Monday, August 17, 2009


I am so happy to be home and to get back into the garden. In the last three months we have been home for only one week and my garden has had to fend for itself. Yes, it is overgrown and some plants have died but considering the terrible heat and drought it has come through quite well. What would I do without the little zinnias which reseed between the vegetable garden pavers. They always retain their color whatever the temperature.

In the sunken garden most of the color is from the Salvia gregii and gomphrena. I am glad the yellow knockout rose survived but it will need a little pampering to bring it back into full bloom for the fall. Unfortunately I lost the Zepherine drouin rose in the pot by the potting shed. I will have to rethink a vine for this spot.

I can hardly get into the English garden. Whether it is the weight of pomegranates on the tree or lack of water, the branches are touching the ground. I have never done the kind of pruning that the tree deserves. Perhaps now is the time.

The fruits are much earlier this year. Time to get juicing.

All the bird baths were dry despite the drip line which was supposed to keep them filled.

There is little color in the front garden but most of the gravel plants have held up well.

Ruby crystals grass, Rhynchelytrum nerviglume, seeds in the gravel every year, and seems to maintain its blue green color. The gravel areas in the front garden receive no water other than natural rainfall.

Lindheimer senna always puts in an appearance, usually in between the stepping stones, but it is such a reliable, fuss free bloomer in the fall that I let it stay.

One of the things that happens when I am away from my garden is that I start thinking of projects. My head is full of new ideas for the garden although most of them are not original. I’ve culled them from gardening books, magazines and garden visits and this summer I have visited a number of beautiful gardens. Sometimes the projects need a little adaptation to fit in with my style of garden. Some of them are for me and some for D. I’m hoping he is ready too, to start just as soon as the weather cools down.
In the meantime those projects will be on hold as I assess what can stay and what has to go and what has already gone. It has been a tough summer for Austin gardens. Ever hopeful the gardener puts this all behind and moves forward with renewed vigor.


  1. It looks to me like your garden has done well this summer. No doubt you deserve much of the credit for your plant choices. I'm sure with a little clean up, you'll have it under control again, and be ready for those new projects. I'm looking forward to reading about them in the months ahead!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Welcome back! I am so impressed by the Ruby Crystals grass with no irrigation. I know what you mean about returning from trips with a head full of garden ideas. Have fun with them!

  3. Your garden looks wonderful, especially considering how long it's been on its own. Those zinnias are amazing.

  4. I'm spending the hot days re-evaluating the garden too. Some things need to be thinned out,moved or just shovel-pruned.I can't wait for cooler days so I can put some of these plans into action and get my hands dirty again planting(rather than just pulling weeds).It can't be too long from now can it?

  5. It is truly wonderful to have my hands in the dirt again. What would I do without my zinnias. They are so hard to find these days. I always save seeds just in case I can't find them. Our mild winters recently may have resulted in them wintering over in the gravel. It is a great nursery. Ruby crystals seeds so if anyone wants to try I will save some and share them at the next get together.

  6. Welcome home.
    Wow...your garden looks better than mine, and I've been here the whole time. Amazing.
    Glad you had such good trips. Can't wait to see the results of all those ideas.

  7. Yes, welcome back! It looks wonderful! Must have the ruby grass. And I'm so impressed with your zinnias. Really, just lovely as always.

  8. Overgrown or not, it still looks good. Welcome back!

  9. Jenny — you could write a book about xeriscaping if you have been gone that much and your garden looks that good. A testament to how much you know about gardening in the climate where you live.

    And thanks for the wide shots that put your plants in context. I just love the look of your house and so enjoy seeing different views of it.

  10. Linda- I'll save you some seeds.
    Aiyana- Thanks. There are some parts that are not worthy of a photo-yet.
    Ms Wis- I like wide shots too. I am always disappointed in garden books that show some structure and then page after page of individual flowers. I do like to see how the whole looks. Not to say that some flowers are not worthy of their moment in the spotlight. However, I will tell you that I would get a D in planting choices. Much of my garden relies on annuals. The small spaces require smaller plants and there aren't many of these in Texas. Most grow to enormous sizes. I am moving more to the agaves and succulents. So much less work.

  11. Wonderful! I love the zinnias. Here in rainy Lancashire we have had rather too much wet - if I could send you some of our rain I would!

    A beautiful garden, thanks for sharing it.

  12. I'm sorry you lost your rose, but pots, holidays and hot weather usually lead to tragedy IME. The rest of the garden looks in very good nick!

  13. Welcome back. Because I'm selfish, I sometimes wish you'd stay in England forever so that I can keep wishing myself into the beautiful green gardens you photograph.

    I'm not surprised your garden survived so well as it is so well-planned with appropriate plant choices and irrigation. What has surprised me about this summer (although you don't mention it) is not so much the heat or the drought but the number of plants (including cacti and agaves) which were sunburned by the midsummer sun.

    Even though it hasn't gotten any cooler, the last couple of weeks the sun has been much less intense and I feel fall is on the way.

  14. Ruth- I will always make space for the narrow zinnias. They are full proof in the summer garden.
    Chookie-Yes, that's about it. I am down to 2 indoor plants these days. My oictures actually paint a better picture. It will take hours of work to get it back in shape, not to mention buying new plants.
    mss-I'm thinking about moving back! However, I couldn't have one of those nice places in the Cotswolds. Not much planning here when it comes to plants. I'm making some changes after learning so much from the Austin bloggers.And you are right about the sunburn. I went out tonight and photographed several agave that are very badly burnt. It was a surprise. The cactus you gave me are great though. They get a little shade. It felt like a furnace out there this afternoon. 103.

  15. What a very lovely garden you have. Hope my home too have a garden like that.

    Deirdre G