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Last Saturday in September


By Raquel


Last Saturday – well, all last weekend, actually – I spent it happily dedicated to my containers…I don’t know what it was, I had a sudden urge to plant, change plants, prune, and spray my plants…I hadn’t been to Wabash (garden centre) in over a month, probably, since before the hurricane anyway, and was pleasantly surprised to see how much they had that was new. There were bunnies and puppies and Fall vegetables and flowers and all sorts of glazed pots from Vietnam.

I got inspired by the petunias and bought some very dark purple ones called Dreams “Midnight”. To make room for them I had to get rid of the white begonias, though, but as they no longer looked well (they were burnt by the sun and were very straggly and wilty-looking) and I could not revive them, I didn’t feel too guilty. I also bought a viola for the pot that is always in the shade, I figured it might do well since it’s supposed to be a shade-loving plant. I love violas, but come Spring I’m always bowled over by the showier pansies, so it’s nice to finally have some violas for a change, with not much to compete with them! So far so good, both seem to have adapted well to their containers.

Of course buying new plants meant buying more potting soil, and mixing it up in the containers. That was hard work (especially since I had to take out all of the hardened soil in the old pot that sits in the shade and replace it with new soil) but very satisfying. This is the first time I’m using soil-less potting mix, it’s by Rabbit Hill Farm, so we’ll see how that does! I also bought organic fertilizer for the tomatoes.

I’m thrilled my grape tomatoes are flowering as well as the strawberries, but a little concerned that I have yet to see fruit. Maybe Greenthumb is right and there’s a missing pollinator – not enough bees, maybe? I am trying to pollinate by hand using q-tips as Greenthumb suggested, but it seems a doubtful exercise. But maybe I just need more faith. =)

But the strawberries thrill me, even if they don’t give me fruit, because those little plants came from seed (Dutch seeds, no less) and I was doubtful they’d survive in Houston’s heat, but they have!! And they flowered!! It makes me happy.

It’s October now and this is when the weather breaks in Houston, when we go from being constantly in the nineties to the seventies and eighties…The high today will only be 88 F! Yippee!! Still quite warm, of course, but even a small dip in the temperature makes a difference…and now in the mornings and afternoons it’s in the seventies and that’s just heaven.

The pumpkins are out and though there are no pumpkin patches nearby it makes me realize that yes, it’s Fall and that there’s only three months left to this year!

More blog posts by Raquel

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Its cold wet and grey here in England. I think this weekend everyone is get some wet autumn weather. Enjoy your sunshine.

4 Oct, 2008


Your new plants look as if they'll do well.
I do hope you get some fruit on your tomatoes. There's nothing nicer than fresh home-grown ones.
I'm glad the weather is a bit cooler for you. I couldn't stand it in the 90s. Anything over about 75 finishes me.
Best wishes, Hywel.

5 Oct, 2008


I hope the weather improves for you, Treesandthings! Here the nicest part of the season is just beginning - for me, summer is actually winter in almost seems like some plants hibernate as they wait for the weather to cool..the geraniums leaves turn yellow and wilt and fall off, the petunias and begonias get scorched..the boston fern is yellowed and burnt in places..the plants are now making a comeback...the truth is Houston doesn't have four seasons - from October to early May it's beautiful, except for perhaps two weeks in February of cold weather, from late May to October it is horrendously hot and humid.

Thanks Hywel - I do hope so! Now the grape tomatoes are being bent by the wind, so am trying to find a way to keep them up...Oh yes, I hate 90+ weather just wipes you out, and you know it's not so much the temperature, it's the humidity - that makes it so much hotter. At the height of summer, it's hot even when it rains! ugh.

5 Oct, 2008

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