During the summer I give supplemental water to my back grass where my kids and dogs play. Mainly because I’ve learned to not do so invites a mud pit in November.
I hand water whatever I’ve planted recently, but everything else is on its own. I feel like this picture is such an illustration of Native vs. Non-Native. Neither the “grass” in front of it nor Lindheimer’s Senna has gotten any extra water, but one is thriving and blooming!
How has it been so long since I did a wide-angle view of the front yard? I cleaned up the front path this morning and decided now was the time. I haven’t done any supplemental watering this year, and things are a little crispy but it’s starting to be an ecosystem all its own.
I first fell in love with Apache Plume when I was asked to MC the opening of the Luci and Ian Family Garden at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
As part of the event I got to speak to the garden designers and implementers and they were in love with this plant. Their enthusiasm was infections. I spotted it again under some ancient Live Oak Trees in Jester King’s beer garden.
Which is how I decided to pick one up at a plant sale and plant it in the shade of a tree. I’ve been slowly killing it ever since.
But it was with joy that on my evening walk on the Country Club Creek Trail behind our house that I came upon some Apache Plume, seedheads dancing in the wind.
If you’ve visited my house one of the first things that greeted you was a giant prickly pear. When we sold our old house in 2007 I took two paddles and put them in a pot with some dirt. They sat on my Mom and Dad’s back porch for 4 months, then spent an entire winter shoved into the back of our new shed. I planted it sometime that summer.
To say it thrived was an understatement. It grew into a lovely specimen.
But then it kept growing. It started making it difficult to get into the house and needed constant pruning. It was like a friend who was clingy, always wanting to play with your hair.
It was impressive in a “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a prickly pear that tall before” way. But not in a “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a prickly pear that beautiful before”. So Julie and I decided today that the time had come. As part of our spring cleaning we took it out.
It has provided some lovely landscaping beams, however.
So what next? We don’t know. I’d love to hear any and all ideas.
I try to keep my ranting in other blogs. But every piece of gardening feels like such a political activity that I don’t really know why I try. Here’s a great thread from Austin City Council Member Gregorio Casar on the intersection of immigration and Monarch butterflies.
I had a wonderful time at a solstice party last night, and what better way to celebrate the return of longer days than to spend several hours out wedding with the dogs. The weather was lovely. The weeds were bountiful, and I got many kisses from the dogs.