tried a piece raw, for curiosity's sake. Apparently, they're completely edible when raw. Donald thought it was fine-- not that different from a cucumber, really. I didn't really like it raw, but then, I'm rarely a fan of raw vegetables on their own. On a sandwich/in a taco salad, fine; by themselves, no.
I steamed some slices in the microwave and found it not that different from the crookneck squash. To be honest, the bright green color of the cooked squash was a little off-putting, but that's probably just me. I'm just so used to squash being yellow that it still feels wrong for it to be green.
I think the yellow crookneck might have a very slight edge on the trombone in matters of taste, but it's early to say. I'd want to eat it a few more times to say, but I don't think there's a significant difference. The trombone squash was certainly perfectly fine-- very mild and unobjectionable in flavor. I'd like to try a few different recipes.
If it's more resilient (in the face of insect damage) than the crookneck squash, that's a big plus. The vines are growing daily, but I'm seeing stink bugs and need to work up the courage to squash them. (Yuck!) I took a few photos today, but haven't uploaded them yet. Next time!