Sunday, October 12, 2008


I have decided this is about as close as I will get to ever writing a diary. Maybe sometime in the future a descendent will be a gardener and will read about my garden efforts. 

The week began with finishing tidying up the beds around the dry creek in preparation for new planting. D dug in a yard of Hill Country soil to amend the beds. An agave waits for planting. Still undecided which other plants to use in this area but whatever they are they will not shed leaves. Too much work cleaning them out of the dry creek.

I began moving some of the cactus into the potting shed where they will spend the winter. They still enjoy a sunny spot on the west facing counter.

Tuesday was a day off from the garden. I went to Westcave Preserve with a group from the Wildflower Center. This is one of my favorite places to visit and we always take visitors if they are with us at the weekend. This is the only time that the public can visit as a guide must take you down to the grotto. Like Hamilton pool, Westcave is a sunken riverbed with grotto. Even in the hottest months the grotto is 20 degrees cooler than at the top of the canyon. I first went to Westcave about 8 years ago before they had a visitor center. Now they have a wonderful center which serves as a classroom for schoolchildren during the week.

Dave Bennett leads the tours. He extremely well informed about the plants and wildlife of the canyon. There are almost 300 species of native plants growing within and along the rim of the canyon.

Back into the garden again on Wednesday I removed a large Miscanthus grass which was growing in the vegetable garden. I used a pick axe to get it out.
Planted another square foot of mesclun lettuce and three more squares with pink California poppies, Allysum saxatale, and Gaillardia( noted that there were only 5 seeds in the packet so I was shortchanged on those).
Picked the leaves from lemon basil and made pesto, minus the parmesan cheese, for the freezer. I freeze on wax paper then pop into freezer bags.

Thursday I removed the zinnias in the English garden from around the roses and dug over the bed. Checked out all the drips on the bed to make sure they were not blocked( a frequent problem with the Submatic drips).
Friday was the day I bought the 6 packs of winter annuals so I have been busy potting them up in 4" pots.

I noticed today that the Hesperaloe seeds I had planted just 7 days ago, in the pumice, had germinated. I think that's a record for me. I love that pumice(purchased at the Desert Botanic Garden in Phoenix) and wish I had bought 10 bags. It is great for rooting cactus and succulents.
Still nothing in the trap today. I have borrowed a larger trap from my neighbor and hope that I don't catch a skunk. I have set the smaller trap in the potting shed because the cotton rat has been busy shredding flowers in there again. I really do need to keep the population down.


  1. I keep meaning to see Westcave Preserve. Are they open every weekend, and do you have to make reservations?

  2. No reservation needed and Dave said that he has only once had 30 people show up( maximum tour size) A great idea is to get there for the 10am tour, take a picnic lunch and enjoy sitting in their shaded area, then move on down to Hamilton pool. Your children will enjoy the outing.

  3. Westcave is on our "one of these days" list, too, Jenny - thanks for the information.

    Does the potting shed have to be heated or is just being enclosed and dry enough to carry the cactus over the winter?

    I like the frozen blobs of pesto idea - sounds less messy than the icecube tray method that I've been using.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. Winter annuals, now that would be nice, but they wouldn't last through the end of December here. Instead, I'll turn my attention to some houseplants and work on getting them to bloom for me.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  5. Carol- Do you know how much southern gardeners would like a break? Unfortunately we just can't help ourselves and planting must go on.