Monday, August 31, 2009

A cold front! 96 high today

I'm proud to present my first Pride of Barbados bloom, which would have done well in the drought anyway, but did better because it's right where the outdoor faucet is, which leaks a little.

Garden by dog has meant that dog-owner has had to find ways around dog's destructive ideas. So here is the back perimeter bed that I fenced off with stakes and fencing I bought at Lowe's. Half-chewed skullcap and rosemary lie recuperating in there. Much is empty, and I'm eager for the fall planting season. Ideas welcome.
(BTW, that's an original incinerator in the background from the 50s, when the house was built, not a smoker, though someone creative could convert it, I bet).
I'm thinking: turk's cap, more mexican oregano and mexican honeysuckle, yellow lantana. I'd just like color, but even more ideally, living things in there, safe from dog.

Here's our crossvine, now with orange berries everywhere instead of orange flowers. It loves this color. So do I.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No Rain but Rain Lilies

It's not like I'm watering things much, but these rain lilies I learned about from Pam at Digging truly are a miracle. They don't need much water it seems and they just pop out at the hint of it.

They are so refreshing in a yard where everything else that could bloom is just looking plain tired.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spock, don't sniff it

The sproinging agave celsii finally started blooming, and boy is it freaky and wonderful.  It reminds us of the old Star Trek episode where Spock takes a whiff of an alien blossom, and goes "mellow."  We haven't wanted to venture too close to this thing not knowing what was going to happen!

The blossoming finally started from the bottom (about 5 ft up the 10ft stalk) and it is working its sweet, slow way up to the top.  It's like watching green/yellow fireworks in very slow-motion.  

It also reminds me of a cell phone tower.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Still Sproinging

Our middle of three Agave Celsii is still shooting up its bloom stalk.  It must be around 10ft high.  Each "bud cluster" is a little trinitarian unit.
I keep expecting to come out and find them blooming, but they're all still closed.  The anticipation is high high high.

Monday, March 23, 2009


This is one of three succulents that Jennifer Schaffer put in when she did our landscaping.  They are agave celsii and they are, sadly, monocarpic (die after flowering once).  
We're looking forward though to seeing what the flower looks like.  It's sort of creepy - I left town for 2 days, nothing; when I pulled up in the driveway, the shoot was suddenly there: at least 3 ft tall.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bluebonnet - Texas' state flower

Here they are, full-grown, with a little bit of red tucked into each petal.  

They've popped out all along our roadside strip, after I scattered some seeds last year. They just make me smile.  

Isn't it illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas?  Nope, it's an urban legend.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Planting, planting, yeay!

An established African bulbine, a succulent, and a good grower in droughts.  No rain all year and look at this just one bloom of probably thirty or so in its cluster.  We've two in the backyard, so far winning against dog.
My son likes to help me prune - I took the opportunity while we were enjoying that gorgeous sunset the other night.  So did he...
I forgot what this ground cover is (above), but the two previous other groundcovers we put in a) drowned in the rain of 06; or b) dried up in the drought of 08.  Go little flowers!
Some kind of salvia - I liked the contrast of the society garlic just behind it.  
My big project last Saturday was purchasing and planting "climbing pinkie" and "lamarque" antique roses from Barton Springs Nursery.  They were recommended as good climbers and bloomers throughout the year.  
Dear ole Dad managed to fix trellises to our limestone siding (used anchors and screws).  Climb, babies, climb!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Passion in Lent

Spring abounds with surprise: the passion vine I put in a thin layer of old dirt, next to our driveway, has produced its first flower.  Check out Wikipedia's entry on Passion Vine for the meaning behind the name: all aspects of the flower have been associated with things relating to Jesus' suffering and death.

The bluebonnets by the road are also popping out now, among other things.
Thanks to one and all for your comments.  I'd like to email you personally, and I'm still learning how to do that on websites like East-Side-Patch.  Help!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Here comes color

Our mountain laurel every mid-Feb. decides either to leaf out or flower out.  Looks like this Spring it's a bit of both.  It smells like Welch's grape juice.  Yum.
This is an ice plant.  Alien-looking.  It's a succulent ground cover.  Wikipedia says it's now classified as an invasive species--fitting, huh? 

Below foreground is the result of bad pruning.  I learned that a plumbago can be cut back almost to the ground.  Because it seems to grow back in the Spring from way at its base.  Does anyone know if I should go ahead and prune these old branches anyway?  
Last summer, I scattered bluebonnet wildflower seeds over our easement (whatever that space is that's publicly owned between sidewalk and street).  I pressed a few into the ground for good measure.
To my delight, about 8 of the 20 or so seeds took.
Talk about anticipation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spring in Austin . . . with dog

A testimony to what even a small drop of rain can do for an Austin garden in a drought.  

Welcome to our back yard in mid-February.  
We lost most of the zoysia grass to a fungus last summer, 
so my anticipation is to see some recovery after lots of TLC following the diagnosis.
(We came to our senses way too late: "Why are there increasing amounts of yellow patches in our back yard?")
We also gained a dog last fall, so as another discovered blogger in Austin said, right now, it's "Garden by Dog," til I can get tips on gardening WITH dog.