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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) in my yard!

Gray Tree Frogs had a hard time adjusting as Staten Island quickly developed in the 1960s. They were (as far as I have heard) completely extinct on the island less than 10 years ago. Some were reintroduced by the parks department in 2008. I haven't heard anything about it since.
June of this year came and I heard a noise in the bushes of my yard. Everyone in my home swore it was a bird but I knew it had to be a tree frog. I was not expecting to actually find the little guy considering they are about an inch long and often way up in the trees! 
I followed the sound and found it hiding inside my bromeliad. I've seen it in there about 4 or 5 times since. It seems to move around a bit, but it always comes back. 
It doesn't look like much, but the sound of the frog is incredible.

It's Crape Myrtle Time!

I feel like the front yard really comes to life when the Crape Myrtles start to bloom. I'm growing Zuni and Tuscarora which both made it through the winter with no issues. I consider Crapes bulletproof in my zone, but to be honest, there are some around the area that are looking like they lost some branches. Maybe they are in cold microclimates or maybe it has to do with them being in closer contact with street salt. Fortunately crapes bloom on new growth so even those look no worse than the ones that are "crape murdered" in mild climates! Which reminds me I may have to prune mine next year.

Flowers around the yard

Some pics of what has been in bloom! 


The cannas have been blooming like CRAZY! 

 Not sure of the name of the annual to the left, but the lantanas in the planter to the right is growing quickly and blooming reliably! 

Rosa Rugosa is supposed to be a spring bloomer and although I'm sure that's when the main show is, it has been sporadically blooming all summer.


Begonias and Ornamental Potato Vine


Begonias and lantana. Lantana is growing in full sun and the begonias just next to it is growing in filtered shade all day.

I really look forward to brugmansia blooms every summer. My Ember Yellow in the back has made a few blooms and has LOTS of buds, but my double pink in the front is still all leaves for now. We'll see what daily soakings and lots of fertilizer does for it over the next month.

Last year I grew Verbanas in this spot (it seems like a few may have survived the winter!) but overall, Lantanas are much more consistent performers for me. They haven't slowed down since the day I bought them and the Colocasias and Caladiums are filling up nicely behind them. 

Mexican Sunflower

I had red ones last year, this is the first year I am also growing yellow ones. The red seem a bit more vigorous  in terms of growth but that may just be coincidental. Both are equally as vigorous in terms of blooms.

Roses are great and even better when there palm trees involved!

 First year growing Salvias and I really like them. This one is called Black and Blue and it's so amazing. I love the color combination! Crossing my fingers it is truly zone 7 hardy. 

Mandevilla is always a reliable bloomer in the yard.

Some Hibiscus shots

Rain or shine hibiscus are always in bloom this time of the year around the yard (not that we've had to worry much about rain ruining flowers since it hasn't rained much this month). Here are some pics of the hibiscus over the past 2 weeks or so.

'Robert Fleming'

 'Kopper King'

'Mandarin Wind'


I'll have to look into the name of this hibiscus 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend even if the weather wasn't 100% cooperative. Proud to be an American.
Here are some pics tonight in my yard. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and as always, thank you for looking!