Finally some flowers! The oxblood lilies (Rhodophiala bifida) are first-time bloomers for me. These are a South American species brought to Texas by German immigrants in the 19th century, and have naturalized in may parts of the state. When I finally have a yard, I’m putting them in.

Orbea ‘Fiesta’ and ‘Arabian Princess’ round out today. I have more stapelia buds forming, and even some cacti. Everything is so much happier when it stops being a billion degrees every day.

I saw a house with a fruiting papaya in the front yard the other day, which is pretty impressive for this area. I mean, we did have a very mild winter and who knows what kind of microclimate they have, but it makes me want to try it now. Maybe there’s hope for all these tropical tree seedlings I have after all :O


Now, where’s the best place in the world to discover an entirely new species? 

Basically, your own garden. You may say, “Ah ha, there won’t be anything in my garden that hasn’t been discovered.” You would be amazed. In 1971, Jennifer Owen, a biologist, did a very long-term study of her ordinary garden in a suburban house in Leicester. She discovered 533 species of ichneumon wasp, just that family of parasitic wasp. Fifteen of these had never been recorded in Britain; four of them were completely new to science. In a suburban garden. So, in your garden, if you have a garden, there will be things.

Gilbert White, the naturalist, said that nature is so full and so varied that if you want to find the place with the most variety, it’s the place you most study. It almost doesn’t matter: Just take a piece of land and look at it hard enough.

- Stephen Fry, QI, G-series, Episode 1 “Gardens”

The above moment from QI has stuck with me for years: I think of it almost every time I am outside.

Accordingly, here are some of the bees I’ve observed in my garden. I’ve identified a few, but not with much confidence. I am hoping to get a proper book that goes into more depth about the 250+ species here in Denmark.