26 JunMore Mutant Madness

All from the same vine
All from the same vine

The mutant squash madness continues with all three of these squash coming from the same vine. The yellow summer squash on the right is normal. The yellow summer squash on the left is overgrown but normal. The green one in the middle is overgrown and just plain strange. It never was yellow. It just got real big real fast. My mother-in-law cut out the seeds and steamed it and it tasted just like regular summer squash. The picture below with the Pepsi can will give you an idea of its size.

Mega-squash
Mega-squash

21 JunTexas Sunflowers

Wild sunflowers
Wild sunflowers

My son, William, took these pictures on the farm especially for “Mom’s blog”. These are the wildflower kind of sunflowers that are all over the countryside in Brown County, Texas.

Sunflowers line the dirt road
Sunflowers line the dirt road

18 JunSiamese Squash Twins

Yellow summer squash Siamese twins
Yellow summer squash Siamese twins

These two squash are fused together on the side. They were grown by my father-in-law in Brownwood, Texas – where we are right now on vacation. He says this is the second set of “twins” he’s had this year!

17 JunI am Sunshine!

Now doesn’t this make perfect sense? Especially since I live in Las Vegas and my name is Dawn!


You Are Sunshine


Soothing and calm
You are often held up by others as the ideal
But too much of you, and they’ll get burned

You are best known for: your warmth

Your dominant state: connecting

What Type of Weather Are You?

15 JunA Scientific Geranium Question

Pelargonium x fragrans 'Nutmeg' with red leaves (March 18, 2006)
Pelargonium x fragrans ‘Nutmeg’ with red leaves (March 18, 2006)

Ronnie from the U.K. asks: Why do some geranium leaves turn an
“autumnal” red now, June but others do not?

My answer: The different varieties of Pelargoniums often have very unique characteristics. The red leaves could be a response to some kind of stress like sudden change in the weather (hot days and cold nights). If the plant is otherwise healthy, there is nothing in particular to be done about it, but enjoy the show.

I am wondering if any one else has any thoughts on the phenomenon Ronnie describes.

12 JunStill Blooming in June


Pelargonium ‘Sandalwood’ (woodsy scented)

Sandalwood Geranium is outblooming every other scented geranium in the yard! It’s normal for them to slow down in the heat of the summer, but Sandalwood just isn’t ready for a rest! It is in the shade most of the day except for about 2-3 hours of sun.

Others still blooming – a bit more modestly – are P. ‘Old Scarlet Unique’ (pungent), P. ‘Mexican Sage’ (spicy) and P. ‘Brilliant’ (pineapple). Two more that have just never quit since I got them is P. ionidiflorum (celery) and P. odoratissimum (apple).

08 JunMushrooms in the Erodium – Oh, My!

Erodium reichardii with mushrooms
Erodium reichardii with mushrooms

Here’s something we don’t see often in the desert: Mushrooms! It rained yesterday and was still humid today. That is all the excuse they needed.

Erodium is another genus of the family Geraniaceae, a cousin of the Pelargoniums. They are tiny low-growing cuties. Read more about them here. They aren’t easy to find. I got mine from Geraniaceae.com.

07 JunLeafcutter Bees Move Elsewhere

Pelargonium 'Mexican Sage'
Pelargonium ‘Mexican Sage’

A whole, un-circle-cut Mexican Sage geranium indicates that the leafcutter bees have found more suitable materials for nest building. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, anyway. They are now carving up the leaves of the Scentimental rose and Victoria sage. That will be just fine.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and have developed a strategy to deal with these so-called beneficial insects. At the first sign of a leafcutter bee attack on the scented geranium flowers, I’m going to sit there and wait by their chosen target, knock them down with a spray of soapy water, and then squash them with a flip-flop.

06 JunMantis Update

Praying mantis
Praying mantis at work

I was deadheading the roses this morning and this fine praying mantis hopped out of one of the bushes and onto the side of the house. It is about 2 1/2 inches long – much larger than the ones I saw a few weeks ago. Hopefully that means she’s eating well! I believe it came from the mantis egg case I hung in the Blaze climbing rose.

04 JunThe Munching Mischief

Max enjoys a tasty appetizer of fruitless mulberry leaves
Max enjoys a tasty appetizer of fruitless mulberry leaves

Max the desert tortoise accepts an offering of mulberry leaves to dissuade him from eating the rest of the yard immediately.

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