Yesterday I worked outside my walls. I had a new plant to put in the ground. This cane cholla, Opuntia imbricata, was a passalong from one of our garden group. He gardens under much friendlier circumstances that I, so I am not going to promise that this plant will continue to look as good as it looks right now. It will only be getting the water that falls from the sky and growth is slow in this area.
It came home in two brown bags and it was no easy matter getting it into those bags. But at home I just happened to have the perfect transporter and holder to get it into the chosen spot in the ground. Never throw anything away, that's my motto. This old bath rug certainly came in handy. I didn't even wear gloves.
The opuntia wasn't the only 'nasty' I dealt with. I finally decided to pull out this beast, Agave lophantha. It was badly damaged by hail in the spring, losing many of its lower leaves, and had become too big for the space inside the front courtyard. I used our monster rock pry bar to get it out. Never had to get anywhere near it. I dragged it by its roots though the gate and into this area, dug a hole and dropped it in. That is better treatment than the Sotol behind it got when it was relocated some years ago, also from the entry courtyard. Both these plants have vicious spines. But they come with toughness built in so just as the sotol survived so will the agave.
You can see the area on the left, where the agave used to be. I am re-working this area by adding a layer of rocks with dry plants at the front and those that need a little more water at the back in the second row. I have relocated some low-growing day lilies from the back garden which will drape over the wall with echinacea and and columbines and various spring annuals.
Everything outside is enjoying the moderation in our temperatures. Still in the 90s during the day, and well above normal for this time of year, but mornings have been cooler. The lantana, Lantana horrida, after a complete cut-back, is blooming as is the Lindheimer senna.
And finally the purple trailing lanana. It returns faithfully every year but has bided its time this year only beginning to flower this week.
Come on fall bloomers. The days are growing shorter and cooler. It's time for a big show.
Design it your way: Austin Garden Conservancy tour
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