Some more pictures as I was puttering about the yard a few days ago.
Sunflowers are enjoying the rain. They've been the biggest this year since I planted them 3 years ago. One of them in the backyard is nearly 9 feet tall.
These are almost 9 feet tall. The one on the left had its top broken from the rain/wind. The stalks on these are almost 2 inches in diameter and one of them had leaves that were 12 inches across. The flowers themselves are about 4 inches in diameter.
One of our Aloe Vera plants. These are commonly used in skin moisturizers and sun screen. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera
One of two Philodendrons we have. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philodendron
These are mostly tropical doing well in warm climates. They like a bit of shade. They have these down in San Antonio along the Riverwalk and they are quite large down there. Some as big as 10 feet across. This is one that got from my grandma. We have another one in the front yard that is nearly 20 years old that my dad pulled out of a dumpster at a plant nursery that they had written off as being dead. 20 years later it's still alive and kicking.
Several years ago after a trip to the beach in Port Aransas, Texas, I picked up a bunch of shells. I decided to make a windchime out of some of them. A while later I made one for my brother and his wife. They took a trip to Galveston and gathered a bunch of shells for me to do one for them. Their's is bigger, about 4 feet long with about 70 shells. These are just off the back patio and when the wind blows you can hear them through the living room windows. They also look nice in the evening with the sun shining through. I saw similar ones in Port Aransas for 50 bucks.
Our Irises. I moved these to this flowerbed from the side of the house and they're doing very well here. I just about need to thin them out now, though. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_%28plant%29
Our Crepe Myrtle. These grow mostly in warm climates and do well in either dry or rainy climates. There's several different varieties of these. Some are more knarly and smaller, almost bushy 6 to 8 feet tall, while some grow up to 25 feet as this one has. And they come in several different colors. Dark pink, red, lavender and white. They don't really have a smell, but they're beautiful since the entire tree from top to bottom will become covered with blooms, (just google them and see). Our's doesn't bloom as much, the bigger ones don't seem to. We had actually wanted a smaller tree. My dad got this one thinking it was smaller, they had the pot labeled wrong. I remember hugging this tree one cold night when I was young to squish it smaller so my dad could cover it up. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepe_myrtle
Some Wondering Jew. This stuff grows like a weed. You can take a handful of it and throw it down on the ground and it'll grow. No joke. It's good as a ground cover or border, and can even be used in hanging baskets.
They have itty bitty flowers, about the size of a dime.
My retreat. The green on the bricks is actually algae from all the rain we've gotten lately. We're 10 inches ahead for the year right now. There's currently a lot of flooding going on in the Hill Country west of Austin. Marble Falls, Texas 50 miles northwest of Austin got 19 1/2 inches just lastnight. Lake Travis has come up 12 feet since midnight. The algae will die off and clear up once it stops raining so much.
We have bricks from all over Texas in the yard.
Our honeysuckle. This vine is about 15 to 20 years old. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_suckle
Honeysuckle blooms. Honeysuckle is eatable of course. You can pull out the stem and suck out the sweet nectar. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_suckle
More aloe vera plants.
This is a Christmas cactus. They only bloom in the winter time. We have red ones and white ones. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_cactus
Our smaller Mexican fan palm. This one is about 15 years old or so. It's quadroupled in size since my dad planted it. Right now it's about 10 feet tall, but these can grow to 30 feet and live for 60 years or more.
Our cannas. These are of course highly tropical. These grow wild along the Texas coast. They can grow to 8 feet tall or more depending on the climate. Our's freeze off in the winter, but they always come back. I love cannas because they are the quintessential tropical plant. Large, leafy green plants with bright flowers. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannas
Canna flower. They come in red, white, orange, yellow, purple.
The flower stalks before they start to open.
The bark of our bigger palm tree. This tree is probably about 45 years old.
I forget the name of these. We have a brick planter box that my dad built near the street and these just started coming up this spring.
Our yellow rose bush.
A jungle of plants here. Visible are: Both dark and light leaved cannas, bouganvillas
, and a rose bush.
A dark leafed canna. I can never get the dark leafed ones to bloom, though. From what I've seen they're usually fire engine red colored.
Another one of our roses.
Macro fun, a shot of our mimosa
And some shots of canna leaves.
Two more of the darker cannas. Yep, those are rain drops. As I was taking these it started to rain again, and once I was back in the house it was already pouring.
Thanks for looking.