From the producer: March 6, 2009

Yahoosers!  Many of you have asked about getting email alerts for the CTG blog.  Thanks to Jesse Overright, it’s now up and running.  Look to the right of this epistle and you’ll see how to sign up.

Well, the sad week came.  We took down the elderly cottonwood, the last of the trees that came with the house.

cottonwood stump

As you can see, it was getting a bit fragile on top.

fragile cottonwood tree

With the “big blow” a few weeks ago, so many limbs dropped that we knew an impending tragedy would reward our procrastination.  We figured it was safer to schedule its date with destiny ourselves.

Cottonwood cut down

So, in about a year, the back fence has gone from a lot of shade to unmitigated sun. First, the city razed the trees (mostly trash trees, but still, trees) on the creek.  Then the Afghan pine died.  It certainly opens up some new opportunities. For sure, the roses on the cat cove arbor will do justice to their worthy heritage now that the sun shines on them again.  At least, once they grow back, but they’re sprouting healthy buds every day.

Surprise, surprise!  Indoors, the Christmas cactus bloomed again. I guess a gift plant from dear neighbors comes with a guarantee of success.

Christmas cactus rebloom in February

Just beyond its window, I walked out one morning to this surprise in the front room bed.

Butterfly iris, Dietes grandiflora

It’s another gift plant, one of the two butterfly irises that my gardening friends Pat and Tom gave me last year when they divided theirs. These Dietes grandifloras adopted us very quickly.

The pipevine swallowtails are adopting the mountain laurel these days.

Pipevine swallowtail on mountain laurel flower

I got a positive ID from Mike Quinn from the Austin Butterfly Forum.  Check them out for meeting times and lots of butterfly information.  Mike also sent these two resources for you butterfly fans:  Butterflies of Travis County, and Butterflies and Moths of North America.

The butterflies also like the narcissus.  Here’s Falconet in the crape bed.

Narcissus Falconet

Gigantic Star under the Chinese pistache.

Narcissus Gigantic Star

And yet again, another Sweetness in the den bed.

Narcissus Sweetness

Also, I’m glad I didn’t completely trim back the purple trailing lantana. With the warm weather, the remnants are blooming and feeding the desperate butterflies and bees.

I know we’re all busy as butterflies in the garden right now, so until next week, Linda