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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Widely weedy

Whew! Some months wrap up quickly, don't they?  Whoosh go the days and here we are at the end of June already, time for another wide shot exercise graciously hosted by Heather at Xericstyle.

I'm indulging myself a bit and limiting shots to the back beds this month.  The front is fairly static at the moment and I have this fantasy that if I continue to expose the very weedy paths out back it will keep me extra motivated.  I despair I'll never get completely on top of the weed situation here. If I continue laboring for an hour or more in the early mornings before the sun gets high along with the temperatures, I hope to knock the weeds down to the bare minimum.  And I can live with that.
At the moment the overhead shot shows the paths to be pretty awful in spots. The beds (and path!) have been cleared of primrose, the daisies are finishing up and the purple coneflowers are just beginning to bloom.  Pepper plants are setting fruit, and basil and thyme are flourishing.  Most (but not all) of the isolated green bits in the beds are bluebonnet babies and they get to stay.

I toyed with the idea of allowing succulents to grow in the front of that triangular bed behind the bench but the weeds showed up in force instead. That triangle will have to be cleared back down to the gravel mulch soon.
Here's that back bed to the right. The four-o-clocks are up with tropical sage filling in underneath.  The althea "tree" is loaded with buds and is finally sporting a first bloom.  Aztec grass can just be seen to the far left by the rock edging.  I'm hoping to get that established all along the border eventually for contrast. Here and there in every bed, purple heart plants and Jewels of Opar are providing much appreciated pops of chartreuse and purple amongst the deeper greens.
The flat footed view.  There is a new solar lantern hanging above the bench providing another blue accent.  The crepe myrtles to the right (like the ones all around town) are putting on an especially riotous display of blooms this year. Everything is reflecting the overall vigor that regular rains and slightly cooler temperatures encourage.
A look from the far side of the path up through the three central beds.  Ooof. I'd be a lot happier with this shot if the path to the left was a clear as the path to the right.  I console myself with the (probably nonsensical) idea that as the weeds get a little taller they are that much easier to dig out.
Blah blah more weedy path, blah blah blah.  I love the little purple ball shaped blooms of Liriope on the right. I'm thrilled to have coneflowers showing up after being overrun by Primrose and daisies both. I'm even content to allow that bully Ruellia to have a bit of a go underneath the Senna to the right as ruellia seems immune to grasshopper munching and is offering up flowers at the moment.  I'll have another run at digging those aggressive monsters out after the path work is complete.  I won't get all the roots out though and they'll be back again next year, but for the moment?  All sweetness and light.
Coneflowers!  Sorry - couldn't help myself.  Every year I see these blooming in other better managed spaces for weeks before mine get going and I panic a little and think this, THIS is the year I let things go too far and waited too long to clear air space for my well beloved coneflowers.  But these lovely ladies are tough customers as many Texas natives tend to be, and as soon as I give them a little head room and access to sunlight they are back in business.  So pardon my exuberance but, Yay!  Coneflowers!!
Looking the other direction we have what I think of as the birdhouse and bench corner set up for the season. Impossible to tell at this distance but the Yellow Gold lantana is blooming up a storm, the morning glory and roses are all doing their part while the plumeria plants tease with leaves and more leaves.
Sadly, there is no floral joy to report in Plumeriaville as of yet. The leaves are nice but c'mon guys.  We all know it is your flowers we are after.  Cooperate! Please?
To finish, a not-quite-so-wide shot of the waterfall beds and planters.  Nothing much native going on over here but I like having a splash of tropical color to balance the unbroken green of our plethora of potted plumeria dominating the view across the pool.

And there you have it.  Some whining, a few victories, and a lot of work left to do.  Thanks again to Heather at Xericstyle for hosting the monthly wide shot meme.  It'll be back to closely cropped shots again tomorrow. Trowels crossed by the end of next month I'll be back to display some well cleared pathways with my head held high.    


Tina said...

I read once that weeds are unloved plants. Harrumph! I have similar issues with weedy pathways and am about to make monumental decisions about them. Notice I said "make decisions" not actually do anything. :) Great shots and I love your back garden layout--all blue bottle and organized. Have I missed the waterfall bed with the planters? I love that! Nice work, Deb!

Debra said...

Gardeners are so funny. You see the weeds but I see all the lush green of everything else. You really have created a beautiful space here. Last night we spent some time outside and it was so lovely. Cool(ish) air and the music of frogs. Now I am obsessed with creating a moon garden. I want more 4 o'clocks and nicotiana and ... well ... yep. Gardners are just never satisfied maybe.

TexasDeb said...

Tina: Hmm - maybe I haven't shown those waterfall beds previously. They have often served as a place to park a potted something that was in the way on the deck. Kind of the off ox gardening area, really. Putting the planters on the "steps" of the waterfall is new this year and I like it too! I'll be watching your blog to read about your decisions. I'm wondering whether our paths need to be radically rethought in some way. They just catch and sprout weed seeds so very readily!

TexasDeb said...

Debra: You have a point about the point of view thing. Whenever I travel I never see a single weed! Just plants in all sorts of fascinating places.

I've always thought a moon garden would be The Best Idea Ever. Mosquitoes knocked that idea out of my head frankly but perhaps I've overreacted. I do love the cooler evenings - when we get them - and I'll be interested to read about your experience with Moon Gardening! (Cue Cat Stevens and "I'm Being Followed by a Moon Shadow"!)

Linda/patchwork said...

I see a lot of lushness, too.

But, I do understand the weed thing. They have taken over my veggie bed....those and the 'volunteer' cosmos and zinnia...very few actual vegetables.

But, my 'plan' is to get the weeds out and plant more veggies. So nice that I waited until it's getting hotter. The story of my life.

I have trouble growing coneflowers here. So, I completely understand the thrill when they finally bloom.

Are you sure those are weeds in the paths, and not 'wildflowers' ala Rockrose? :)

Now...I need to go see about taking some wide shots....

TexasDeb said...

Linda: You are kind to support the Lushness Doctrine. And you are my kind of gardener it seems - waiting for the hottest part of the year to tackle the toughest stoop labor. I look forward to seeing your wide shots!

I don't count zinnia or cosmos as weeds - the weeds I'm talking about are the ones that see a lot of action on websites devoted to lawn control and/or on the sides of those noxious weed and feed bags. If the people around me who are still supporting masses of St. Augustine saw the seed farm I've got going over hear there would be pitchforks and lit torches heading my way ASAP!

Shirley said...

Weeds? They are just a product of this great weather we've been experiencing. I did enjoy this slightly different view of your garden some things I hadn't seen before like the waterfall, very nice.

I get the Coneflower thing! I gave up for a few years and am trying again. Mine arrived with lots of blooms so I can enjoy them at least for a while.

TexasDeb said...

Shirley: I've given up trying to figure out why there are plants that "anybody" can grow "anywhere" in our area that I can't get to flourish here. Some of what other people count on as reliable perennials I have to think about as annuals. So yes, just like you, I focus on what I can get, when I can get it and if that happens over and over? Garden nirvana. If not? That is why my favorite nurseryman's children are all going to get to attend top notch schools!

Rebecca Newcomb said...

How did you get coneflowers established in your garden? I've tried a couple years of transplants with no luck at all. I'm thinking seeds are the way to go for next season. Any other tips/tricks would be much appreciated!

texasdeb said...

Rebecca: The only spots I get coneflowers coming back get hours of full sun. I tried seed with no luck and I've tried plants in various spots but it is the sun that seems to be the non-negotiable here. Good luck with yours!