Monday, October 1, 2012

THE REWARDS OF A LITTLE RAIN

The sunken garden has always been one of my favorite places in the garden. After a tough summer with no water for weeks, a trim back followed by a good soaking rain has brought new life back into the plants.


I have never found much success in trying to actually plant in between the sandstone pavers. Instead I must rely on self sowing. The plants do a good job of seeding and my job is to select the ones that show up in the right place. My favorites are the purple skullcap, Scutellaria wrightii, Dahlberg daisy, Dyssodia, Alyssum, and Zexmenia.



Scutellaria wrightii

Zexmenia with A, desmettiana variegata, blackfoot daisy
Grasses which have found their way into the sunken garden include Mexican feather grass and ruby crystal, Melinus nerviglumis, below.

Damianita, alyssum, ruby crystal grass, gomphrena.
Any one of these plants would like to have the whole garden to itself so I do spend a lot of time pulling out. My plan for next year is to reduce the planting above the sunken garden to make the whole area less demanding of my time. Only time will tell if I manage to do this!

20 comments:

  1. The amount of effort is worth it in my opinion -- this is such a wonderful area, with a really natural feel. Love it!!

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    1. Thanks Alan-I had no idea when I designed it that it would work out so well. There was just decomposed granite to start with and then added the sandstone to reduce the numbers of seedlings. If only I could find some smaller plants but nothing likes to stay small in Texas.

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  2. Living on the rocks like you, the plants tolerating this environment, must have enough fine surface roots, in order to respond so quickly after a rain! They seem to renew their growth overnight, like I do seeing them do that. I agree with your selective editing / cultivating of those volunteer plants in the best places, taking out those that aren't. Damianita...that plant really seems to defy planting, but not planting itself...

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    1. I think that many of the roots enjoy a cooler root run underneath the sandstone. I don't get many damianita volunteers in this area. Wish I did.

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  3. Your garden looks beautiful as always. I'm impressed you can get Alyssum to grow from seed. Love the purple skullcap. Ahh, if only I had more sun in my garden.

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    1. Yes- lots of alyssum and skullcaps. They love to seed int he gravel. Sometimes I a catch myself saying-If only I had more shade!!

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  4. I agree with Steph...you garden looks beautiful. And, I have never been lucky with Alyssum, and you always have lots of it. Amazing....

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    1. Thanks Linda. What I don't have is mulch and maybe that is the difference with alyssum seeding.

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  5. Gorgeous garden, it's such a beautiful time of year for your garden. I look forward to the time my somewhat new garden needs to be thinned and kept under control.

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    1. Thanks Shirley and yes the Autumn is really beautiful in Texas. Imagine if summer were like this too!

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  6. I never realized that you let the plants seed themselves. It all turned out so nicely. I, too, am planning some areas of the garden to reduce the work. I love gardening and will garden forever, but sometimes I need to enjoy other things. :)

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    1. I'll let you know if I have success in reducing the work. I have been saying this for years and it hasn't worked yet!

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  7. Sounds like you're starting a garden resolutions list, too.

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    1. I am and it means goodbye for a lot of plants.

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  8. Your garden most certainly has a unique look - I love all the colours and texture...and rocks! It looks amazing this fall Jenny!

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    1. Thanks heather- Yes, we are lucky to have lots of rocks. No soil but lots of rocks!

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  9. I love the look of your garden. It's beautiful.

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  10. This time of year I feel the same way. I'm digging and moving and such. Then, in spring, I'm over-exuberant and plant way too much. I love your garden Jenny. I really, really do. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  11. Gorgeous! I did my fall cutback right before last week's rain, and everything's already bouncing back spectacularly. I even found room for that purple skullcap I've been admiring in your garden for so long!

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  12. I am so glad you turned me onto purple skullcap. I am having good luck with it in the hottest, driest parts of my garden, and its charming purple blossoms look great all summer.

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