This past week I have been walking about my land a lot, seeing what new and different now that things are really starting to grow and I have been amazed at how many new (to me) species of plants I am finding. These were definitely not here before and I suspect that some things are coming out now since I have cleared a lot of areas that were previously choked by so much underbrush. This is cross vine and I was particularly happy to see this. In fact, I have found several bunches of it in different areas. It is a very hardy vine and I'm sure it goes by other names, that is just the one I know. It has a very attractive and fairly large flower that is really not done justice by these pics. The colors are very bright and flashy in real life. According to herbalists, cross vine is a wonderful tonic for general health and stamina, similar to ginseng. You make a tea from the leaves, I don't believe you use the flower.
It's very attractive anyway and I would imagine that the hummers would like it also. I would like to try to root some and plant near the house, perhaps on a trellis. It flowers very profusely with enough sun.
I have not been doing much work on the house itself lately. I have had a couple of projects for other people that I have needed to complete and have been working on planting various things to try and make things look a little better around here. I guess it just looked so barren around the house that it was beginning to get to me. I needed some garden therapy I guess. Also, I have been saving my paychecks in order to buy the siding which I hope to start next week. I am very anxious to get that done. I think it is really going to help my feelings to have the siding on and getting it painted and trimmed up will be something relatively easy for me to do when I come home from work in the afternoons.
Oh, I forgot to mention earlier, the sun has now vanished from the inside of the house. Actually, it was back at the first of April that the last sliver of sun departed. So, the house is staying fairly cool these days even with some days in the low 80's. If it is a bright sunny day (80-82 degrees) the house is usually at about 76 degrees when I get home. I do have 3 narrow west facing windows that I need to shade and I think it would drop the inside temp some. Hardcore passive solar design says NO west facing windows but I couldn't help it. Besides, they help warm in the winter. I am going to open the clerestory windows this week and see if that makes any cooling difference now that I have ceiling fans. The guys at work have said that they are already running their air-conditioners at home so I feel good about my house.