Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Tide of Wide

Posting today as part of Heather at Xericstyle's monthly Wide Shot Meme for June.  Most garden blogging features close up shots of plants at their shiniest with few posts giving the viewer much of an idea of any space in its entirety.  Heather is encouraging us to show it all in one glance, taking a look at what is working (or not) and how the view changes from month to month.

[Why yes, reader, so kind of you to notice, I am on time this month.  Oh, well golly, yes again.  That is twice in a row!  Super organized?  Me?  Pish tosh!]

Where were we...oh yes...beginning with wide shots of the back.  I'll go with what to me is the reveal that makes my palms sweat a bit - the overhead view.

I look at this and immediately focus on how the path barely exists as entity separate from the beds and how every single one of those beds is in sore need of further hours of weeding and thinning out.  This could very easily be the establishing shot for some reality television "Garden Rescue" type show.  I didn't want to include this shot this month but decided to precisely because of my reluctance.  This is what I call keeping it real, folks.
So here I sat, reverting to old bad habits where I look at my garden and view it too narrowly as All Work Yet To Be Done. That approach simply doesn't do justice to garden or gardener.
These spaces are meant to be enjoyed.  Always looking at my beds as only work-to-do is a bit like my child coming in with a 97 on a test and me just asking what question they missed.  (Not that anything like that ever happened at our house, my children are terrible liars. Never listen to them.)

On multiple occasions when I went out intending to weed the paths, the primrose were still in bloom and had bees busily working each blossom.  I told the bees I'd be back later after they'd finished, and well, they simply haven't finished yet.  These aren't solely my garden beds and I try not to forget that.

Next up?
Side shot from another angle.  One of my non-weeding projects is unveiled, a branch and blue bottle edging/hose guard I installed to protect the plants in that bed by the walk.
There has been a longstanding need to protect this bed from the hose and I bravely worked for weeks to supply the necessary bottles elements.  You're welcome, garden! 
Back to our wide views.  This is the view flat footed. You can see how happy everything is after getting a three inch soaking and to have apparently forgotten it is living in Central Texas.  Love those late May rains - even the mostly spent by now bluebonnets are optimistically hanging out a few last flowers.
A return glimpse of the back corner.  The Grandpa Ott morning glory is taking off and the Plethora of Potted Plumeria are leafing out nicely.  The Hub got these potted up earlier than the year before and we're keeping fingers crossed for more numerous flowers to admire from the safety of the cool water alongside.
A look at the front curb on the upper side of the drive.  The agave are continuing to recover from a combination of antlering and freezing weather. Both took a toll on their previously pristine spikes.  Monarda, mealy blue sage, lavender and society garlic are the eye-catchers of the moment, though I'll admit a fondness for the wooly exuberance of rosemary after two good soaking rains last month.
Speaking of rosemary in exuberance - the downhill slope features waves of it, punctuated by spaces where I'm working to establish blooming native perennials.  This strip was consistently blocked by construction trucks for two years as home renovations were in progress across the street.  This is the first summer since completion and I'll use the time and access to prune, purge, and plan. New plantings will be seeded or set in this coming Fall.

You can see sprengeri fern (Asparagus densiflorus) cascading off the upper beds.  This had been planted before we moved in.  Birds and falling berries have redistributed it widely.  I don't mind a bit.  It is a tough plant the deer won't touch, the birds love the bright red berries and the light green color lasts throughout the hottest days of summer.
Speaking of which...  This is a wide shot I can lose myself in.  Beautiful Texas skies at the end of May, not yet dominated by the soon-to-appear Summertime Death Star.  It climbed into the high 80's this afternoon, a reminder it won't be long until we are all drooping from the heat. But just for now?  It is all sweetness, this light!


Tina said...

Aren't Texas skies beautiful?? I like that you understand that while you might be finished with at garden or set of blooms, others might not be. I have the same issue--I'll let something go longer than I should (from my aesthetic), but I have to remind myself that I garden not just for me, but for others. Things look good in your gardens. I love the layout in the back space and the front border garden.

TexasDeb said...

Tina: Thank you! I did indeed spend an hour yesterday and longer today out thinning, weeding, and pruning. It is getting so hot in the afternoons already I know I've got to get a move on.

A few of the primrose are still sporting blooms. Now that other flowers are blooming though it is inevitable that the Pink Reign of Terror must end.

Pam/Digging said...

I always enjoy wide shots such as these. That overall view really helps you understand a garden in a way that closeups just can't do (though I enjoy those too). Your back garden is lovely and lush, and your front bed along the street is dynamite with tough, dramatic plants that announce, "There's something special here."

TexasDeb said...

Pam: Thank you very much. I certainly appreciate hearing how these spaces appear to a different (discerning) set of eyes. The back garden is perhaps little too lush at the moment for me. I read another garden blogger refer to this time of year as the "shaggy times" which pretty well sums things up. I got a good start on putting things back in a bit tidier order today and that feels really good.

Kris Peterson said...

Your Texas skies are beautiful! I can almost smell the clean air after the rain. I have to resort to my imagination as we've seen little rain - or clean air - in SoCal this year and probably can't expect any until October.

Despite your disclaimers, I think your back garden looks like a lovely place to spend time communing with the bees. You're right that sometimes we get so tied up in the "to do" items we lose the opportunity to enjoy the beauty the garden provides.

TexasDeb said...

Kris: Thanks for dropping in. I'm doing my best to enjoy the back spaces even as I work to put them back to rights. We are all of us hoping your woes in SoCal are allayed long before October.

Maria T said...

I love your garden! I love the pops of color, mostly blue to match the blue of the "concrete pond". I will follow your lead and plant some Rosemary out by my street. They look so good next to Agaves..

TexasDeb said...

Maria: Thank you! I hope you'll be happy with your rosemary. Ours are several years old and have grown a little larger than I expected, but they are so tolerant of extreme temperatures and use so little water, I am happy to give them the space.

Linda/patchwork said...

Your garden looks great.
I love to see the wide shot. Lets you see what the garden actually looks like.

TexasDeb said...

Linda: Thanks for dropping by! Well, the wide shots most certainly do show you what a garden REALLY looks like, which is why I typically shy away. Posting for Xericstyle's monthly meme keeps me honest. Wide shots show the good, the not-so-good and the downright ugly!