Sunday, August 30, 2009


Every single morning, since our return 2 weeks ago, has been spent cutting back and pulling out. The mornings are the only time that I can be outside because I no longer seem to be able to tolerate the heat as I once did. Even now I have a hard time cooling off. However, there was much work to do and I'm slowly getting there.

. The semicircular bed in which the Philippine violet has center spot was over run with Salvia coccinea. It seeds everywhere, and while the humming birds love it, I do have to pull out many plants. I have cut back some of the plants so that in October they will be flowering again. All but one of the lambs ears, Stachys byzantina, were dead so that came out along with lots of purple coneflowers Echinacea purpurea. The bed has a  drip system so I mulched to keep down the weeds. 

Bit by bit I have been cutting back plants in the sunken garden. The mounding plant is the purple skull cap, Scutellaria wrightii, which is one of my absolute favorite plants. It flowers all summer long and is easy to grow from seed. I think many of the plants in this garden enjoy a cool root run under the flagstones.

I haven't the heart to pull out these amaranthus that has decided to grow along the edge of the path. I banned it from the vegetable garden this year but it chose a new home.

 I hope that the leaf color will become more vibrant as the temperatures cool off and it does have pretty pink tassel like flowers late in the season. 

One thing I haven't managed to do yet is to remove the Texas sunflowers from the back bed in the vegetable garden. Every morning the goldfinches are feasting on the seed heads. Plus they make a pretty posy for the house. The gravel bed also has blanket flowers which are another popular seed head.

The Spanish oak garden may be the greenest spot of all. This is because Ficus pumila has covered the wall creating the effect of a hedge. It needs just about as much work as a hedge too as it would love to take off into the wild blue yonder! Both over the wall and over the patio. That was this mornings job, clipping the hedge, until I came across a paper wasps nest and decided it was time to stop. I have a bad allergic reaction to their sting. 


  1. Your hardscape is so fine that you could grow nothing but gravel and it would look great, Jenny. But your plants are gorgeous too, even in this heat. I love your flowers, but I'm really digging that last photo of green wall and lounge chair and agaves.

  2. Your garden is stunning both in order and what to you must seem overrun. To the outsider's eye it has that romantic, wild side to it before the clipping and pulling. How wonderful that it looks even better after the clipping and pulling. Of course, you planned it that way - right?

    Barbara H.

  3. What a lovely garden -thanks for the stunning pictures.

  4. Your garden looks great! I have been doing a lot of weeding too. It amazes me how much is blooming in your hot dry climate -- your garden is so full of color.

  5. I'm always amazed at how good your garden looks.

  6. Hi Jenny, I know what you mean about the heat, I really am not a fan. The climate that agreed with me the most was when we lived in England. Fellow Canadaians, were shocked that I liked it, all they thought was rainy and cold, but I loved the temperate climate.
    I especially loved the last shot with the chair and the hedge, talk about "green architecture", exactly the look I love!

  7. Hiya Jenny,

    You have excelled yourself on this page. Every post a winner. Gorgeous photos of plants I can only dream of.
    Sorry the temperatures are a little on the high side. But you still have an English summer to come, whilst we are already plunged into Autumn, with the C.H. on. Brrr.

  8. It looks wonderful, Jenny, especially considering what we've been through this summer.

    It's distressing to have almost all the clumps of lambs ear dead here, too, along with any lavender in the ground (containers are okay) and what I thought were established Scutellaria wrightii. But for the first time ever some Blackfoot daisies survive.

    Hope the next round of showers reach you!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. May I one day have your garden problems of cutting back and pulling out self sown lovely flowering plants!

  10. It all looks so orderly and peaceful! I love each one of your designs; so interesting and so full of depth.