After the ups and downs of the temperatures lately, I am happy to say that we finally have warmer weather. I know Phil said six more weeks of Winter, but it’s been a little ridiculous here. I’ve mentioned before that I hate the cold. I absolutely hate it, which is why I have lived in the South my entire life.
The warm weather seems to have been good to most of our plants as well since they are almost all tropical plants in our yard. We have to have ones that are hardy to the heat since (usually) we have such high temperatures here in Southeast Texas.
Oh, and another thing we did this past weekend: we bought and built a pergola for the backyard. In the garage sale a few weeks ago we sold the wooden benches that we had in the backyard (but kept the picnic table) because they attracted way too many wasps, and with the concrete so uneven the benches were always wobbly and fell over easily.
We bought a pergola from Sam’s Club and had it delivered to the house. It took us about 5-6 hours to put the entire thing together, but it looks great and will be perfect to help block some of the sun in the summer. Justin’s parents helped build, and the boys played in the sandbox most of the time. Next weekend we are going to look at some outdoor furniture to put in it and do a bit of decorating.
While we were out there, we also harvested a bunch of green onions and so many more mint leaves! For a while we weren’t sure if the mint was going to grow well, now we couldn’t stop it if we wanted to. We have to keep it contained because it’s tried to grow under the fence into the neighbor’s yard a few times.
I am actually impressed at how well Tyler and Ryan’s gardens are doing. None of the pepper plant seeds sprouted anything, but the tomato plants that we got as starters from Justin’s parents are growing better there than we’ve ever had in our yard before. I’m not sure if it’s the location or the amount of sun or water, but they are doing much better than the ones we planted. We haven’t figured out if they have squash or zucchini in their gardens since none of them have flowered yet.
As I mentioned, the mint is having no trouble growing in the vegetable garden. That area of the yard tends to hold water, and from what we’ve read online, mint likes very wet soil and not too much sun. That area is perfect for the mint, and the onions seem to be liking it as well. We had to harvest a bunch of the green onions because they were starting to bolt, but I’ve been using them in recipes lately and as garnish on everything!
Our pepper plants are slowly growing, which is better than we thought would happen. The seeds are all pulled from peppers that I purchased at the grocery store, and some of them have been stored for months, so we weren’t sure if they were even good yet. But last year the bell peppers did well in the garden, so hopefully some of these will produce for us as well.
I’m still not sure what happened to the leafy greens we planted, but very few of them came up. I think a lot of the seeds got washed away because it rained the night that we planted. We have harvested a bit of the arugula, so Justin used it on a sandwich a few days ago and said it tasted delicious and fresh. Once the greens start to bolt, we plan to put some watermelon seeds in their place. The leafy greens don’t do well in the heat and watermelon should so we’ll see what happens.
A bunch of our Asiatic Lilies are getting close to blooming. We are going to have so many beautiful flowers in the backyard in the next few weeks. I was surprised to see a few of them have branched and will have multiple layers of flowers. We’ve had them grow numerous buds on one stalk, but this is the first time we’ve seen them branch out like this. We are also starting to see more flowers from the Canna Lilies as the weather warms up.
The banana trees continue to get bigger, but I don’t see any new pups right now. Out biggest tree, the one that produced fruit last year has not grown back. We read online that once the bear fruit the entire tree dies, and apparently that’s what happened to ours. But the others are growing so thick now that it’s starting to fill in the area so you can’t see the dead stalk much anymore.
I’m so excited that our blackberry bush is growing well and starting to grow some fruit! It’s been flowering for a few weeks, but we can see some berries on there now too! They are still small and green, but I’m hoping that’s a sign that more will grow in. We’ve also had to contain this because, similar to the mint, it’s trying to escape into our yard and through the fence to the neighbor’s yard!
The squash and zucchini are getting big, but there are no signs of any flowers just yet. Because of that, I still don’t remember which one is which. We have a few tomato plants at the back of this planter, but they aren’t doing as well as the ones in the boy’s gardens. And there is one lonely strawberry plant that must be leftover from last year trying to grow in the corner.
All of our plants in the front yard are also enjoying the warmer weather. A few weeks ago we bought a few more of the bushes to help fill in some of the front and bought some sweet potato vine for the hanging planters. Overall, I love the color green that we have in the front yard. We need to trim the taller bushes a little bit, but we were waiting to make sure they establish themselves well after moving from the neighbor’s house to ours.