Garden of E


My Info

Austin, Texas
I've lived and gardened in urban Austin for the past 8 years, after retiring from the last of my several careers. BR (before retirement), most of my life was spent in colder places like Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, and Boston MA. Best thing I've done AR-- becoming a Master Gardener. Other passions-- Austin Farmers' Market, grandchildren, and travel.

photo by Elsa, age 7

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What I meant to say...

In attempting to clear up what the plant was in Pam's "reds" photo from my garden (see previous post), that looked an awful lot like Japanese maple, I managed to muddle things further by calling it a "red-leaf hydrangea."  I don't think there is such a thing.  It's actually a red-leaf hibiscus.  Sorry about that.

A very happy day

Inside Austin Gardens 2009 will remain a vivid memory for a long time to come. Fantastic weather, appreciative crowds,

kindly comments, cooperative plants (for the most part). My daughter, who comes over a lot, said, “It looks, well… different.” I told her she was missing the hose sprawled on the lawn, the wheel barrow half full of mulch, the shovels and gravel piles that until last week were spoiling the “ambiance.”

It was an altogether fantabulous day, and I have my fellow Master Gardeners to thank for making it so, especially Elaine, the well-organized garden captain, Janelle (everyone loved the plant tags), Rosalie, Holly, Vertie, smart and entertaining speakers Susan and Carolyn, and the many other MGs and interns who made everything run smoothly.

It was so interesting to see what people were drawn to: the Chinese ground orchids (bletilla striata-see previous post) that I got at Home Depot ($3 marked down from $17) after Elaine put me on to them, the gomphrena “Strawberry Fields” that have proliferated from a 4” pot bought 4 years ago and that reseed like crazy, the color combo of them plus the red-leaf hydrangea behind them that Pam caught so nicely in her photo (fooled you Pam, I know it looks like a mini-Japanese maple), the sprightly pigeonberry with its pink flowers and red berries that I had hoped would get noticed, the salvia azurea with its glowing blue blossoms that now is one of my favorites, the blazing red zinnias, the last-minute birdbath of concrete rounds and a handmade bowl (nice photo by Jenny), and the white spiderwort that resembles a starry night in deep shade. Not to mention the manfreda undulata “Chocolate Chips” that some bloggers now covet.

Then there were other things I hope got some attention because they so kindly chose to bloom at just the right time, such as the sweet rose, “The Fairy” next to the sidewalk with its clusters of small , pink blossoms,

and the big indigo spires also spilling over the sidewalk. And I hope people were able to see the new benches full of potted succulents along the driveway fence as they made their way into the back yard.

Oh, if the flame acanthus had just bloomed! The Martha Gonzales roses

are covered with new buds, so drive by next week if you’re in the neighborhood.

Stealing an idea from Randy Case to show "before" pictures, here are a couple from mine in late 2002, the day before I bought the house long-distance based only on these photos:

Strange thing—I spent Saturday evening thinking about all the new things I want to do with my back beds and how much wonderful stuff I saw in the other gardens I can cram into my place by March. I guess it’s a good thing that gardeners never rest on their “laurels.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Now that it's cool...

Working outdoors pretty much every day in the summer from hell left little energy for blogging, so I wimped out until now.  I took only one photo between July and September--no point when there's only rack and ruin and half-finished projects to look at, except for this amazing two-striped walking stick that appeared on the front porch one night in August:

Anisomorpha buprestoide (with male on back)

But then the rains came and with them a second spring.  Wouldn't it be interesting to calculate the rate of plant growth per hour over the first 2 weeks of September.  It seemed I could almost sit and watch things unfurl.

Chinese ground orchid

Passiflora 'Incense'

The storm that hit the Hwy 290-183 area on September 4 brought the schoolhouse lilies on September 6!

And there was a population explosion of anoles--this little guy was barely 1 1/2 inches, sitting on a salvia leaf.

This guy seems to be meditating

The September rains caused a lot of things to bloom before I wanted them to, such as the Souvenir de la Malmaison and Martha Gonzalez roses, and the brugmansia, which went wild up until last week, at times having 10-12 blooms on at the same time.  I do see a couple, though, that look like they'll open by Saturday.

The wonderful little white spiderwort that I got at the MGs' plant sale at Zilker Fest have spread well and will probably still be in bloom on tour day.

Speaking of tour day, it's fast approaching--my nerves are a bit frayed, my arms are covered with mosquito bites, my back is sore, and my cheeks and nose are sunburned, but I've enjoyed every (well, almost every) minute of the preparations.  There's a great sense of satisfaction in seeing ideas come to be.  I am so grateful for the moral support of my gardening friends, not to mention their labor on projects big and small.  The truth is, I could not have done this alone!