Senin, 07 September 2015

Chocolate Cake, A Garden Update, and a Cat Allergy Question

Hope everyone had a wonderful extra long weekend! We started it off right with this fancy little dessert...

Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and Bluebell Dutch Chocolate ice cream. Yum!

In other news, we worked in our garden this weekend. We've had a strange summer, weather wise. We seemed to go from rain every single day for weeks on end, to not a drop of rain and drought like conditions, then back to rain again. Feast or famine, I tell ya. 

My knockout roses weren't happy with this and they showed it. They were starting to look very scraggly and their time between bloom cycles was a little too long for my taste. So we pulled them up and replaced them with Turk's Cap and Lantana. I did keep one knockout, but the rest are history. 

Our garden center was having a huge sale and we scored three Turk's cap plants and five Lantana for around $15. Not bad. 

Below you'll see where we used to have four knockouts and now we have two Lantana, and a couple of Pink Turk's Cap for bookends. 

Both the Turk's Cap and Lantana bloom from May to December in our neck of the woods. Here's a close up of the Pink Turk's Cap bloom...

This is my favorite Lantana color combo...

Followed closely by this purple one...

I love the variety of colors in Lantana, as well as its ability to tolerate our Texas heat. This stuff will bloom on and on and on. It's drought tolerant, isn't picky about the soil condition, and is a Texas native. 

My blue plumbago is doing rather well too...

As is the bottle brush...

This is my messy little corner of the garden. All the purple Gomphrena was grown from seeds gathered last summer. 

Here's a close up.

Here's my red Turk's Cap...

This is a yellow Lantana. If you look closely, you can see a peek at the purple Society Garlic bloom to the right. The Society Garlic is just starting to bloom again now that we had some rain.

This area had two huge Knockouts. We replaced them with two Lantana. My hubby said he definitely won't miss pruning all those Knockouts in the spring. :)

I'll share pics as these new plants start to fill in. Both Lantana and Turk's Cap grow rapidly. 

Here's my sweet basil and believe it or not, my Shamrock plant is still going strong. It even has a little Zinnia friend that popped up in its pot to keep it company. :) I'm realizing that basil really needs to be pinched back. Oops. 

Okay y'all, I had to take a pic of this Elephant Ear in my backyard. I've never seen it get this big! Those leaves measure 24 inches by 21 inches (yes, I went out there with my tape measure just for you) and it's almost as tall as the 6 foot fence! It sits in a shady spot right between some Bridal Wreath and I guess everyone gets along famously because it's thriving there. 

One of my favorite places in the backyard...

Looks like Geoffrey the lizard is visiting for a drink. 

For some weird reason, when my boys were little, they started calling all lizards and geckos "Geoffrey" or "Sara" and every squirrel "Phillip." So now when we see one, we call them by name. So strange, I know. Lol!

So, here's the cat allergy any of you have a cat allergy, but you also live with a cat? Y'all remember the sweet twins my mom adopted...

Well, her hubby seems to be showing signs of an allergy to them. Of course my mom has already fallen madly in love with them, so they're looking into ways of treating his allergy, or at least keep it under control. Have any of you taken anything for a cat allergy that actually helped? 

I've heard you can take things like Claritin and Zyrtec, but I don't know anything about them. Please leave any advice you can offer in the comments below. We really appreciate it and I'll keep y'all posted on everything. :)

Well, I hope y'all have a good week. I cooked twice this weekend, one of which was homemade baked potato soup. It's not a difficult recipe, (especially since I discovered I can remove the corer on my APPLE PEELER and use it to peel potatoes) but it does require some time. So other than baking some HOMEMADE BREAD my son requested, this mama is done cooking for the week. It'll be take out all the way. :)


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