Wordless Wednesday



Green Thumb Sunday: Corkscrew Vine

Corkscrew Vine

When I first started getting into a garden back in June I discovered this wonderful vine. Yes I am really really new to gardening. It all started for a search for vines after getting my curly locks ivy. That is when I found this beautiful vine with curly flowers in various shades. The flowers curl like a nautilus shell. They are beautiful mixed shades of pink, yellow, white, and purple. The corkscrew vines is often confused with the Snail Vine. Snail Vine has the same type of flowers but they are purple and are not fragrant. Corkscrew vines are very fragrant and grow up to 20 to 25 feet. They are tropicals so anywhere below a zone 7 are going to have trouble growing these. I'm zone 8b close to 9 and it's still hard for me.

I bought some seeds on ebay and started them in july. They bursted with vigor in a matter of days. They grew up to 3 inches in a week. Poor corkscrew vine came to a dreaded end of bad waterlogged soil again. I still have them in the same pot. They started to accumulate a strange black dust on them when they were still nice and green. I'm assuming it was some fungal thing from being to moist. The leaves started to get yellow and paper thin then they all fell off. New little leaves have grown but still yellow. I need to attempt to better their soil.

Last month I posted up a help thread in gardenweb asking if anyone knew what was wrong. A nice women from Hawaii had some seeds she offered to give me if I would like to try the vine again. So she sent me several of them. Those at the little seedling. I planted 4 to start inside and see if they will suffer the same as the others. I have heard that some have kept this as a houseplant but I would think it to be difficult.

So this is my attempt to have a green thumb. These seedling are doing great and I hope they will continue so I can see and smell the beautiful flowers someday.

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Hyacinth Bean

There is a fellow apartment dweller who has hyacinth bean. Her vine is HUGE. I'm not sure if she planted it or if it just by her balcony. Every time I go by I can't tell if it's growing from a pot or not. I'm been admiring it whenever I pass by while walking the dog. Last month it was covered in flowers and fresh beans. I took 2 cuttings but both I don't think will make it. I've been keeping an eye out for the beans to dry so I can snatch some. And well....

been pods
here are the pods all nice and dry. I took 3 since it's not my vine I feel guilty taking more.

Now I'm excited to try and plant my own. I have a goal to make my balcony covered in vines. I love vines and love the way they look when covering buildings. Currently the vines I have are corkscrew, Mt. Fuji morning glory, Dr. Ruppel clematis, coral vine, and I just got split personality morning glory seeds. So I'll have many vines climbing up and hopefully coving all the wire bar railing. I'm not sure if the clematis will make it but I'll be waiting for it to grow.

hyacinth bean
These are hyacinth bean seeds.

Hyacinth bean vine is a native to Texas. I'm hoping I can give it what it needs to thrive. I'll plant the seeds at the end of February.



Chocolate mint and Snapdragons

After not getting the african violets from Freecycle. I posted up my own want ad calling out to anyone who wanted to give away some plants, cuttings, divisions, or seeds. I got a lot of responses! It was surprising because I wasn't expecting anyone to respond. A nice lady who had an overgrown yard with many different plants volunteered to give me anything I wanted. She gave me quite a bit but I'll show you in an other post. Really most of the stuff I don't know the name of and neither did she. I forgot a pot and some cutting at her house so I will be picking those up today also.

In order to get the cuttings and plants from the kind lady I needed pots. I went to the garden center on the mission to get only pots and a some potting mix. Now we all know that what you plan to buy is only half of what you get. So I quickly grabbed what I wanted but decided to walk around. That was a mistake I should have just gone to the register. But really I am glad because it resulted in these 2 beauties.

A red snapdragon yet to bloom.

Chocolate Mint
The much searched for Chocolate Mint!

I saw plenty of things I wanted. I saw cyclamen in every shade possible! There was pink, white, purple, red, light pink, dark pink. But I resisted but I really wish I hadn't. I need some indoor plants and that cyclamen would have been great. I saw bunch of herbs I'd love to get. Sweet potato vine, pansies, mums, salvia, bougainvillea, ornamental kale, and more. I went to one section of the garden center I never venture into. It is across from the perennial section that I love. It has a big sign that say vegetables. Well I went inside and was surprised to see not that many vegetables. There was to one side cactuses and the other herbs. To the herb side I went first and that is where I saw chocolate mint. I love mint plants I love mint and I've been wanting chocolate mint. I'm trying to grow some mint from seed but it is taking soooo long. The snapdragon was 1.59 and the mint was 1.99.

Now to wait for the growth. I'm really excited about the mint. I'm so mint crazy I'm thinking of ripping out the dumb decision of pampas grass and replacing it with mint. It's a long planter one of the first things I got. I planted candytuft, godetia, and sweet william with stupid pink pampas grass. The only thing that showed up was pampas grass and 1 or 2 candytufts. I then transplanted some candyturfts from the corkscrew vine container. Now I just want mint after my candytufts are done. Oh mint sigh.


Antigonon leptopus

Antigonon leptopus is called many things including coral vine, chinese love vine, bridal wreath, mexican creeper, confederate vine, corallita, queens jewels, chain-of-love, coral bells, heart on a chain, mountain rose, and sandwich island creeper. It's a lovely climbing vine with clusters of trailing pink flowers. Like many of the plants I like the flowers are really small but the sepals are larger and provide the color. It has large dark green heart shaped leaves. It's hardy in zones 8-11 but dies back in zone 8 (That's me!). It can get up to 40 feet high. The most important thing, it can tolerate drought and likes full sun.

Coral Vine
Here is my coral vine seedling. I planted it a few months ago.

I got 5 seeds of coral vine a few months ago and planted them right away. It hasn't been a fast grower as it is still small after about 3 months or even 4 of being planted. I'd like to believe it's just slow but it's probably a soil issue. When I started planting all my seedling I used a soil that a garden center suggested me. It has pine chips and what not in it but not a lot of perlite. It holds far too much moisture and I think it has killed or stunted all the seeds I planted in it. My real concern is since it hasn't grown big enough I don't know if it will live through the die back. I'm thinking of digging up the 4 seedlings and putting them into peat pots inside. Anyone have suggestions?

I'm sure everyone is curious about the african violets I was to pick up yesterday. Well I went to go get them but couldn't find the house. I was on the right little road but just couldn't find the number. The African Violets got taken by someone else yesterday before I could go try to pick them up again today. At least they got a good home. Next time I'll have to ask for more specifics before I go out just to make sure I find the house and get what I want.

The interview went okay too but I'm not sure I want the job. You work 10 hours a day Monday through Saturday. You can potentially work up to 60 hours a week! That's a lot of working. It's basically just putting up Christmas trees and decor in hotels and malls etc. Not sure it's what I want to do. But the thing is it's a company I want to work with (Interior plant design). They mentioned if I wanted to work with them after the season is over depending on if they have an open spot and like how I work. Finding jobs stinks I would rather just garden.

Wordless Wednesday

unknown bug


Caught the Cold Bug

I think this bug I saw yesterday brought the cold! Just yesterday I was looking at the weather and everything said 70s and some 60s. Today I woke up to loud wind. I popped right out of bed in fear that my little peat pots where blown over. They were still standing strong, but I moved them inside. It was freezing out, 46 degress. Right now it's 54 degrees out with a 17mph wind. This is the coldest it has been so far. I'm sure my husband will be happy he loves the cold. The rest of the week is saying lows in the high 40's low 50's.

Leaf Footed Bug
Leaf Footed Bug

I saw this guy outside yesterday. He was huge! I've never seen this type of bug before so of course I had to take a picture. I was curious and needed to know what it was. I went searching for beetles first. I'm no bug expert but I'm good at finding things on the internet no matter what it is. So my beetle search didn't produce anything but I was led by something called true bugs. True bugs are often confused with beetles. My search of true bugs led me to one picture with no specific name of the bug. So I kept digging for true bugs in Texas. And I found him the Leaf Footed Bug. I love searching for what something is. I just feel so accomplished when I find the perfect match.

Leaf Footed Bugs do damage to plants but mostly veggies. The damage they cause is similar to stink bug damage. I don't know what stink bug damage looks like. I didn't see any damage on any of my plants so what I had must not have been appetizing. Leaf Footed bugs molt several times as they grow and they stink like stink bugs when handled.

Enough with bugs. I have a job interview tomorrow. I'm excited about he job interview but I'm more excited about after the interview. I found on feecycle someone giving away 4 african violets. So I emailed and I get to pick them up tomorrow. Lets see if I can do my first plant revival. The post said that they were just leggy and in need of a home with better light. I have some ideas of where I can put them.


Green Thumb Sunday


My candytuft is purple!! So now I have white pink and purple. I noticed alot of little ants in them. I'm going to research and see if what they are doing.

Green Thumb Sunday

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Invisible Frost?

This morning I woke up later than normal. When I went to go water my seedling and plants I noticed something. All my seedlings were wilted over. Did they get too cold or did frost attack them. I was so concerned especially about my candytuft and morning glories! My candytuft seedling have been doing so well. When I saw them they were all down on the dirt and had some purple leaves. My Morning Glories were wilted and sad looking. I watered them as usual and hoped when I came back later they would be better.
And they were. I'm not sure what really happened to them but it was cold last night when Hubby and I walked Kasha.

Mt. Fuji Morning Glories
These are my Mt. Fuji Morning Glory seedlings. Aren't they so cute. This is what I love about big seeds. Big seeds make big seedlings.

Corckscrew Vine
My Corkscrew Vine seedlings didn't have any effect from the cold or frost. I hope these fair better than my past seedlings.


Beautiful Bougies!

I love bougainvilleas. The Juanita Hatten Bougainvillea I have was one of the first plants I bought. First it was the Corkscrew Vine and then the Dwarf Weeping Crape Myrtle "Sacramento" and then my Bougainvillea. I originally bought it because I wanted to make a bonsai from it. I just didn't have the heart to cut it down to a smaller size.

I've had the curse of transplant shock with whatever grown plant I buy. When I got Juanita Hatten I left her in her pot to get her used to the new light conditions. Juanita came in bloom, but in a few days lost all her flowers because of the intense light on my balcony. Soon after her initial shock she busted out some flowers. I trimmed her back some in hopes of a better fuller shape.

Bougainvillea Juanita Hatten

This is my Juanita Hatten Bougainvillea today. Look at all these little blooms about to come out! I'm so proud. There are a lot of new shoots about to come out too.

The thing I find interesting about Bougainvillea besides their paper thin bracts packed with color is the love of neglect. They love to be root bound and dry out between waterings. They love the blast of Texas sun and heat. All these things make them bloom better. It's that funny how abuse and stress can make something flower like crazy.

For this past month or two I thought I was being lazy on my Bougainvillea or neglectful. Really I was being an awesome mom. I was letting her dry out. I haven't repotted her since I bought her (I need to soon though she is getting overly root bound). But I have been a good mother on fertilizing. Bougainvilleas like to be fertilized every week or every other week with their waterings. I feed her ever other week. I think my miscalculation of weeks when I accidentally fertilized 2 weeks in a row made her bust out in so many flowers.

I'm thinking Juanita Hatten needs a Sundown or California Gold buddy. I have to resist that urge though, I just don't have the space!


Green Thumb Sunday

My Jacqueline Hillier Elm has new leaves!

jacqueline hillier elm

And I'm still patiently awaiting for my Candytufts to open. Pink and purple I hope!!!


Green Thumb Sunday

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Sooo, I got my order yesterday from Hazzard's Greenhouse. Lets just say I was a bit stunned with what I received. In general I could have been happier. This is what I ordered:
sweet basil- This was probably the best looking plant of the bunch I received, no problems with this one.

sweet basil

Lemon Balm-The leaves were dark on the edges but nothing that big of a deal.
Lemon Balm

Invincible Hosta-First off this was a substitute. I never received an email saying that they were going to sub. Not really mad about it. At least they subed with a hosta that had the same growing conditions as the one I wanted. The thing is after I received this box I looked at The Garden Watchdog. Someone who ordered got an email for a substitution, I would have like the same. The big BUMMER!!!! The leaves are raided with holes! Seriously I wouldn't have sold this to anyone. I understand a few I know bugs attack but seriously this is bad. I'm sure it will still grow but it made me wilt in a bad way.
invincible hosta

Chocolate Chip Ajuga
- The ajuga looked healthy no beefs.
chocolate chip ajuga

Astilbe Mix- These are sticks! No leaves nothing. No fallen leaves either so they purposely sent me sticks. This better grow or else.

Dr, Ruppel Clematis and Dianthus Pinocchio- The clematis came fine nothing wrong with it. Now the Dianthus. These just flop over as you can see. I was a little confused with the Dianthus but they looked healthy besides the flop.
clematis and dianthus

Armeria Joystick Mix, Columbine Blue Star, and Campanula Dark Blue Clips - These weren't bad! The Armeria was a surprise plant.
campanula, columbine, and armeria

That was my shipment from Hazzard's. They aren't that bad I guess. They look better today after my initial shock. I don't really want to complain. I'll let them grow and hope for the best.



I'm surprised how my plants have started to take off. Everyday I see more growth. My evening prime rose has bloomed again by surprise. I'm really starting to like that weed. I'll save everyone another photo of it since I've posted some many in the previous posts.

Yesterday I bought my husband a Minerva Amaryllis. Funny how I say I bought my husband it because you know that I really wanted one for myself. But I put it on his computer desk for him to watch grow and flower. I don't normally get plants from Lowe's. Not that there is anything wrong with them. My ivies came from Lowe's and now this amaryllis. And for anyone wondering yes it is the one in the box but I am sure it will grow either way.

I'm supposed to be getting my box of 10 daylilies today. I'm nervous I don't know where I'm going to put them all. I need to go out and buy another planter since I know they won't all fit in what I have. Any planter sales around?

In an effort to make fall come faster I made a charm. I don't know what I'll use it for but I needed some fall in my life.

fall charm


Wordless Wednesday

Evening Primrose

Goodbye Evening Primrose

Say Hello To My Friend


I almost touched this little guy a few days ago. I was checking on my seeds and moved the peat pot next to it. Surprisingly he let me get very close without flying towards my face. Considering all I have is pots on a balcony I find a lot of bug friends.



Things are still flowering! I feel more like it's spring then fall. It's strange how the weather is lately but it has been getting cooler. It's still hot enough that I can go swimming and attempt to tan my legs. My bougainvillea is flowering like crazy! Candytufts are opening and the seedling are growing far faster than any other seeds.

candytuft seedlings
Candytuft seedling are rapidly growing!

White Candytuft
Everyday I see more flowers on this white Candytuft.

Purple Candytuft
This is a new flowering Candytuft. I'm hoping this one stays more purple and not white. The seed mix I bought was pink and white. I have yet to see any pinks.

Speaking of seeds I received some seeds in the mail yesterday. I got some free corkscrew vine seeds from a very kind person. My corkscrew vine seeds I previously planted 3 months ago all grew but have come down with something. They had black powdery stuff all on the leaves and no matter what I did it never went away. My leaves eventually started to yellow and get so weak and fragile. I plucked away all the seeds and stopped watering them as much to see if they would fight for their right in the pots. They have started growing new tiny leaves but I think their soil is the culprit. I'll be cleaning out their pots and mixing a new soil. Then I'll pot them back in with the new seeds I got from the friendly lady from gardenweb. Along with the corkscrew vine seeds I got some morning glory seeds. They are Mount Fuji Morning Glories. I can't wait to get the morning glories growing.




My husband gave me a surprise this morning. He found a white evening primrose while walking the dog. So when I awoke I had a beautiful flower to look at. I'll pot it tomorrow morning and see if it'll still grow. It seems he has gotten the plant flu. He's always looking for plants to show me or tell me he likes certain kinds.



Where's your head at?


I've fallen into the new gardener trap of buying plants with nowhere to put them. I ordered some plants from Hazzard's Greenhouse. Who can resist a sale right? But I forgot that I have 10 Daylilies coming from Gilbert H wild. What will I do with all these plants? I made a list of everything and where I can put them with possible backups but it still may not work.

My seeds are still growing. I have been monitoring them everyday of course. The ones with the most speed right now are the pansies, peony poppy mix, and candytuft. I took cuttings from my curly locks ivy. They were getting out of control plus I want more.

curly locks

My begonia indoors is doing well. While the outdoor begonias are not. The daylilies are getting more leaves and the bougainvillea is still going strong.



Hopes and Problems

Lately I've been concerned with the well being of my daylilies. I received 3 fans of random daylilies from an ebay seller. I planted them the next day. I thought there was sufficient drainage but now I'm questioning it. I haven't watered in a week and the soil is still moist, even on the surface. I have a post up on gardenweb so hopefully I get some reassurance that the soil is okay. I just thought it would be good I added a ton of perlite and peat so it should have adequate drainage. I did notice today a new leaf on a daylily.

daylily dirt
This is the daylily dirt. Why are you so moist?

Daylily Leaf
A New Daylily leaf right out the middle!

My husband got me into playing counter strike with him. Now we can play online together. He's proud that now I want to play. I tried to get him into gardening with me and let him pick out some seeds. He chose pansies and planted them. They sprouted some leaves but only a few. They got a new little set of leaves in the pot that he planted but he still is disapointed in them. I planted some in a small peat pot in hopes they will grow better and we can try again in that container with some different soil. The ones in the peat pot have yet to sprout it's only been a few weeks though. It seems like the mint and pansies I bought that day were duds because neither like to sprout.

Pansy Sprout

Today while watering I discovered another possible Candytuft about to flower!
Candytuft Flower


New Sprouts!!

Planting seeds and seeing little sprouts is what got me into gardening. I love the feeling when i see the first sign of a plant growing. It's so fragile at that phase that every watering I feel my heart clench. That's leads to today! I planted some seeds about a week ago in some 2inch peat pots. I potted panseys, mint, godetia, candytuft, sweet william, peony poppy mix, and venus poppy.

peat pots

So today I saw godetia has a sprout and peony poppy mix had several little ones about to break through. Yesterday the shiba Kasha stayed on the balcony without my supervision and decided to knock over venus poppy's pot and eat some of the dirt. I hope that venus poppy still grows. Today while sweeping the balcony so Kasha doesn't lick up everything on the ground I knocked over Peony Poppy Mix!!! Some of the new sprouts got moved but I hope they find they're strong hold again.


peony poppy mix
peony poppy mix

The bougainvillea is still about to bloom. The flower buds are getting bigger everyday. I wish there were more blooms like when I purchased the plants. Apparently I must have done something wrong since the flowers fell off a few days later and only a few are coming back. Maybe I have to trim it down some so it can grow new and make more flowers. I have cutting/pruning anxiety. The thought of it makes me nervous. I don't know how to attack it without killing it.



I believe it's the Candytuft that has started to flower. I planted pampas grass, candytuft, godetia, and sweet william all in the same planter 3 months ago. I never bothered to plant each seed separately like now to know the difference between them. So based on what the flowers are coming out as I believe my candytuft is producing white flowers!


The hyacinth bean vine cutting that I took has opened up some flowers over the past few days. I'm waiting for the vine but one of the apartments to dry it's pods. But while I wait for the seed pods to dry I decided a cutting would be good.

hyacinth bean

The alamo vine cutting bud is also starting to open. I have seeds for the alamo vine I just need to plant them. A gardener on davesgarden wanted a trade for the alamo vine seeds. So I will be sending some of those out soon and getting verbena as a trade. I need to remind myself to plant the alamo vine seeds. Plant the seeds this is a reminder.

alamo vine

It's gotten dark out and looks like some rain is coming. Poor mower man is out today so he'll probably get rained on. My husband will probably get rained on too if he is watching the mowers on base today but I think that's on wednesdays.

Kasha my Shiba Inu puppy!