Back garden going gangbusters!

We've had a good amount of rain in August here in St. Louis -- not too much, but a bit more than is normal -- and the garden is thriving for it. It's been a month since I showed you the back garden in the patio area, but it's really time for another look.


This is from the driveway looking through the "tropicals bed" -- no longer a good description as I've got tropicals all over now.

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Another view of the mantis

I thought the mantis that lived on the Pachypodium all summer was gone. Turns out he was still in the area...


...and yesterday gave me a good look at him from a different view: on the window.


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Wednesday Vignette: Texture

One of the things that gardening and spending more time observing Nature up close has done for me is make me appreciate textures and patterns and colors. Not just those found in the garden, but those found everywhere.


Here are a collection of some that I've found over the past few months that are mainly from places other than the garden. For more Wednesday Vignettes visit Anna at Flutter and Hum -- her vignettes are a lot more meaningful than mine ever are!


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Another Amphibian Adventure

For the last few years the pond has been the center of amphibian activity in my garden, toads and frogs visible or audible almost from March to September. Then the army of toadlings around the garden... This year although I've heard toads out there every time it rained, no tadpoles or toadlings that I could see. Maybe the low water level took away all of the good spawning zones? This year though, a new development...



...and it involves the water barrel in the front walkway garden.

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Magnificent!

I don't like to use words like "magnificent" in reference to my own garden, but sometimes other descriptions just don't fit. Yesterday I had one of those moments where I thought "wow, this is really pretty!".


Perhaps it was the delightfully cool and sunny weather, or the fact that we had just gotten back from a great little hike around a local conservation area and I was in a particularly good mood, but seeing the backlit papyrus and everything else in the front garden, well...


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Laziness provides opportunity

You saw yesterday how lazy I had been with the walkway, but that's nothing when compared to my approach to mowing the lawn this year. A dry July meant little lawn growth so no need to mow, but then the rains came so frequently we rarely had good mowing conditions. Then it was too long to easily mow, turtles could be hiding anywhere!


The end result is that the back lawn hasn't been mowed for at least 6 weeks, possibly longer. My bright green garden hose is back here, and you can't see even an inch of it -- it's right in front of you!


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It's about time!

For weeks the front walkway has been a problem. Rains and vigorous growth had made this more of an obstacle course than a place to walk. The last straw was seeing the FedEx guy stop and walk across the lawn instead of using the pathway -- that's what I had been doing the last few days too!


So with temperatures reasonable (85ºF/29ºC) today, I finally did something about it.


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Just playing around: new lens

I got a "new" camera lens yesterday. As you might remember I use a few vintage camera lenses, and this one fits under that same description. My stepson found it and another lens in a dumpster at work, so it was a freebie.


I was eager to see how it works with my camera and compares to my other lenses, so I spent some time just screwing around taking photos of the front garden. Some are through the window and some are after I stepped out onto the porch. Still, there's no real theme to what I photographed so just remember "lazy lens test" as you view them.

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Impulse buy, no guilt

I was at Lowe's yesterday when I decided to take a look around the garden center. Nothing really caught my eye until I saw the big succulents display:


Okay, I don't really need more plants that need to be overwintered indoors, but I couldn't resist looking, especially when...

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