Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary…

Holy canoli, my garden is growing.

I have found the answer to whether my passion flower vine is one which will produce fruit.

Hang on a second…is that what I think it is?

It is apparently producing fruit right now!  I went out there this weekend to check on things — I hadn’t in a while; April has been busier than usual this year — and I actually squealed with delight!  Check that out!  And there are LOTS of them, in various sizes, all over the vine!

SQUEE! Yes, it IS!!

Then I went over to check out the new strawberry plants.  You know, the ones we planted just a few days ago and that already had baby strawberries in their first blush of color hiding under their leaves.  Apparently they weren’t hiding well enough, because the berries are gone.  Stolen.  I’m blaming the birds and squirrels.  Probably the same ones that ransacked my first strawberry patch when I was a preschooler.  My own preschooler was ticked off.  Grumble, grumble…

But then I was mollified by the blackberry bush, which has replaced many of its lovely white blossoms WITH BLACKBERRIES!  Woo-hoo!  My Saturday morning just kept getting better.

Aren’t they cute??

Now if I could just grow and harvest those before the wildlife finds them, I’ll be a happy little gardener.  But I know how things go, and it’s going to be a game of chicken.

Oh, that we may call these delicate creatures ours…

Fortunately, that stupid fig tree which was supposed to be sugar figs but which is actually a variety of fruit I can’t stand, and which has (against all odds and my own spiteful neglect) thrived for years, producing three harvest seasons annually, is close to the other fruit plants and is much larger, so maybe the critters will gorge themselves on tingly green figs and leave all the good stuff for the humans wot planted it.

The bougainvillea I repotted from the little hanging baskets seems to be doing well.

Nice. Well, nice enough for now. It gets better.

The roses are coming up…well, you know.

This rosebush got real tall real fast.
Once more, with feeling.

And that exotic pumpkin vine (or so we assume it is, since it just sort of sprouted spontaneously a few months after our exotic pumpkin display went the way of the ghost) continues to assert its dominance in the space under the Chinese tallow trees.

This is just a fraction of its size. It has wrapped around both the trees and the urns between them and is overshadowing that ivy groundcover like no one’s business. Not that I’m complaining! I much prefer pumpkins to ivy. And this squash vine has big, lovely, yellow flowers.

I was so inspired when we dashed out to the garden store Saturday afternoon, I actually bought a pot of fuschias on a whim, just because they looked cool.

I actually had no idea what these were but thought they looked interesting. They apparently attract hummingbirds, always a good thing.

I got them home, and good heavens, they like SHADE!  How could I be so lucky?  Maybe this spring and summer the garden will thrive, thrive, thrive.

Did I mention we have blueberries too? Anyone know when they’re supposed to ripen?

Hope springs eternal.  Especially when you keep it watered and weeded and fertilized properly.  Ah there, Salvador!

(For a little backstory on the love-hate relationship I have with my garden, please click here.  And then here.)

Spring in the Garden

It is, once again, springtime.  In my part of Texas, that means the sky is the kind of scrubbed-clean electric blue that comes with being freshly washed by rain, and everything else is green or magenta.  Oleanders and azaleas and roses adorn the yards of conscientious homeowners everywhere, and the birds and butterflies and bees are like gods in bliss.

The twin Chinese tallow trees in my front yard tower over everything with an expansive canopy.  In the autumn, their foliage turns fire-engine red, almost overnight, down to the last tender leaf; within a few weeks, their limbs stick out bare, stretched over a carpet of fading crimson.  But now it is March, and their branches once again flaunt a soft flutter of continually multiplying green, each deep lime cluster crowned with a pale orange flourish of new growth.  Beneath the trees, fledgling rosebushes sprout floribundas basking in the sunlight the tree has not yet blocked.  The ivy groundcover could use a trim.  And a hardy and rapidly burgeoning new vine suggests that, back in the fall, one of our decorative pumpkins must have split open and dropped some opportunistic seeds into the soil without our notice.

You may have read my post a couple of months back about my love-hate relationship with my garden.  Back then, zero-scaping seemed like a viable and reasonable option, but I resisted.  Instead I pruned and weeded and nourished and watered and tried very hard to make a go of it, once more.  And what do I have to show for it now?

climbing roses
Look! Roses!

O glory!  The climbing rose vine has bloomed!

climbing roses blooms detail
And look! There will be more roses to come!

The passion flower vine I planted in a euphoric delirium of optimism late last summer has managed to survive the drought and wrapped its capillary tendrils around everything within reach, including a potted bougainvillea.

passion flower vine capillaries detail
Its tender tendrils have snuggled up like boa constrictors to everything within reach.

And it has dozens of pods, some of which have burst into riotous flowers!  (I’m told it will bear fruit later and simply cannot wait.)

passion flower vine with bloom
If you look carefully, you will see one of the actual passion flowers.

One of the hanging baskets containing another bougainvillea has taken on a roommate, a flourishing strawberry stalk that must have hived off one of the two strawberry plants that were temporarily housed in the same corner of the patio.  Strange bedfellows, no doubt, but they’re both thriving so well I’m a little skittish about a transplant yet.

I’ve even gone so far as to drive down to the local garden center in a heady flush of hope and load up my car with fruit plants — two plum trees loaded with petite white blossoms, a blackberry bush, and a blueberry shrub advertised as being ideal for warm climes and already heavy with tiny gray-green fruits.

Folly?  Setting myself up for failure?  It is possible.  But right now, while the exquisite weather encourages me to spend more time out of doors than in, while I’m not yet used to the extra hours of daylight that surprise me like a gift each lengthening afternoon, I am simply going to water them all, and hope for the best.