We plunked a birdbath on the stump of the Arizona Ash and ignored the front yard to concentrate on the back.
This was a hunter/gatherer weekend for the Transplantable Rose, with stops for a few tomato and pepper plants, several trips to the U-dig place for organic compost and decomposed granite and a trip to pick up more rocks.
Last year we planted a good-sized Barbados Cherry/Malpighia glabra in an existing border, evicting what was left of a corky spiraea. At that time, we cleared out every visible bit of the hideous Asian Jasmine, decided to leave some mini-roses in place and put off thinking about the wooden border edge until some future date.
There was space at the very front of the border for some Oxblood lilies, a few bargain daffodils, a motley collection of former holiday Amaryllis and small divisions of the purple oxalis from another border.
This doesn’t sound like the kind of project you’ll see in a glossy magazine, does it? So much of our puttering is making small changes, reusing what’s already here, nibbling away at the parts we don't like and doing a lot of things just to see what will happen.
After the ice and cold this winter, I was disappointed but not surprised when the Barbados cherry showed no sign of life. [Both Durantas, some Lantanas and both Tecoma stans/Esperanzas look like goners, too.] So last weekend we pulled up the dead cherry and decided to make the back half of the border into a raised bed, using some good-sized rocks from our stash as walls. But that meant hauling more compost, and a lot of decomposed granite.
Finding what you want in a garden center or material yard can be easy, but buying it can take forever. Over the weekend, some nurseries were fast, some not, and at the U-dig place things did not go well either on Saturday or Sunday. People running registers didn’t know how to enter the prices, and on a return trip we ran into non-functioning computers.
Unfortunately, after too many long lines, I behaved as erratically as the computers. I was inside waiting to pay for compost & gravel while fretting that Philo was doing all the grunt work. At one point, distracted by photos of gigantic, organically-grown Alaskan vegetables, I mistakenly thought that a young man was line-jumping and got quite cranky with him. He was perfectly innocent, and even worse – the guy had on an Austin Film Society shirt, and I’m a member of the same group. At least I didn’t have on a Divas of the Dirt t-shirt, because I wouldn't want the other Divas to be disgraced by my public display of grumpiness!
By the time I got outside, Philo had done all the heavy loading work for a second time, and we went home to finish planting the bed.
Although the Barbados Cherry didn't work out, we hope to make a different native evergreen grow in our garden. In the raised part, we planted a Rhus virens/ Evergreen Sumac bought at the Lady Bird Johnson Winter tree festival. That's a narrow decomposed granite path behind it, so I'll have somewhere to stand when clipping and fighting the wiry, insidious jasmine. The sumac is small, but has an interesting shape and beautiful leaves. I really hope this one survives! And maybe by the time it has gained some height and substance, we’ll be able to replace that clunky wooden border with something better.
This post needs a beautiful flower photo. Last November, Pam/Digging gave me a division of her ‘Amethyst’ iris, and on Sunday it produced this flower. In the past, two other Iris plants labeled purple turned out to be orange. I'm still hoping that another, not-yet-bloomed iris will be somewhere in the promised purple range.
But when Pam says it's a purple Iris you can count on it.
I’m thrilled, Pam! Thank you so much. We had two-and-a-half inches of rain last night, for which I’m also thrilled and thankful.