Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Summer Solstice to all my northern hemisphere friends.  I love sitting on the porch in the morning, drinking coffee, listening to the birds and enjoying this peaceful corner of my life.  I have developed a love for succulents.  Easy to grow and so pretty.  There are also a couple of scented geraniums, one lime and the other is has lemon rose scent.  A perfect way to enjoy this beautiful summer day.

Sunflowers of a different color

I bought a packet of sunflower seeds this year that showed a mix of red, yellow and brown flowers.  I thought they would look nice against the  trellis that was supposed to be covered in passion vines with purple flowers.  The sunflowers thrived, the passion vine, not so much.  The contrary passion vines did send runners into other parts of the garden where they were NOT supposed to grow. 😉

Autumn colors sunflower

close up

Photo-bombing bee

Bee close up

I also have a dark red one.  The insects got to it before it opened which gave it the raggedy edge.

Dark red sunflower.

Angel Wing Begonia

I can’t leave a cutting behind.  My sister in law moved her plants to their new house and threw some pieces that broke off away.  When I saw them in the trash, I couldn’t just leave them there.  They could be rooted.  I was sure of it.  It turns out that I was right.  I put the pieces in water and in about a week or so they had small roots.  I let these develop into something a bit more substantial then moved them to a pot with soil.

I have had these about six months and they are doing well.  I do not have much bright indirect light inside for plants, and they need to be sheltered from the wind.  I had them in the garden shed which has good light, but I can’t enjoy them.  I keep them in my potting area outside and try to protect them there.  Some of the leaves in these photos are a bit wind worn.

From Wikipedia:

The Angel Wing Begonia resides within the Cane Group of Begonias, along with the Dragon Wing type which generally lacks variation on its leaves. Both Angel and Dragon are named for the shape of their leaves. Angel Wings generally contain spots or a frosted pattern. The underside is often a deep red.

Angel Wing Begonia in pot with other rooted cuttings. The plant to the left is a Kalanchoe.  It was also rescued from the thrown away pieces.

Close up of flower cluster

Close up of leaves and flowers (the current background on my computer.)


Here is a link about growing Angel Wing Begonias at Houseplant411.com

Also a link about growing Kalanchoes at gardenknowhow.com

Follow up on the mighty mystery vine.

The mighty mystery vine that came up in the compost pile earlier this spring has turned out to be a pumpkin.  It is growing over, under, around and through the fences and there are fruits of various shapes and sizes scattered over the vines.  It is in a bit of a decline now, but I still hope to have the most sincere pumpkin patch come Halloween.  🙂

Here is the vine in its prime.

The leaves are huge.  (I do not have small hands.)

The leaves are huge.  I do not have small hands.

One of many small pumpkins on the vines.

One of many small pumpkins on the vines.

This pumpkin was hidden amongst the leaves until recently.
It is about 9 inches long and the largest so far.

Some of the pumpkins are starting to change color.

Once the fruit started appearing, the vines began dying back. I think the squash bugs invaded when it started blooming. I have seen a few and have been picking them off and killing them. I am trying to garden without pesticides.

I will post again once the pumpkins are ready for harvest.  I also have pumpkin vines on the other side of the garden that I planted.  I will add these to the next update.



Last year we had a volunteer Sunflower come up in the yard under a stand of Oak trees.  It was about six feet tall, slender stalk and had a beautiful bloom that you can see if you click on the link above.  This year we had one come up near the house. It is about three and a half feet tall with a thick stalk.   The blooms are similar.  It has been fun watching it grow and the bees are enjoying this early bloom very much.  

Bee on sunflower showing size comparison


Bee on sunflower cropped


Young sunflower closeup

Fun Finds – Bluebonnet Festival – Burnet, Texas 2017


Recently Burnet, Texas held it’s annual Bluebonnet FestivalIt is always a fun event and  brings many wonderful artists to town.

One of my favorites is a booth that sells penny pendants.
The business is Wicked Whatnots of Texas.
I have bought charms from them in the past and I always love exploring their booth.

Wicked Whatnots of Texas

Kat of Wicked Whatnots of Texas and Kat of Wonders

Pendant earrings

Having grown up in Austin, this one made me smile.

This year I met Kat & Austin O’Burke.  They have partnered with Julia, the founder of Wicked Whatnots of Texas.  In addition to the penny art, which includes, charms, pendants, bracelets, earrings, cuff links and wine glass charms, they also carry uniquely decorated flasks.


Kat & Austin also have other creations that were at the booth, but have a separate website from Wicked Whatnots of Texas.  Their site is called Kat of Wonders.    This is where you will find their fun and whimsical creations.  These include potions, wands and props.


I wish I had a video of the potions in action.   They contain  rheoscopic fluid. When you shake them they have a wonderful swirling motion.