Attention has been paid to the design of the garden. Once that Mystery Tree in the last post was identified as a probable Mulberry, it was no longer allowed to overwhelm the new border and it was not transplanted into a pot and nurtured. According to MSS of Zanthan Gardens her almost identical Mulberry sapling has survived several winters and bounced back after being cut down over and over. This kind of weedy tree might be fine on a few acres or a farm - I've read that the berries are great favorites of pigs - but there is no room for it on our small suburban lot!
I dug deep, and think all the roots came out.
MSS gave me Bluebonnet seeds last month and I planted some of them in the now-empty space. In Austin we sow these seeds in fall and then hope the little sprouts make it through cold weather, attacks by pillbugs and constant uprooting by squirrels as they dig holes for pecans.
You can't help but pay attention to the squirrels - they're rampaging everywhere in their fall frenzy - breaking branches while tearing pecan husks from the pecan trees and dropping fragments of husk on every surface. The constant leaping and running and chasing is hard on other trees, too - young Loquat #2 lost several of its lower branches. I guess the squirrels aren't burying all the nuts but are eating a lot of them. This leads to poor judgment by the Tree Rat as to how large a bough is needed to support their weight
The squirrels didn't kill the Culinary Sage - it died not long after the prolonged drenching from Tropical Storm Hermine. It was interesting to see which plants gave up after 12-inches of rain. Although the Silver Pony foot doubled in size, many of the grey-leaved plants including MoonshineYarrow/Achillea, Lavender plants and most of the Lambs Ears died quickly after the storms. Some salvias, most of the Shasta Daisies, some coneflowers and most portulaca are gone, too. For now those blank spots have been planted with more of the bluebonnet seeds from MSS.
Blooming blue already is that Scutellaria 'Dorota Blue' from last year. It barely survived winter freezes and I kept in into a large pot under the overhang all summer, hoping the part shade could keep the sun from killing it. That overhang also kept the skullcap from being pounded by rain. Now the fall show has begun. The leaves show stress from the past year but the flowers are abundant and beautiful.
That last post about the mystery tree made me neglect some autumn beauties. One plant responded to the rain with an astonishing display - the first blooms ever from red spider lily/Lycoris bulbs, another gift from MSS. What can I say? She is a gardening angel!
The first bud was a surprise - so lovely on its ownThen 6 flower heads rose up and began to open in the center of verbena, Gregg's Mistflower, Black & Blue Salvia, Blackfoot Daisies, Rosa Mutabilis and Bengal Tiger canna leaves They opened over a period of several days, and it was really a smashing combination.
I can't help but pay attention to flowers that smell wonderful when I walk out on the patio. A few days ago one of the heads of White Ginger/Hedychium coronarium was perfect.
The fragrance of Sweet Olive is a sure sign of fall in my garden. My three shrubs didn't seem to mind the rain and are covered in tiny fragrant flowers. If other plants in my garden die, I might take a while to decide whether to replant them. But if I lost Osmanthus/Sweet Olive, I'd be scouring the nurseries for a replacement without a moment's hesitation. I don't want to be without it.
Yesterday was the last project of the year for we members of the Divas of the Dirt, our cooperative gardening group. I've known them since the first project of the 2001 garden season - so yesterday marked 10 years of Digging With The Divas. Most of the story will be on the blog eventually, but for the amusement of my fellow gardenbloggers in Austin, here's a photo of what we spent hours digging up yesterday:It's the alternately loved and despised Horseherb - a plant that came in near the top of the Austin gardenbloggers' Most Hated Weed List via Twitter last week, while at the same time it's sold in nurseries and recommended as a native ground cover by other Austin garden people.
There's something to pay attention to in the vegetable patch, too. Most of the tomato plants died soon after Hermine, but just a little liquid fertilizer on the pepper plants brought new fruit. We've enjoyed the sweet frying-type peppers for breakfast Peppers-and-Eggs, but these are a small, rather hot pepper called 'Garden Salsa'.
Philo roasted them, added garlic and turned them into a chunky hot sauce. Science fiction fans are having much fun with the fact that the all important decimal number 42 is rendered 10-10-10 in binary numbers. Philo considered naming his relish the Secret Sauce of the Universe, but instead called it "Thanks For All the Peppers ". There are a few more hours left of this day -think I'll keep my massively useful towel handy.
With the sapling mulberry gone, you can now see the amazing size of the Salvia vanhouttei in the new border. I raved last GBBD about the $2, 4" starter plant from Barton Springs Nursery that turned into a temporary shrub, but this plant needs more than photos - it needs attention for just a few seconds on video.
2016 – APRIL ANNIE’S GARDEN DAY
1 week ago