Sunday, October 26, 2014

THE SUNKEN GARDEN

I have been working hard, all week, in the sunken garden. It gets very overgrown during the summer during which time it loses its identity as a sunken garden as plantings become too bountiful. Some editing is necessary.


I am removing tired skullcaps which become woody with age. When I open up the space I find all kinds of seedlings vying for a spot in the garden. There are lots of bluebonnets and it is unlikely I will let them remain because their spread can reach over 3'. The ones I want to nurture are the blackfoot daisies, skullcaps and dahlberg daisies.


So many plants in such a small place. A fireworks gomphrena, columbine, asparagus fern, euphorbia, blackfoot daisies, all hoping that I will let them be.


Ghost plant, Graptopetalum, as managed to peak out from underneath the lavender cotton, Santolina chamaecyparissus. In front a coreopsis is hoping to escape the dreaded cobra head.


I like to have evergreen anchors at each corner of the upper level of the sunken garden. This spot has seen rosemary, A. desmettiana and recently the soft leaf yucca, Y. recurvifolia. Last year I removed the tall soft leaf yucca from this area. It left behind lots of offspring which I just left. They have now grown into a large cluster. OK for now. We'll see how they develop. It certainly looks healthy and as yet is untouched by those sap-sucking bugs.


I had no idea when I planted this Yucca rostrata, several years ago, that it was going to grow into such a magnificent specimen. It anchors this corner of the garden closest to the patio. See the Philippine violet to the right. It seeded here right on the very edge. I thought it died in last years cold winter but it it surprised me with its return. I doubt it is removable without destroying it so it will have to stay until such time as it becomes to large.


I first planted a crape myrtle in this spot. It grew too big. Then a dwarf Greek myrtle. It grew too big. Two years ago I replaced the myrtle with the spineless prickly pear and the squid agave, Agave bracteosa. This week I removed 15 baby squids and one teenager. The teenager was forcing the mother plant over so is much relieved by the loss of offspring. The teenager is planted in the fourth corner. I'm hoping it will survive the move. I also cleared out all the ruellia and heart leaf skullcap although I doubt they are gone forever.


Time to think about some companion plantings.

16 comments:

  1. Your sunken garden continues to amaze me. And you have to be very disciplined to yank out what needs to go. I have a hard time doing that and my landscape shows it! The yucca rostrata certainly did turn out to be a magnificent specimen. And I'm still chuckling over the 15 baby squids and one teenager. Love your writing!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy my blog. Yes, those children were just getting out of hand. Mother is so much happier without them.

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  2. As I read your post, the image of you as the red queen crying "off with their heads" came to mind. Still, you wield that cobra head with immense discretion and purpose - your results prove that. I wish I were as disciplined.

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    1. Sometimes I am just driven to have a really good clean out. But the fact is, I should never let them get such a hold before I do it.

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  3. I simply love that first photo. The stone base is spectacular - you are quite an artist!

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    1. Thank you. I love working with rocks better than planting. When in doubt add more rocks.

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  4. Wow - 15 babies AND a teenager. That momma must be sighing in relief now you've given her newly reclaimed space to stretch out into. Will you keep most of the babies and put them elsewhere? Pot them up and trade them? That's an ocean load of squids!

    I absolutely love the look of the ghost plant peeking out from under the santolina. That gives me ideas for my own spaces. Thank you, ma'am!

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    1. Mother is managing to upright herself having spend the summer bent over. We are all happy to see those babies find new homes.

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  5. Yucca rostrata is fast becoming one of my favorite plants, having seen it used so dramatically and effectively in Curt Arnette's gardens and other gardens around town. I plan to add two more to my garden next spring. Your sunken garden is beautiful as always!

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    1. I haven't seen any small specimens. The larger ones are just not affordable plus the difficulty of digging a hole in which to put them.

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  6. You are doing my favorite kind of gardening - just yank out what needs to go. That is so much better than trying to baby plants that don't want to grow where you want to plant them. Loved your pictures also.

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    1. SO true. I often fail when I try to put in new plants. There is so little soil that a seed needs to make its own way intot he ground.

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