Saturday, October 17, 2009


When a fall cold front blows into central Texas it brings with it sunshine, cool temperatures and a significant drop in the humidity. The skies are azure blue and the garden revels under this special kind of light.

The Philippine violet bursts into bloom, competition for the Salvia leucantha which has had the spotlight for many weeks. Just the odd hummingbird still drops by, a latecomer on the migration southward to Venezuela.

The knockout rose in the English garden recently put on new growth and is flower filled.

Not such a good year for the Japanese anemone, but still many blooms.

The orange bulbine in the Spanish oak garden is ready for some division this winter.

Everyone has to have a little place in the garden which requires less work. The Spanish oak garden is mine. Just a little clipping of the Ficus pumila covered wall, from time to time. Otherwise the pittosporum seems to require no maintenance. Agave desmettiana seems to prefer a light shaded location. This location also protects it from any harsh northern winds.

In the front, D recently removed the Senna tree that had grown behind the bird bath. I was sorry to see it go but last year it had been attacked by some kind of weevil in the trunk. It struggled this summer losing many leaves. The leaf drop had become a problem for cleaning up the gravel. I will not replace it although many seedlings are waiting beneath. Question is what to plant there? This area, surrounded on 3 sides by house, gets no sun until the late afternoon when it is blasted by the westerly sun. A yaupon holly tree has seeded against one wall but I think this will have to be removed before long. Time to get on my thinking cap. Fall is our best time to be planting.

Yesterday we enjoyed lunch sitting under the umbrella in the front garden. The seed heads of the pink crystal grass were wafting in the breeze. It was a delightful sight.


  1. I agree, the clear autumn light is so beautiful, and you've captured it so well in your pictures! The first picture with the Mexican Bush Sage and Phillipine Violet with the hardscaping is amazing. I had no idea the Phillipine Violet was so big! It's gorgeous. The photo of the Bulbine is gorgeous too, and the Pink Crystal Grass -- I haven't seen that before! I love the colors.

  2. A beautiful scene, actually many beautiful scenes. Fall is good to most gardens, it seems.

  3. Sweet bay-P. violet does die back but it quickly puts on growth in the spring and the foliage is good all summer.
    Carol- It really is the kind time of the year. The last Hurrah.

  4. Rock Rose, what a gorgeous post. The crystal grass is stunning, and one I've never seen before. And I had no idea Phillipine violet grew so big, but it doesn't surprise me in your magical garden. If you come up with a solution for your "afternoon sun only" spot, please let me know. I have a similar spot that needs a planting.

  5. Good timing on my part to see this post. I'm researching Phillipine violet right now because someone just donated one to the butterfly/bird garden our Master Gardeners group is going to be planting. Have you seen butterflies or hummingbird at yours? Also, do you know if deer browse it? I'm thinking the area you have it in is protected from deer though. Thanks!

  6. Get Grounded- Those grasses are just gorgeous this year. They have self sown but are easy to pull out and they don't really grow too tall so are not intrusive.HAven't come up with any ideas on the new planting.
    Jean- I have not seen butterflies at the violet. As this is a late bloomer most of the hummingbirds have gone before it blooms. As to deer-It is in a protected place so I can't say if they would browse it. It is one fabulous plant though and as it dies back in the winter or you cut it back in the spring, I don't think it will get too tall. This is its second year so it has done well. The soil there is not the best either, so this is another bonus.