Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon Tonight

About 8:00 PM, I went outside to see if the moon were visible and it was not.  I walked around for a while to see if it were in some unfamiliar place but did not find it, so I retreated to the air-conditioned house.  It's a muggy August in Houston.  About 9:00 PM, I gave it another try and there it was!  This time I didn't use a tripod and most of the images turned out a bit shaky.  Those are real clouds that are reflecting the moon's light.  I winked at the moon, to honor Neil Armstrong, as his family requested.

What is a blue moon?  It often refers generically to a rare occurrence; however, a blue moon refers to an extra moon in a season or more recently, a second moon in the same month.  A blue moon is rather rare.  If you didn't get to see it in person tonight, enjoy these photos.

The "Blue Moon of August 31, 2012."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Yellow Blossoms Grace the Garden

There are two plants that really dress up a Houston garden:  Lantana and Esperanza.  My Lantana are not doing well due to excessive rain that destroyed their flowers and saturated the ground and their roots shortly after they were planted.  The Esperanza plants are doing very well, having been established for more than two years, surviving all the drought, the freezes, and the super saturation of recent rains.

 Above: Lantana - with their flower heads of multiple tiny flowers.  Mine have grown skinny and flowerless but I am hopeful they will make a comeback with the right growing conditions.

Above: Esperanza - a delicate trumpet flower with a beautiful buttery color.  The name is inspiring: Hope.  These plants often have to be staked because they will droop over, their tender stalks unable to cope with the weight of all the shoots.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


 Angelonia is native to Mexico and the West Indies, which accounts for its satisfactory growth in Houston with proper care, although our summers have become quite brutal, which makes the plants suffer and require a good deal of water.  Otherwise, they will just wither away.
 The Angelonia plant blooms in a variety of colors, from purple to white and various shades in between.  Angelonia can be propigated from tip cuttings, by division of the root mass, or by seed. For a head start, sow seed indoors at 70-75 F,  6-8 weeks before the last expected frost. Of course, the patented cultivar 'Angelmist' may not be commercially propagated without a propagation license from the patent holder.  (Not shown in any of these photos.)
 Some gardeners liken their blooms to those of the snap dragon, and there is a resemblance.
 These are so pretty they look like they could be part of a natural bridal bouquet.
A new variety of these plants is called Angelmist.  If you like the looks of these, check with your local grower for these and the new Angelmist.