Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Today has been designated Wildflower Wednesday by Gail at Clay and Limestone, and I was more than ready to hop on the band wagon. Here are the plants that are blooming in my Texas garden on Wildflower Wednesday.

Blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum.

Four nerve daisy, Tetraneuris scaposa

Lindheimer senna,

Cross vine, Bignonia capreolata.

Zexmenia, Wedelia texana.

Chocolate daisy, Berlandiera lyrata.

Skull cap, Scutellaria  wrightii

Banket flower, Gaillardia pulchella

Texas sunflower, Helianthus praecox.

Persimmon fruit, Diospyros texana. This tree seeded itself along side the potting shed wall. Not much room there but it will have to stay.

Lantana, Lantana horrida.
All these plants made it through an incredibly hot summer. Some with little water.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I haven't seen deer around the house for ages. Then the other day two males visited the water butt for a drink.

It prompted me to set up the infra red camera to see if anyone else was visiting.

The deer come around several times a day and the camera captured a pecking order among them. A young male was on his way over to the water when he veered away. In comes a larger male with a bigger rack. They hang around together but the leader gets first dibs.

Then there is the pair of foxes. Round several times a night.

So there are raccoons around here. This is the first one I have ever seen. He's probably the one who was eating my cantaloupes. Grrh!! It's fun to see what wildlife shares this piece of land with us.

Monday, September 26, 2011


The garden has been fooled into thinking it is fall. Color began returning to my plants when we began to experience a cooling in evenings and mornings.

Gomphrena never seem to mind the hot days, continuing to bloom through even the most miserably hot of days. I have been pruning them back, especially these new firecrackers. Unlike the globe amaranth they tend to elongate with age and shed the bracts. Cutting the stem back to the last leaf node results in new flowers forming.

Even the alyssum is blooming again and one morning I detected that sweet honey fragrance on the air.
I just wish there weren't so many white ones. I may have to refresh with a packet of Royal Purple seeds.

I still love the globe amaranth saving the seeds from year to year.

Having struggled for years to have success with wall planters I decided to plant agaves and grasses this year. The grasses died, the agave lived and so did the native Portulaca pilosa.

Earlier this week I moved the A. desmettiana from its morning sun location in the front garden where it had spent the summer, back into its pot in the back. Yesterday, with another 103 degree day expected I moved it back into the shade along with the 'sticks of fire' euphorbia.

Should I go into business! I saw them selling bunches of the pink globe amaranth for $9.99 at the grocery store.

Another amaranth or celosia has grown in the corner of this bed. Tucked out of sight behind the potting shed this is probably a good place for it. Two more growing in the path are looking decidedly lanky although starting to produce flower heads.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I thought it time for my indoor succulent to have a new home. It was a rescue plant from a Lowes store in Florida some years ago. They were just selling off all their succulents and I happened to be there. I think this is the only one that has survived. It has grown quite a bit but I still don't have an id on what it is. Anyone know?

I saw this pot at Garden Ridge for $4.99. It comes with its own saucer, which is always nice. I hope my plant will be happy in its new home.


I'm one of those people who has difficulty throwing away gardening magazines. I have great piles of them. From time to time I do go through them and cut out pages of interest. I took a huge pile of old Sunset magazines with me this summer and while on the road went through them cutting out anything of relevance to gardening design. When I have to find a place to put the clippings I open the doors of this little Korean chest and in they go.

The untidy mass of papers were stacked to the top. All manner of things, from my Wildflower Center files to garden projects, cuttings on how to grow bamboo, clematis, vegetables for Texas, articles from Austin American Statesman, list of deer proof plants, a folder with photos of the garden, taken in the days when I really did take photos. Thank heaven for the digital camera. This afternoon, while we enjoyed yet another summer day in the high 90s, I set to work going through everything.

I made piles, on the floor, of articles I wanted to keep. A huge stack went into the recycling. I reminded myself of all those projects I was going to do. I read through the cards we received from people after we were on garden tours. That was a really fun look back. I did look at some photos of the garden in its early days and thought how awfully bare it looked even though I was proud of it at the time. It crossed my mind that my ideas on landscaping have changed quite a bit in the last 10 years. It is quite clear that I now favor the desert landscape, even the more minimalist approach to design and planting. Of course my garden will never be like that for the same reason the cupboard was overflowing with cuttings. But for now everything is back in the cupboard and I have lots more space for the next lot of clippings. The unfortunate thing was I didn't find the articles I was looking for. I'm sure I put them in there.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


On our way to Seattle this summer we pulled into Cherry Creek State Park for the weekend. We wanted to pay a return visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens. This has to be one of the most beautiful gardens in the country-and very well funded, as you will see later.

You can imagine that the gardens were quite busy on a summer Saturday. In fact a wedding was about to take place in my favorite garden so I could only sneak a quick picture under the ropes. The Romantic Garden at Denver was designed by Lauren Springer Ogden.

I think Denver is such a favorite of mine because of the many garden rooms. Step from one and you find yourself in another completely different garden.

The herb garden.

I don't even remember this one from 2 years ago. The sundial garden.

The Scripture garden

Henry Moore has been replaced with sculptures more fitting to the South Western scene. Here, Dance of the Mountain Spirits by Allan Houser (1919-1994).

Mother natures own art work in this Lacebark pine, Pinus bungeata.

Spirit of the Mountains.

 Simple hand made troughs in the rock garden.

Warm Springs Apache Man.

And my favorite one of all. A Navajo shepherdess tending her sheep in Homeward Bound.

Maybe we missed this garden the last time we were here. What a wonderful idea for a courtyard garden. Variously sized pavers set in decomposed granite with hypertuffa troughs. What could be more simple.

Of course it helps to have a fine piece of sculpture as a center piece.

Prayer Song.

The day lily garden.

Ramada with penstemons.

A palate of soft pinks and rusts.

Dreaming of growing plants like this in my rock wall.

The hell strip.

Two pots of A. desmettiana flanking a citrus with underplanting of herbs. Good idea!

Alpinia 'Singapore Gold' in the tropical house.

A breakdown of the costs of the ongoing and completed projects, Quite a budget and many paid for with bonds.
The only disappointment was to finally get to see the Mordecai Children's Garden in completion. Not at all a children's garden in my opinion.
There is so much more to see. A must for everyone who visits Denver.