Not enough people plant this

While Texas will never rival the North East in fall, there is fall color here. A love of planting dark green Japanese plants and native evergreens has left the area bereft of these signs of fall. Here’s the lovely Flameleaf Sumac that brightens up a cloudy day with it’s mix of fiery colors. These are great as border plants (they grow quickly and spread freely) and you could easily use them as a lush back border that shows off dramatically in as much of the rest of your yard begins hibernating.

Book Recomendation

I just finished “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” by Debra Bogart and cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s the story of a girl in 1899 in Lockhart, TX discovering a passion for science while chafing under society’s expectations for her life. It was one of those books that I didn’t want to finish because I enjoyed it so much.

Gardening takes a creativity, stubbornness and an interest in experimentation. It requires one to fight against a society that insist every family have the same carpet of grass, 2 trees, and 3 bushes.

I have met many amazing women through garden blogging who have taught me through their passions for plants, insects, and science in general. I heard reflections of so many of those conversations in this book.

Now I’ve gotta go read the sequel. My kids are at the age where they have trouble with the concept of spoilers.

September is Lovely

Oh this temperature! I got the family to help me weed and pickup boxwood trimmings today. Which left me time to trim said boxwoods. And pull a few more Hackberry trees out with my pullerbear. Now I’m sitting outside with the dogs playing and enjoying the view and the fireflies.

Summertime Garden

I tend to get warm and discouraged in the summer because weeks of hundred plus weather is rough. But then I remembered I have a summer garden. So I went out to get some pictures. We’ve had a decent amount of rain this summer. I’ve only watered twice. But these plants also love the sun. Because we did the front yard remodel a lot of this doesn’t look like I’d like, but I’m trying to be better about seeing the trees and not obsessing about the forest.

Greg’s mist-flower is visited by butterflies constantly.

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Sotol backed by weeping love grass and purple three awn. There’s a wasps nest in there I need to clean out. The mail person is getting grumpy. Also there are still bluebonnets in there.

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Lost a native agave, but the gopher plant and daisies are more than making up for it. 

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The lower garden has been filling in nicely with more grasses and mistflower. A Mexican Buckeye will eventually lord over the proceedings. 

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White lantana bordered by the ever popular pride of barbados. 

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And this front bed always looks effortless (even when it is 25% weeds).

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Nyborg Cemetery

I’m currently in Nyborg, Denmark for Unity’s Hackweek. They brought a bunch of employees to a seaside resort and let us program for a week. It’s tempting to just stay inside, but I’ve managed to sneak away a few times to look around.

For gardening fans the most amazing discovery was Nyborg Cemetery. We walked by it on the way to see the Nyborg Slot (a castle), but I had to return and check out this amazing garden.

The first thing you noticed walking into the garden were the terraces. Graves were built into them.

I took a closeup of the following plant. From above it looked live a succulent. But up close it looked almost like a fir. A very low growing ground cover.

The garden was built for discovery. I went one way while the rest of my companions went the other. I found this lovely fountain which was somehow completely hidden until you turned a corner.

Ultimately the thing I enjoyed the most was the geometry of the foliage. It felt very elegant, very much in keeping with the strong lines of modernest Danish design while staying incredibly lush and verdant.

You can see how the garden interacts with the neighboring homes in this picture. It’s delightful.

I feel like modernism is so frequently associated with spare rather than lush. Love these lines.

Although from some vantages the repetition can fell a bit overwhelming. 

And finally I took a photo of this lovely grave. I just really enjoyed the detail. Forgive the zoom, I try not to tromp around on top of things in graveyards. 

Now I really want to visit more graveyards like this. I’ve visited some in New Orleans. Which are your favorites?

I’ve been fighting this bed for years. It started out with giant Nandinas, a large legistrum, and native Morning Glory strangling everything. We asked the firm we hired to do a low-maintenance fun for this area. They came back with a block of feather grass and a block of giant muhly.

So after a bit of planning and the generous donation of feather grass from garden blogger friends Diana (http://www.dianasdesignsaustin.com/category/sharing-natures-garden/), Jennie (http://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com/), and Bob (https://centraltexasgardening.wordpress.com/) – I feel like I have really filled out the space.

Etta and Julie helped me with weeding, and a Puller Bear helped me remove most of the numerous Hackberry and Pecan volunteers. 30.5 bags of mulch later and the job is done.

The non-grass plants are Greg’s Mist Flower and Heartleaf Skullcap. Hopefully this week will be full of rain (as forecast), everything will establish, and I can enjoy this garden and think about it less.

I’ve been fighting this bed for years. It started out with giant Nandinas, a large legistrum, and native Morning Glory strangling everything. We asked the firm we hired to do a low-maintenance plan for this area. They came back with a block of feather grass and a block of giant muhly.

So after a bit of planning and the generous donation of feather grass from garden blogger friends Diana (http://www.dianasdesignsaustin.com/category/sharing-natures-garden/), Jennie (http://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com/), and Bob (https://centraltexasgardening.wordpress.com/) – I feel like I have really filled out the space.

Etta and Julie helped me with weeding, and a Puller Bear helped me remove most of the numerous Hackberry and Pecan volunteers. 30.5 bags of mulch later and the job is done.

The non-grass plants are Greg’s Mist Flower and Heartleaf Skullcap. Hopefully this week will be full of rain (as forecast), everything will establish, and I can enjoy this garden and think about it less.

What a difference

Oh look you can see the agaves again:

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Here we have some Texas Beargrass all tied up like a shoelace to keep it out of the way. I find this endlessly amusing. The non-gardeners I hang out with don’t have a clue what I’m on about.

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Lantana is already sprouting. I hope we don’t get another hard freeze and I regret having this uncovered…

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And a shot of the path to the back. I really like the bump out to preserve the big muhly. I’m currently growing a ton more of this from seed. There’s going to be so much of it. Great for preventing erosion. Low maintenance. Chokes out weeds. Looks magnificent in the sun. What’s not to like?

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It’s starting to come together…