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Garden Treasures ~ Our Backyard ~ Houston Pictures

Updated on February 5, 2016

Backyard photos


Each and every day as we gaze outside at our garden we are filled with wonderment and awe at the beauty of nature. Some of these garden treasures and sightings are often viewed on a daily basis. At other times depending upon the season or happenstance, photos can capture an occasion or life-cycle and freeze it in a digital format to be enjoyed for time immemorial.

Come along with me and see what recently caught my eye in our backyard.

Always at the ready is my digital Panasonic camera. Seldom do I fool with the settings and ordinarily leave it on the "intelligent" setting. Generally that works out well for people like me who have no particular expertise in photography except for lots of practice.

I do enjoy taking photos, as many of you probably already know who regularly follow my hubs.


Our birdhouse with shadow

Our birdhouse and shadow against our home.
Our birdhouse and shadow against our home. | Source

Our active birdhouse

See papa bird keeping watch from the roof over mama bird who is peaking her head out of the birdhouse?
See papa bird keeping watch from the roof over mama bird who is peaking her head out of the birdhouse? | Source

Extreme Birdhouses

The lady who owned this house ahead of us left behind several birdhouses when she moved to the Texas Hill Country.


Obviously she knew that they were frequented often and perhaps she did not wish to uproot these bird families that had come to call these birdhouse lodgings their own "home sweet home."


It gives us great pleasure to watch the activity that ensues each and every day as family after family of birds bear their young and start over again raising the next brood.


As this particular birdhouse is hung under the eaves of our roof and within easy viewing of our kitchen and everyday dining area, with our birdbath a little further out in our small backyard, our attention is often fastened upon the backyard to see the comings and goings of our feathered friends.


Basil plants

Sweet basil plants
Sweet basil plants | Source

Sweet Basil going to seed.

Sweet Basil going to seed.  When these flower stalks dry completely, the tiny black seeds can be collected and planted into the ground when the time is right.
Sweet Basil going to seed. When these flower stalks dry completely, the tiny black seeds can be collected and planted into the ground when the time is right. | Source

Fresh Basil Pesto

Basil plant


Each year we replant our sweet basil plants. It is an herb that we often utilize in cooking or fresh in salads. It is an annual plant and re-seeds itself easily if the ground is left undisturbed.


We purchase a few basil plants each Spring just to get a head start on being able to harvest the fragrant and delicious sweet basil leaves for culinary purposes. Others come up from the seeds that have fallen to the ground and which have found correct growing conditions to generate a new crop.


This year instead of leaving it to chance, I think that I will harvest some of the seeds and keep them in an envelope in a dry and dark spot and actually scratch these tiny germs of life into the ground next Spring in areas that I wish for more basil to grow.


There are many types of basil plants, even ornamental ones...but the sweet basil is my husband's and my favorite.

Mediterranean house gechos

Mediterranean house gechos
Mediterranean house gechos | Source

Mediterranean House Gecko

Mediterranean house gecko



In the South there are all kinds of little critters that frequent the yards and gardens. Where I grew up in Wisconsin, I never remember seeing little lizards like these Mediterranean house geckos scurrying after insects.


They are nocturnal and every evening they can be seen handily clinging to the brick exterior of our home near some spotlights which come on in the evening and overnight.


Often they are congregated together and obviously with the light attracting moths and other flying insects, they get their daily nutrients in easy fashion.


Occasionally when one gets into the house, I try to throw a dish towel over them and return them to the outside prior to one of our cats finding them and playing with them as a toy until their demise.


This photo was taken in the evening with the light illuminating the brick and their small bodies.


Encore Azaleas...

Encore azaleas




These encore azaleas brighten our yard several times throughout the growing season and we can count on them for a heavy blooming period each Spring and again in Fall with some sporadic blooms at other times of the year.



If at any time some of our other azalea bushes decide to "bite the dust" and quit performing, I plan to replace them with encore azaleas like the ones in our backyard.

Encore Azalea

One of our encore azaleas that bloom several times throughout the year.
One of our encore azaleas that bloom several times throughout the year. | Source

Hanging basket


There are numerous hooks under the eaves of our house in the backyard where the former owner had her many birdhouses as well as hanging baskets of plants.


We have utilized these hooks at various times for different purposes, but one of my favorite spots to have a hanging basket is on a stub of a branch on our red-bud tree in our backyard. It can be easily viewed from our house and brightens the spot with greenery or color depending upon which type of plant is used.


The last number of years I have preferred a hanging basket of Boston ferns which can be seen in the photo below. I also have some growing in the ground under the ginger plants and banana trees.

Hanging basket

Hanging basket
Hanging basket | Source

Caring for Boston Ferns

Wasp nest

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wasp nestClose-up photo of wasp nest
Wasp nest
Wasp nest | Source
Close-up photo of wasp nest
Close-up photo of wasp nest | Source

Red wasp nest (close up footage)

Wasp Nest Museum - Amazing collection from all around the world!

Wasp nest



One of my interesting discoveries one day was a large wasp nest discovered on the ground still attached to a small oak tree branch with some leaves.


There were no young inside of the papery nest nor adult wasps lingering nearby, so I picked it up and took some photos which can be seen here.


It is not unusual to find red wasps and mud dabber wasps hanging around this area and we try and keep any nest building activities to a minimum to avoid being stung...although I must admit that it has never yet happened, I am glad to say.


Years ago while up on a ladder painting the outside of our Wisconsin Rapids home, I will never forget being stung over and over again by some type of wasp that had gotten inside of my shirt.


Screeching with pain and quickly climbing down the ladder, I probably was quite a sight as I tried to tear off my shirt so that the wasp could escape and leave me alone to tend my wounds!


Wasp nests are truly one of nature's works of art. If you wish to see nests of every type, size and coloration be sure and watch the YouTube video to the right.

Wasp nest

Wasp nest
Wasp nest | Source

About this author...

To read a short bio & have access to Peggy W's library of articles which include travel, recipes, gardening and more...CLICK HERE.

Even though our backyard is relatively small, there are many garden treasures to be observed if a person just takes the time to notice.


This by no means is the sum and total of what our backyard has to offer, but hopefully you have enjoyed this glimpse into some of our daily pleasures with these photos and you will start taking notice of your own surroundings which can gladden your heart and soul.

Autumn Leaves

From hub...Colored Leaves ~ Photos of Autumn Season in Houston, Texas
From hub...Colored Leaves ~ Photos of Autumn Season in Houston, Texas | Source

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi SweetiePie,

      I agree that it is easy to make homemade pesto using basil and other ingredients. Instead of pine nuts, walnuts which are a lot less expensive can also be substituted. I never thought of using tahini. That would change the taste a bit but I'll bet it is good. We still have some basil growing in our garden.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 2 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I had a nice basil plant a few years ago. I love making my own pesto creations, and discovered how to make things that taste a lot like pesto without always purchasing pricey pine nuts. Sometimes I use tahini, and tastes surprisingly like pine nuts in pesto. Not exactly the same, but it is a lot cheaper.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Appreciate the pins to your various boards. Your yard sounded beautiful with all of those wildlife visits. Perhaps you will have one again someday. Thanks!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I miss my backyard that was an aviary and where the possums and raccoons and squirrels came to feed and play. Beautiful photos as usual. Pinned this to my "Green" board (that gorgeous hanging fern), and to my "Pink II" board (the azalea closeup). Voted up, BAI, and will share with my followers.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Verle,

      Thanks so much for your comment. Nice to know that you enjoy reading hubs such as this. :)

    • profile image

      Verle 4 years ago

      Arlcites like this just make me want to visit your website even more.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Aurelio,

      Too bad that your backyard does not bring you the pleasure that ours does. I have been doing some major work in the backyard...digging, planting, moving rose bushes, etc. and can hardly move tonight. My age is certainly showing it's face tonight...and it is not a pretty sight. Ha! Thanks for the votes. Our birdhouse is certainly an active site. It is never vacant for long!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You are lucky to have such a yard that can bring you happiness. Ours is carpeted with dead grass and dandelions. I especially like the pic of the birdhouse with bird. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi precy anza,

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed this virtual look at some of the treasures in our backyard. That wasp's nest is a thing of beauty, isn't it! Thanks for your vote and the share.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi rajan jolly,

      Nature is definitely soothing. We get such a kick out of watching the birds using the birdhouse. Am sure that you would enjoy having one or more. Thanks for your comment, votes and the share.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed my virtual stroll in your yard. :) Beautiful photos and can hardly take my eyes off the wasp nest... just beautiful! Thanks for sharing it to us! ^-^' Voted up and shared!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Peggy, these are awesome pictures and one can really admire the natural beauty of these living plants and creatures. Having nature around the place of abode is a soothing experience I can say from personal experience. I really love the birdhouse and am thinking of hanging one.

      Voted up, beautiful and shared.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi sgbrown,

      We do enjoy the views of our backyard and the changes of the seasons with regard to what is blooming, etc. The bird house is always occupied year round and our birdbath is seldom unused.

      With regard to your azalea planting...be sure and check your soil. They are acid loving plants. When you take it out of the nursery container, break the bottom up a bit spreading out the roots over a mound of good soil in the hole you have dug for the azalea. That way the roots will spread out instead of growing in a circle. I have watched professional gardeners do that. Hope that helps!

      Thanks for your comment and especially the share.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      What wonderful look at some of your backyard treasures! I love azaleas and have tried to grow them twice here, but to no avail. I am going to have to do a little more work to find just the right place for them and plant some of the encore azaleas, they are beautiful! Your pictures are great and your backyard must be amazing to see. Voting this up and sharing. Have a wonderful day! :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hanna,

      We enjoy our yard and garden. Always making adjustments which is half the fun. Thanks for your comment on some of our garden treasures.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Eiddwen,

      Whether large or small, we can all find garden treasures (even in public parks) if we keep our eyes open. Sounds as though you enjoy every inch of yours! Thanks for your lovely comment.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for showing us around. A glorious little heaven.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Oh Peggy how I loved this one;we only have a small paved patio out the back,but we grow so many flowers,fruit and vegetables.

      We've also planted a Mini-garden in memory of my beautiufl baby Erin; this is blooming!!!

      We have so many garden ornaments from Meerkats,birds,windmills,plaques and so much else!!

      Our Bird table is always hectic with our feathered friends each minute of the day!!

      I love it and I also loved this one of yours .

      I have to vote up up and away and bookmark as one of my favourites.

      Take care my friend and have a wonderful day.

      Eiddwen.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Springboard,

      The lady that used to live here left not only the birdhouses but some potted plants as well which we still have. Sounds like the folks that had your house prior to you were a bit greedy. Strictly speaking, I don't think that they had the right to do that once the house was under contract. Oh well...over the dam as they say.

      Thanks for your comment on our garden treasures and things found in our backyard. I actually have more to photograph sometime and share in another hub.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Truly great stuff. I think you definitely have knack for capturing the deeper elements. It's funny you mention the birdhouses staying...makes me laugh only because I know when my wife and I bought our house the old owner took the mailbox, and even uprooted a bush. :) I always thought that was a bit odd.

      I'm glad you got to keep something I'm sure was an attraction when you fell in love with your place.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Alastar,

      My husband also dislikes that gecko ad on TV. He finds it very annoying which is, I am certain, not their goal. I have other herbs in addition to the basil plants. Thanks for taking a look at some of our garden treasures and leaving a comment.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Very diverse flora and fauna you have there Peggy. Even got your own Basil plant for salads. I love lizards, you can send the geckos this way as long as its not that one on TV cause I might step on him. Gardens are such a delight; appreciate the look at yours Peggy.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello mljdgulley354,

      Thanks for commenting on some our our garden treasures. Glad you liked the photos.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      Great hub. Beautiful pictures

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Movie Master,

      Glad that you enjoyed this look at our backyard via these photos. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Gail,

      Yes...those encore azaleas are great. Have some of them blooming right now in mid-November. I also found that wasp nest to be quite pretty. Thanks for your complimentary comment and votes.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Peggy, I am so envious of your wonderful ferns and azaleas that flower several times a year!

      What a beautiful back yard, thank you for sharing it with us, best wishes MM

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow!! Once again you have made a backyard trip something truly special. I particularly loved the wasp nest photos and the encore Azaleas- I never knew there was a species that bloomed more than once in the same year!

      I also loved the fact that when you bought your house you didn't disturb any of the bird houses that the previous owners left. Seems like that worked out well for both the birds and yourself!

      As always, I very much enjoyed this hub which is a wonderful combination of great photos, videos and factual information presented in an extremely interesting manner.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for the compliments on our backyard. It is always a work in progress...getting rid of things that have spread too much or have become overgrown...planting others. It is fun and gives us much pleasure. Appreciate your comment since you have actually seen it on many occasions.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Barbara,

      I remember those first snows when we lived up in Wisconsin and then the long winter months ahead. There is a beauty to that also. You also experience the beautiful fall leaves which we only get a small sampling of when living in the south. So plusses and minuses no matter where a person lives. Glad you enjoyed the photos of some of our garden treasures taken in our backyard. Appreciate your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Om,

      The geckos are really cute little critters. I can always count on spotting them congregating around one of our outdoor spotlights at night. Thanks for your comment on this hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      The wasp nest was already evacuated so no danger from the possibility of getting stung. I simply found it and appreciated the beauty of it so captured it in photos. Glad that you liked it as well as other things in our garden. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lee,

      So nice to see you here commenting! Appreciate it!!! Having fresh basil and other herbs in one's garden is always nice. We recently made some homemade pesto out of some of our basil.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Your backyard is very attractive. Everything is arranged so beautifully. The ferns and azaleas create wonderful decorations for your backyard, as well as the birdhouses. I love sweet basil too. You have great videos and photos and many garden treasures that I truly adore. Another great hub.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      I wish I were in a southern state about now. Yesterday we had our first snow. No more gardening for months. It was fun looking at all of the beautiful pics.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Joseph,

      That would be nice to see what your garden looks like in a hub. Thanks for your comment on the photos I have shown of ours in this hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi cherylone,

      Glad you liked looking at some of the garden treasures in our backyard via these photos. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi robie2,

      Glad to have you stroll through our backyard garden anytime. In the meantime the photos will have to suffice. :) Thanks for your comment.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Wow, Peggy, you have a great backyard. The birdhouse is so cute; the plants and flowers are gorgeous; even your geckos look really cool! I had a lot of geckos at my old house in Bangkok, too. I kind of miss them. lol

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      This was a great glimpse into your wonderful backyard! You sure are brave to get that close to a wasp's nest! Great photos. Voted you Up, etc. Goodnight.

    • profile image

      Lee Lassus 6 years ago

      Loved your pictures and your garden. I grow basil too so that was interesting. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Gene Jasper 6 years ago

      I wish you lived next door!

      Gene

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi WannaB Writer,

      I also like seeing other people's gardens. As to purchasing birdhouses, I am no expert. Inherited this one from the lady who used to live here and it has always been well used. We also have loads of mature trees and shrubs in our neighborhood...so obviously most of the birds build their nests the "old fashioned way." Ha! Thanks for commenting on this hub of things found in our backyard.

    • Joseph Hollick profile image

      Joseph Hollick 6 years ago from Hamilton, ON Canada

      This is a great idea to showcase your backyard garden. I like the picture of the papa and mama birds at the birdhouse.

      You have given me an idea, maybe I will do a Hub on my garden in the near future!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Beautiful pictures. I really enjoyed reading and looking.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 6 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Feel like I've just had a delightful walk through your backyard garden. Thanks. I really enjoyed it.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I always enjoy seeing what other people have in their gardens. You have a lot I don't. Someday I'd like to get a birdhouse, but I'm never sure what kind to get or even if one would be used with so many trees and shrubs around.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      Glad you liked these pictures from things seen in our backyard. The fern is surely pretty this year. When it outgrows the pot I will simply transplant it to the ground where it will thrive under the banana and ginger plants. Thanks for your comment.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      Great pictures. The fern and azalea

      is so pretty.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rochelle,

      Thanks for your comments on some of my garden treasures that appear often in our backyard garden. Each day brings another pleasure to be enjoyed. Anyone who enjoys nature will always be entertained by the ever changing scenery.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for inviting us into your backyard. So many interesting things to see. Your big fern is beautiful. I like the geckos too. Nice job on the photos. I really like the birdhouse shadow.