Monday, October 29, 2012

Crazy beautiful

Mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea)
We are experiencing a crazy beautiful fall, with perfect temperatures and rain at appropriate intervals. Maximilian sunflowers, palafoxia, broomweed and asters are decorating the roadsides.  

Here on the hill, my flowers are looking pretty spiffy, too. In fact, things look about as good here as they ever get, so I thought I would share some pictures.

Four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris scaposa)
in front, Gregg's mistflower (Conoclinum 
greggii) behind.

Fall and spring are the best gardening seasons in Central Texas. The rain and the temperatures are moderate . . .  except when they're not. Trees have not started losing leaves yet, but the first good front arrived over the weekend, and we've been in the lower 40s for the past several nights. We’re sure to see some fall color soon!

My pride and joy right now is the east bed. I envisioned this as a cottage bed, overflowing with blooms of less xeric plants since it gets afternoon shade and has deeper soil.  Well, the shade is late in the day arriving and I am not willing/able to water as much as cottage plants desire. You may recall that one year this area suffered chicken depredations, and Iris the dog periodically decides she must excavate immediately and deeply. This bed has never lived up to my expectations.

Until now.

East bed! From left:  rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala), Gomphrena globosa 'Fireworks,'
white and purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), bachelor buttons (Gomphrena globosa),
purple morning glories. Black and blue salvia (Salvia guaranitca 'Black and Blue')
and some sort of gaura ('Whirling Butterflies'?) are in the back.
I believe I have finally come up with a good combination of flowering plants that can withstand the heat and moisture conditions, yet still give me the cottage feel I wanted for this area. Hurrah!

The next frontier: blackfoot daisies (Melampodium leucanthum), rock rose and fall aster
(Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, I think) with a volunteer Lindheimer muhly (Muhlembergia linheimeri).
Many flame acanthus (Anisicantus quadrifidus var. wrightii) grow here, also, but aren't blooming now.

My new pond, with turk's cap (Malvaviscus 
arboreus var. drummondii). Do you see
the goldfish and happy water plant?

Looking out my window, I have identified the next frontier. Out front is a wild area, where we do not mow. I’ve planted a few things, and a few others have self-sowed. There is such a profusion of blooms that I’ve decided to take it to the next level, cleaning out weeds and grass so those volunteers can spread and thrive.

There’s nothing better than a new garden area to plan. That’s what beautiful weather and conditions will do to a gardener – provide inspiration for the next project!

Rock rose, black dalea (Dalea frutescens), yucca,
and autumn sage behind.

From the left, zexmenia (Wedelia texana), pigeonberry (Rivina humilis), white mistflower
(Ageratina havanensis - behind about to burst into bloom), fall aster, dayflower (Commelina erecta),
bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa), and more zexmenia.

I hope you are enjoying a crazy beautiful fall in your garden!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

From the ground

This grows wild, and looks a bit like lamb's ears.
 While kneeling on the ground to take pictures a few weeks back, I snapped two that led me to the idea for this post:  the view from the ground.

That's it. That's the theme.

I don't usually take the time to look at the world from the ground level, but it does provide not only a different perspective on things higher, but a closer look at things lower.

So without further ado, here are some views from the ground on the hill.

These well-worn boots decorate the new rock garden out front.
 Periodically Iris the dog decides they need a good gnaw, and drags them away.

Don't get excited - it's just a cow bone. Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea) is behind.
"Go away go away go away."
Blackfoot daisies (Melampodium leucanthum), Manfreda maculosa (I think)
and fallen cenizo  blooms (Leucophyllum frutescens).

My perfect native groundcover: straggler daisy or horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis).
Fruits of fall labors - dead Ashe junipers cut into stove-sized pieces.