Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'M A HOARDER AND A DREAMER

I have to admit I'm a garden magazine hoarder. I have magazines dating back to the early 90s. When I get them out it is often as though I am reading a new magazine and I always hope that this time around I will find nothing of interest to me and I will be able to throw the magazine away. Even though my tastes and ideas change over time I usually find something there which requires me to put that magazine  back on the shelf. The other day after lunch I sat down with a 1998 Sunset Garden Guide.


This is a photo of a retaining wall in Scott Spencer's Southern California garden. Oh my! This photo makes my garden soul jump up and down. My friend Pam Penick wrote on her blog recently about reproducing a garden scene from a magazine by substituting plants local to one's own area. What a great idea, which you can read about here.


I have the retaining wall. Isn't it a beauty? David did this retaining wall hauling thousands of pounds of limestone rocks from lower down on our lot.


I think it is magnificent and yet it is lacking something.... I have made excuses; no water, no soil, deer, raccoons, turkeys mice, squirrels. Things have changed recently due to the prolonged Texas drought. We have lost many of the trees and with more sun little Texas sedges are starting to pop up everywhere. The yuccas and opuntia I have planted are doing well producing their first heavy crop of tunas this year. Bluebonnet seedlings are everywhere. With some gentle winter rains we may have a wash of blue next year.


When I visit English gardens I dream of having aubretia and campanulas growing out from between the rocks. Nothing seem to survive life in the dry, drystone wall.
Now after revisiting that wall in California I am inspired to make some improvements. I can have Mexican feather grass and maybe a Weber's agave hanging over the wall. Maybe some euphorbias and of course rock rose. I am going to head out into the garden and pick some seeds to throw among the bluebonnets.

25 comments:

  1. I save all my old gardening magazines. I've tried to "pare down", by at least just saving the good stuff out of them. But, when it comes to actually cutting apart the magazine, I can't do it. I love going back through them in the winter.

    Your rock wall is gorgeous and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

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    1. I agree Sue. I can cut out recipes but don't like to do that with magazines. I would rather look at the whole magazine again.

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  2. I've got gobs of saved garden magazines too. I miss Sunset's annual compilations but I have 1996-2004 and I pull them out at periodic intervals as well, seeking inspiration. It sounds as though you found your inspiration - I think the planned additions to your rock wall will be wonderful.

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    1. Interesting to discover that many gardeners are just like I am about magazines.

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  3. Your wall is just beautiful. I love your ideas for how to plant it up. I haven't saved hardly any magazines. I used to be a bit of a hoarder, but went through a "throwing things away" phase a while back.

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  4. Oh yes...I'm a magazine whore...I have a whole bookshelf of them (Gardens Illustrated, The English Garden, Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and Organic Gardening). I don't look at them every day...but during winter, I'll pull out a handful and cozy up on the bed with some hot tea and just pour over them! It's amazing how much inspiration I've gotten from those well-worn, glossy pages!

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    1. I do just the same as you do. Take one to bed or sit with one after lunch.

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  5. The wall is amazing and I think you will do great things with it now that you have your inspiration. I've never thrown out a garden magazine but when it became too much, eBay was my friend!

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  6. I save some magazines, and have many like you do. A few years ago, I gave a bunch of them away. I miss them sometimes...

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    1. I was the recipient of someone's Gardeners' World magazines. Lucky me.

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  7. Oh ya...gotta have the old magazines! Anybody who doesn't understand is just, well, not part of the club I guess. Love you inspirational photo!

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  8. Great job on your retaining wall. Were the rocks cut into flat rectangular shapes by the construction crews at the time your home was built? I have as many or more rocks in my home here, but they are more spherical or irregular in shape when we come across them when digging a hole for a new plant. Difficult to do anything beautiful with them.
    What magazines do you suggest for someone like myself, living in the Texas Hill Country? I have learned so much from reading your blog, but I'd be willing to subscribe to 1 or 2 for a year or so.

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    1. These are natural rocks and David found them himself. We do have ledge stones that came out of the foundation and those you can see in various other gardens. I rarely buy magazines any more but I still buy books. I think the best source for ideas are garden blogs and Pinterest. Just put in your interest, gravel gardens, patios, containers. A wealth of collected ideas. I am glad you find inspiration in my garden. I couldn't ask for more.

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  9. What you are all describing doing with magazines I do with your blog posts. I try to stay current but then life interferes and I may miss several posts in a row (or even get pulled away doing work in my own actual garden spaces). But when the weather prevents outdoor time or the mood strikes? I go happily back into your Older Post archives and read and look and always learn something new and get inspired to emulate a look I love. So you keep delving into your magazines and I'll be right here to read about it! Deal?

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    1. I think I spend too much time at the computer and not enough doing house work! Garden, computer, cooking and of course bridge. Not much time for anything else. Glad you enjoy the posts and yes, it's a deal.

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  10. That's a very inspirational image -- and so is that gorgeous wall. David did himself proud on that. I'd love to see you revisit this in a later post to show how you interpreted that magazine design into your own garden, with site-appropriate plants. Thanks for the link love too!

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  11. I love the magazine inspiration idea. One of the plants in the magazine picture reminded me a little of gopher plant. I wonder how that would do in this tough spot. Winter blush gopher plant is on my radar for the spring. Hopefully, I can find one.

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    1. I have a couple of gopher plants growing outside to test to see if they are deer proof. We shall see.

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  12. Jenny, I'll bet Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera lyrata) would grow in that area. I can give you seeds, if you want them. Pink skullcap & blackfoot daisy would work too.

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    1. Have you grown choc, daisy from seed. I have never had success but would love to have more if you have found it to seed well. Gopher plant would be good too as long as the deer don't eat it. Maybe too prickly for them. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  13. As the garden changes, one's need for various inspiration changes, so it definitely doesn't make much sense to throw out any gardening magazines! When moving, I purged many of our books and magazines, but none of the gardening ones! :) I think plants and blooms draping over a retaining wall makes for one of the prettiest scenes in a garden. And you have a very impressive wall to work with! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Indie. I'll be busy thinking about the new plan this winter.

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  14. I always love when I'm driving down 360 and there's a prickly pear hanging off one of the rock ledges by the roots. I still have no clue how that works...

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  15. I think those prickly pears will grow anywhere a pad falls.

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