Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It is all too easy to make it look as though your garden is nothing but perfection. The tight shot of that beautiful blooming plant belies what is going on around it. The same is true of wider shots of the garden. They may not be all they seem. At least to the owner/gardener.

Take this shot of the dry creek taken from the driveway. Your eye might pass over all that green growth in the gravel. It is a mixture of zexmenia, feather grass and oak sprouts with a few rain lilies thrown in. It will probably take a whole morning to clean up to my satisfaction. If you have live oak trees you know the oak sprouts just keep coming back and have to be trimmed time and time again.The granite area you see at the top of the picture is another story.

When we took out the two large Texas sage bushes that had seeded in the granite I felt quite relieved. I loved the cleaner look. Well, I learnt something new about this plant. If you leave a little piece of root behind it will grow into a new plant. So there were 15 new Texas sage growing up, clustered together. I should have just taken a few pieces of root and stuck them in the ground in a place where I would like this bush to grow. Of course, I have potted them up until they make a good root mass and I can put them where I want them. It took an hour of my gardening time this morning.

I have mixed feelings about this scenario. Bluebonnet seedlings. Do they really have to clump together like this. I feel the need to save them from strangling each other. There are so many other places I would like to see them. The good news is that I am going to need some extras having discovered this morning that the decollate snails have a taste for the the seed leaves. They have eaten every one in my front garden. So having discovered this I spent an hour searching and removing every snail I could find. It's rather difficult for a snail to dig itself in in the gravel. Its broken cone is always sticking up in the air.

Down on my hands and knees I noticed this little plant beneath the Weber's agave. Is it a ghostly Eryngo? I have never grown this plant so I have no idea where it came from.

I also spotted something else growing and I am hoping it is standing cypress, Ipomopsis rubra. Will it send up that gorgeous red flower stalk next spring?

I couldn't possibly remove this frost weed, Verbesina virginica, even though it is crowding out the rose and spineless prickly pear at the back of the pool. You don't get to see the wide shot! In previous years it was on the berm outside the walls. I may never get to see the frosty stems when we have our first freeze because by then it will be long gone. For now the bees and I will enjoy the pretty white flowers.

The potager may look reasonably tidy but you should see all the weeds. It's a nightmare!


  1. I still think you have some of the best weeds around. I've started to notice as my garden expands that my own weeds have become more interesting. I especially like those strange weeds that come from who knows where like that Erngo. That's a weed I would welcome.

  2. Even with all that I enjoy seeing your garden. Either way it's fun to get a mix of shots and a good idea of how garden spaces look.

    I hope you do get standing cypress blooming, I loved seeing it at the Wildflower Center earlier in the summer.

  3. If I'm not careful I have a difficult time enjoying my garden views when mostly what I see is work yet to be done. Which is a shame, because the work is never ending while the beauty the garden offers can be fleeting. Thanks for the wider shots and the acknowledgement that we all have whatever loveliness in our gardens because we DO work hard in there, day in and day out.

    PS - I notice I never "see" weeds when I'm on vacation!

  4. This is such an interesting topic - I concur with Ally that at least your weeds are interesting looking! I look at mine, like crabgrass and popweed, with such disdain. Who would've thought that "the grass is always greener" would apply to weeds, too?

  5. Your garden is always lovely Jenny!
    I have the same problem in the gravel, many plants found the perfect place to germinate, in the wrong place! such stipas ... would be easy to to leave them, but I must do cleaning. Anyway, always interesting to find new plants spontaneous!

  6. Weedy or not Jenny, still a joy to see! Besides, nobody else sees the weeds as we do in our own gardens. (Also, if it were weed-free I'd be a bit concerned somehow...) :)

  7. I agree. I like your weeds.
    We don't have as many interesting ones here. I think the deer eat them, before we can see what they are.

    I was going to work all day in the garden today. But, rain came along, and now there's mud to deal with. We need to rain, though. And, maybe the rain made it easier to pull some up weeds.

  8. Seedlings are such a mixed blessing. You have some pretty ones, though! I'm still combating the mimosa seedlings that have taken root from last year's seedpods (which I find everywhere!) and now this year's seedpods are just beginning to drop. I have a horrific problem with palm seeds too - leave them too long and it's a devil to get them out. I wish something that I want to spread about would seed but that never seems to be the case in my garden...

  9. Nice spaces, and I think in gardens, we are also our worst critics! Such appealing patterns you have.

  10. Your garden is absolutely the best in the world. It's so fun to see what's happening, even though you may not be totally pleased. Just lovely and so alive with wonder and surprise.