The tall native Yaupon Holly at the garage side of the house gives food and shelter to the birds and delights the eye with its white bark, evergreen leaves and red berries. But it's not visible from our windows - we need another yaupon, planted where we can see it. In mid-December we bought a small, berried Ilex vomitoria at the Natural Gardener and for a couple of weeks moved the container around the yard, looking at it from the breakfast room window, from the bench near the gate and from the table on the patio. We settled on this spot with morning sun and afternoon shade. If we live long enough, the slow-growing yaupon may soften our view of the neighboring house.
Wouldn't planting a tree on New Year's Day be a good way to start 2009? It should be a snap for two people to plant one 5-gallon container. We know how to plant native trees in Austin: dig the hole no deeper than the depth of the rootball but at least 2 or 3 times as wide. But knowing and doing are not the same thing when we've been here only 4 and 1/2 years while the house and garden have existed for 3 decades.
Two Cobrahead tools removed grass easily and the digging fork and spade made a small dent - time to bring out the mattock.The expected fist-sized rocks appear but what the heck is under the grass? With effort we pry out something in 3-inch thick, broad, flat chunks. This seems to be a rather broad and solid layer of ....what? Not exactly rock....it's hard but the edges crumble when smashed with a tool.... could it be compressed sand?
Philo examines grooves molded into this not-quite-sandstone substance
He thinks the grooves were made by the plastic liner of an above-ground pool or pond. Perhaps the weight of the water compressed a thick layer of sand into this rock-like layer. The chunks of compressed sand are hauled off to the no-man's land between vegetable garden and fence.
Sailing is still not smooth - mattock, breaker bar and sledge hammer are needed to crack up larger subsurface rocks so at last they can be taken out in pieces. We need all our tools. That's Philo's older Cobrahead with the yellow handle; my prize from Spring Fling is light blue. The breaker bar is heavy black iron. Philo made the bench.
The rock chunks are added to the pile under the pecan on the south end of the yard.
Three hours after beginning this project the yaupon is watered in. Grow little tree!
After all these photos of rocks and dirt you deserve something pretty. The pink climbing rose has one bloom - out of focus because I had to hold the camera way over my head.
One camellia flower shows behind the Chinese Witch Hazel/RazzleDazzle/Loropetalum chinense, which is unexpectedly in bloom now.One paperwhite has opened in translucent beauty. Lori the Gardener of Good & Evil has been tweeting her attempts to find a good-smelling paperwhite. This bulb has been in the garden a few years but it was originally potted for indoor forcing with no species listed on the gift package. When it bloomed on the windowsill its beauty was equalled by its stinkyness - I'm glad paperwhites can grow outside in Austin!
2016 – APRIL ANNIE’S GARDEN DAY
1 week ago