Saturday, October 23, 2010


Of course Keats did not have Texas in mind when he wrote his poem, To Autumn. Nevertheless, the change of season comes to gardens in the south.

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless"

The pomegranate tree has, once again, blessed us with its bounty.

Berries begin to ripen on the pyracantha. A seedling plant, the seed dropped by a bird in just the perfect place, has been trained into an espalier.

The ornamental chili plant rushes to make new 'pearls' in the hope that they will ripen in the late autumn sun.

The mockingbird has returned. I wonder if he is the same one that was here last winter. He knows there is a bounty of chili pequin, lantana, pyracantha and yaupon berries. Enough for all the neighborhood birds. They won't be allowed to feast here because he patrols from front to back all day, sleeping in the Lady Banks rose at night.

"And still more later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease"

Now is the time for the plants which respond to the shortening of the days. Frost weed, Verbesina virginica, so named because with the first freeze the stems split open exuding sap which becomes a mass of frothy 'ice'.

The mass of tiny flowers reminds me of spring apple blossom. The plant is a magnet to the bees.

The Japanese anemone, Anemone japonica, adds brightness to a shady corner of the English garden.

Mexican marigold mint, Tagetes lucida.

Golden-eye, Viguiera dentata.

Fragrant mistflower, Shrubby boneset, Eupatorium havanesis.

The Philippine violet, Barleria cristata.

"Where are the songs of Spring, Ay where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too"


  1. It is such a beautiful time of the year to garden here in Central Texas. I do wish I had a spot for a pomegranate tree. Our whole family loves them and it would be such a treat to just pick them off your own tree and freeze them for later!

  2. Your Japanese anemone is a new one for me. They look like something a child might draw, the classic 5-petal flower. The way they are held so high above the foliage reminds me of Columbine. What are their light requirements?

  3. Actually the last time I was chatting to Keats he said that Texas was a large influence on that poem. And "Ode to a Grecian Urn" was based on your pot plants.

  4. I've had a wonderful read this Sunday checking in with your garden, the recent Austin tour, and the photo shoot. I predict that bench photo is going to sell a lot of benches for GS -- amazingly beautiful, the orange, white and blue. Interesting to see the technical side of the photo team at work too.

  5. What a lovely garden show!!! I have been hearing the mockingbird more lately here too...lots of fun!!!

  6. I just love this time of year. Lucky you to have a bird plant a pyracantha in just the right spot. I remember seeing frost weeds while hiking many times. It's always so cool to see the freezing sap.

    You always have such a lovely and interesting garden!

  7. Catching up on reading today- the pyracantha on the espalier- no joke- what a perfect spot- how lucky for you that the bird was thinking of you and your garden when it dropped the seed haha. Love how you have it trained. That is really pretty surrounding the window/along the wall.
    Nice photos as always. You inspire me to keep learning how to use my camera!

  8. I love Barleria. I almost lost mine, but it's now blooming for the first time in years. David :-)

  9. Great photos, as usual. Glad you have some of frostweed in Summer. It's latin name is verbesina virginica - I think you have a typo.