Monday, June 10, 2013

RAIN EFFECTS

A couple of weeks ago we had a really good rain. Certain plants respond promptly to rain and one of these is the Texas sage, Leucophyllum frutescence. Texas sage is the common name that many give this plant despite the fact that it is not a member of the sage family. Other names include the cenizo or Texas rain sage. Whichever name you give it is spectacular when in boom.


This one is outside the walls behind the pool garden. It came from a volunteer seedling and couldn't be happier in the raised mound of rubble soil.


It has become quite large and is now enjoyed from inside the house. Step back and see just where it grows.


It may actually be the tidiest part of the garden. We had to define the septic field from the house. The easy thing would have been to just let the grass grow up to the wall but that would have been too easy. So David constructed a pathway around the back creating a couple of beds with some of the limestone rubble  that came out of the inside garden. There is no irrigation here and yet there are a number of plants that survive here. In this area a trailing rosemary sits alongside a crape myrtle ( also from seed). Deer may sometimes browse the lower leaves of the crape but the other plants are left.


Further along Salvia leucantha, native Texas lantana, prickly pear and a mullein grow. They are all from divisions or seeds. If you think the pathway is looking tidy then it is as a result of my efforts in the last week. Every morning I tackled an ever advancing section of the path, scraping the ground with my hoe and raking up the weeds. It is my surprise for David when her returns from a faraway fishing trip. My plan is to solarize the area during the rest of the summer to prevent more weeds from sprouting. This area will be kept free of plants from now on! I'm nearly there and should finish the remaining path by the weekend but for now you get to see the good bits!

12 comments:

  1. A friend of mine bought this plant last year at one of our better garden centers. I took many cuttings, but only one took root. I have placed it in a friend's garden which is in a heat island near a major mall. She has a warm south wall, and I think it may live if it can survive the summer mugs. I was delighted to see your photos of it. I understand people also call it Texas Ranger, or the barometer plant-

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  2. The path looks great, Jenny! I've been working on mine, too.

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  3. oh I am so envious of your garden... great green thumb but greater passion and patience. Lucky you!
    Vera
    ilghepardo.wordpress.com

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  4. Wow! that path looks great. I'm in the process of doing the same thing. Maybe corn gluten can help keep weeds from sprouting. They love the granite sand. Such a satisfying feeling to have nice neat paths but really tough in this weather.

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  5. OK I am hearing in all this a call to somebody to do a post about how to maintain a granite path in as weed-free a state as is possible. Jen- what do you mean when you say you are "solarizing" your path? Ann - what are the presumed benefits of corn gluten? That's a new one to me. Ladies - you started something here !

    I just took a couple of cuttings from a cenizo to transplant - not sure they'll make it but fingers crossed. They are so easy once established and so gorgeously grateful for the rain. Plants such as these ought to be rewarded with respect says I. Also - I'm seeing that mullein seems to be quite deer resistant judging by how successfully it grows in full deer exposure. That one goes on my list for a Fall buy/installation!

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  6. Corn gluten is an organic pre-emergent. I was going to try it out on my paths last fall to cut down on the amount of wildflowers but just couldn't bear to decrease their numbers even though it is a big job to pull them up when they are past their prime.

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  7. I second TexasDeb's motion! All of us with large decomposed granite areas need all the tips we can get. I, for one, spend way too much time pulling grasses, yes, but also many natives from the horseshoe driveway and patio area. A few plants are taken by fellow gardeners but that still leaves too many back-breaking hours of pulling stuff up by the roots. The parts in full sun are the worst!

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  8. Yes, I her you all. I think granite is more difficult than gravel but having said that this is what I do. I just get the flat hoe and pull it through the weeds scraping them up. The I take my rake and rake around gathering them into a pile which I pick up by hand. Then rake everything back. It makes for a fairly easy job. What is difficult is where we put down some very heavy duty landscape fabric. That area is a nightmare. So I suggest no fabric. Soil always accumulates in the granite due to the breakdown and the fallout of dust when it rains. So there will always be some medium in which weeds can sprout. Yes, it is some work but then isn't all gardening and doesn't it keep us fit and besides it is in our blood. The bonus is I find I can eat what I want, without gaining weight, as long as I garden!

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  9. It looks great. David should be pleased.

    I really need to get some Mullein. But, I have some 'weed work' to do before I can do that.

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    1. Just stop by a roadside plant and get some seed. One year we had a huge stand of them on our septic field. It was too many! Now I am careful about where they can be.

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  10. Glad you got rain. We've had rain for the past 3 days with only a 20% chance from the weathermen.
    I like that mulch you're using in those beds. Nice and natural look.
    David/:0)

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  11. That's a beautiful look and a great combo of beds and paths. That a nice and natural looking mulch.
    David/:0)

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