Gail of Green Living

More Odd Couples in the Garden

In early July, I posted about Odd Couples in the Garden, and I continue to find them in this hot, dry spell we are having in Houston.  Since my gardening is confined to containers, I must water every day during this time.

I have the prettiest basil in the pots with my Amaryllis bulbs!  The original basil plant is just on the other side of this pot, and it looks really terrible at this point, but it certainly sent out lots of seeds in neighboring pots to take over!

Bush Tomato

This bush tomato still hasn’t been transplanted into another pot.  I did transplant the other, and it is doing great, and like I suspected, it is a grape/cherry tomato and already has tomatoes on it.  First cloudy day, I promise to transplant it!

Cilantro and Company

This is the pot where I plant Cilantro in the Fall and early Spring.  A seed fell in the pot and the poor plant is struggling through the heat.  On the right, we have a sturdy Bluebonnet starting.  The bluebonnets were next to this pot in the Spring.  And on the left, we have another stray tomato.  I think I’m moving this family to the shade!

Have you adopted any stray plants and had success?


Summer Garden Teaches Flexibility!

Some of life’s big moments have taught me to be flexible.  Being a parent was a big one!  I had to change habits, ignore preconceived ideas about perfect children, and learn to manage my time better.  Being a real estate agent is another moment, which taught me that I must let my clients change their minds on what they want and need.  I need to manage my time even more, in order to be flexible when my Sellers want me to market their home or a Buyer is off from work and is ready to look for their dream home.  And this year, my garden has taught me to be flexible about my expectations regarding production, the weather, the time I have to focus on it, and on and on.  I continue to learn so much every season!

Basil Seedlings

Basil Seeds

The Basil has gone to seed, but the good news is that some of the seeds have already fallen and sprouted and have started a whole new crop of beautiful basil plants.  Does anyone need some organic basil seeds?

Purple Hull Peas Blooms

Both the Purple Hull Peas and the Yard-Long Beans produced  enough beans to pick, and then, haven’t bloomed again.  The purple hulls just started blooming again last week, and the yard-long beans are just parked in the “staying alive” mode.  Normally, beans and peas are constantly blooming and you can pick some every day, once they start, and this is always my expectation.  I am fertilizing with organic fertilizer every other week, just like I have for a long time.  This is just odd behavior!

Kentucky Wonder Bean Foliage

Look at all that foliage from the Kentucky Wonder Beans, and not a bloom or bean to be seen!  I’ve given it organic fertilizer, water, and still nothing! This is not at all what I expected here!

Better Bush Tomatoes

I had to cover tomatoes with netting this year, because the squirrels were having a feast on them!  That makes it hard for me to have access to them, too, and I finally took off the netting this week, because there wasn’t much for the squirrels to eat anymore.  I found three gi-normous horn worms on this plant.  I guess protecting the plant from squirrels allows horn worms to graze freely without my notice or birds’ access to them either!


Ending on a positive note…the blueberry bushes have put on a lot of new growth, and I am so pleased with the progress.  I look forward to enjoying more than the three berries I ate this summer.  The birds ate the rest!  Next year as soon as blooming begins, the net will go over these precious plants to protect the berries from those hungry Mockingbirds!

Has your garden ever taught you flexibility?

Spring Garden: Final Exam

I know you must have been wondering what happened to my garden; it’s been doing pretty well, thank you!  I decided to give the Spring Garden a Final Exam, because the high temps these days are close to, if not at 90.  I’d say anything past 90 degrees constitutes summer weather and summer garden.

Green Bell Peppers

This bell pepper plant is really doing well.  You can see on the left, a red/green one, and tucked behind a leaf at about 3:00, is a nice-sized green one.  They have thin skins, few seeds, and I find them to be a great snack.  Because the leaves are not uniform in color, I’ll give this a B+.

Cucumbers: Straight 8

Cucumbers are producing well, and I have extras to give away all the time.  They grow so quickly, so you have to watch the vine daily to keep track.  The leaves toward the patio are yellow, and I’m sure that’s because of the heat it generates.  Another B+ here.

Blueberry Bushes

Blueberry bushes are doing great!  I planted them in “Blueberry Mix” potting soil, and I’ve only watered them, for fear of messing up the ph.  Last week at the Eastside Farmers’ Market, I asked a man selling gorgeous blueberries what I should do about fertilizing, because they are in containers.  He said to just treat them and feed them like azaleas.  So I need to pick up some azalea food.  The foliage is a gorgeous color and they are both growing well.  I’m giving them an A, but it’s not because of anything I did, except start them in the correct soil.

Organic Basil

The basil is beautiful with good color, large leaves.   The maintenance issue is pinching off the beginnings of flowers, because I don’t want them going to seed so quickly.  Anybody need basil for pesto?  A+

Sweet Millions

The squirrels are winning when it comes to tomatoes.  In the last two weeks, they have stripped almost all my green tomatoes off the bushes.  I have bought netting in hopes that at least it will slow them down.  The Sweet Million tomatoes are absolutely delicious, and the early ones were large, but now, they are more the size I’m used to having.  A+, despite the annoying squirrels!

Bush Tomatoes

All of the tomatoes here are Better Bush except the one in the left Dragon pot.  It is an Early Girl Bush.  The Early Girls were really producing, and then, the Better Bush started catching up.  The Better Bush have a better homegrown taste.  The smaller ones were planted about a month later than the large one.  Early Girl Bush, B+, Better Bush, A.


There are no more than half-dozen onions left after the pill bugs had their early spring feast, but these are looking really good.  I’m going to give them a B+, and it’s on quality and not quantity, for sure.

Purple Hull Peas and Yard Long Beans

The cucumber vine was working so well attached to the eave of the house, I decided to use another trellis, this one for Purple Hull Peas on the left and Yard Long Beans on the right.  These are both summer plants and I have a feeling that the beans will be more suited to the container than the peas.  I can’t remember how many plants it takes to generate a “mess” of peas, but I’m sure I will know soon!  These are both beautiful plants, planted in rose mix with expanded shale (See post from March 10), and I do need to water less. I’ll give these an A+, because they are such healthy plants at the moment.


I wanted to plant pumpkins, just for fun, not expecting any great result.  I used a galvanized tub, mixed compost with rose mix, planted seeds from last year’s pumpkins, and they really came up and grew.  There is one tiny pumpkin, but I doubt it will mature, because the stem is not green anymore, so I think the nutrients are not getting to the pumpkin.  I elevated the tub, and put newspapers on the ground for the vines, because the ground in that spot is quite hard, full of weeds and tree roots (despite the tree, it gets lots of sun), and I didn’t want the vines to get mixed up with the weeds.  Newspaper makes a good mulch.  Because it does yearn for water at times, some of the leave have turned yellow.  I’m giving this plant a B.

I imagine that remaining garden posts will deal with summer heat and hopefully, not another drought like last year!  How is your garden growing?