Monday, November 3, 2014

ONE AREA OF MY GARDEN GETS A MUCH NEEDED OVERHAUL

If you don't care for rocks then you may not want to read on because this week I added more rocks to the garden. Working with rocks is one of my favorite thing to do.
One area of the front courtyard garden had been sadly neglected. A couple of years ago we worked on the right side of this area extending the dry creek up into the corner of the wall. This past week I made a tributary dry creek on the other side. Looking at the French doors, on the left were two yaupon hollies planted by the mockingbird, lots of inland sea oats and ruellia. An untidy mess.


 One of the yaupons has now been removed along with all the sea oats. An extension of the original dry creek terminates in the left corner.


This summer I found myself casting frequent glances through the door at the large Whale's tongue agave, in the rock garden beyond, which was slowly dying (now removed). But at the same time I realized that it was imperative to make some improvements in this area. So, after cleaning out the plantings I created the creek. This time it involved a trip to the stone yard for $25 worth of New Mexico river rock.


Its a difficult area to plant. It faces north. One corner gets absolutely no sun and the other gets only sun later in the afternoon. That is why I decided to leave the yaupon on the corner so that the tree would temper the summer sun. For now I dug up some seedling Gulf coast penstemon and lyre leaf sage and planted them along the wall. I have a couple of hardy agaves that might look good in this area too. The soil is poor and I have no plans to amend.


Nature has planted a flowering senna tree in this corner. It doesn't get any sun so is not likely to bloom but the birds seem happy to perch there before and after visiting the bird bath. Ruellia, columbine and sea oats do well even in the poor soil but I shall be looking for some similarly undemanding plants to add to the area.

16 comments:

  1. You are certainly a master at creating dry creek beds, and I love the different grades and types of rocks that you have used. I'm pinning the photos from this post for future reference! Thank you for such great ideas!

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    1. We are fortunate to have a handy supply of rocks otherwise this would all be impossible. Just the occasional trip to the stone yard.

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  2. The new rework looks good with the mix of rocks in the courtyard and a tidy view from the house. I remember pictures of the big bridge rock coming up the hill when you built the first dry creek. A little work now and less maintenance over the long term. The New Mexico river rock looks good there, we need to put rock in our new dry creek. That's too bad about the agave since it looked so good there. The variegated agaves are nice near the birdbath.

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    1. I am hoping I will be able to keep this area looking tidier in future. I need less work. The variegated agaves are A. lophantha 'quadricolor' Fortunately one of our gardening friends is great at supplying us with pups.

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  3. Looks great! I am also a fan of rocks, especially the way you artfully place them.

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    1. Thank you Laura. I wonder how I would manage if I didn't have these rocks to work with.

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  4. Looks good.
    I love rocks. They don't have to be watered, and the deer don't eat them....yet.
    If it wasn't for rocks, I might not have anything to look at in my garden.
    You always do such a good job with them.

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    1. Thanks Linda. Sometimes I think we only need rocks and the odd bit of green here and there. The birds will see to that.

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  5. I don't know which I'd rather read about more: somebody adding plants to their garden, or somebody adding rocks. I'm leaning toward rocks, especially if they're big ones. I wish I had as many native rocks as you do Jenny -- those lbs. start adding up, and $0.27 a pound quickly turns into hundreds of $. :)

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    1. This is the only place I have ever lived that had a bounty of rocks. Learning to garden with them was a given and I really enjoy it.

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  6. Jenny, so glad I'm now getting your blog! I love rocks and want to learn to use them in beautiful ways like in your garden ( and Shirley's too!) Even in rock gardens things need to be changed and freshened up, don't they?

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    1. Glad you dropped by Melody. The great thing about rocks is that even when there are no plants there they look good. As Charles Wade said, "the most important part of the garden is the hardscape"

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  7. Location, location, location. It doesn't apply only to home sales. You've met the challenges of this area in a realistic and yet wonderfully aesthetically appealing way. I'm eager to read more about your eventual plant choices here because it describes certain areas where I am trying to garden as well, and I'm always happy to borrow a good idea from such a successful gardener!

    Given a choice between a new plant and a big load of rocks? I'll take the rocks, every time. Such a forgiving hardscape element!

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  8. I love rocks to the point of living in a rock house! Love the new area. And I like the "wild" tree. Nature sometimes knows just the right touch.

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  9. I love rocks! Your new dry stream looks great, and I like that open design. Everything is able to breathe. Your blog is indeed well named.

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