Welcome!

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.



Friday, September 4, 2015

Too hot to garden?

September may have arrived with the promise of cooler temperatures, but you'd be forgiven if you didn't believe in that promise.  So far this "end of summer" month has delivered mostly more of the same.
That won't keep intrepid gardeners from getting out and getting busy in preparation for the post-heat pre-freeze growing season, but it does mean we'll all need to take a few more breaks to cool off and rehydrate.
During any breaks in the action, I have just the thing for you to watch for inspiration!  Earlier this year I was thrilled to spot the KLRU Central Texas Gardener's crew filming in the nearby Rollingwood Municipal Waterwise Gardens.  That tour segment is now online, part of the Butterfly Gardening by Color episode.
Woot!  Be sure to take a look.  Viewing online gives you the comfiest possible ringside seat as one of the garden's designers involved (and currently the Chief Maintenance Officer!) Scott Ogden, gives Linda Lehmusvirta the skinny on our local showplace.
If you'd prefer to watch on YouTube, here is that link. Scroll right down to the "Rollingwood Lawn to Garden" segment.
And if video doesn't appeal, here is the link to the Central Texas Gardener blog. As you enjoy the post, going down the page you'll be able to take a more leisurely look at photographs demonstrating some of the larger gestures made in this City Hall's movement from lawn, to lovely.

Video or photographs, the images are sure to inspire.  Thanks, CTG!  



14 comments:

Linda Lehmusvirta said...

I'm with you on getting past September! And thank you for sharing our season debut! Let's hope it encourages others to garden for wildlife, as you do so beautifully.

dryheatblog said...

*This* Sept is like typical August here, but this August was June with some humidity, so it's still better. But awaiting crisp nights after some more rain. Seeing the crew looks like a blast, I enjoyed watching them a 3-4 years ago when I was there.

TexasDeb said...

LL: Well my goodness. Thank you very much! It was fun to trumpet a bit more about the Waterwise Gardens here in Rollingwood, honestly. Everything there looks a bit weary as do all our gardens this time of year, but it still is a much more lively and beautiful space than the lawn it replaced.

The start of a new season for CTG! Let's hope your new episodes will usher in some cooler weather and bring us a bit of rain. Can you do that? Put "cool" and "rain" on the schedule?

TexasDeb said...

DHB: The CTG crew are a blast. It's a wonder they get any filming done out in public spaces. They were stopped constantly by fans who simply HAD to come up and gush over their wonderful show. That's sure why I was there!

"Awaiting crisp nights after some more rain." That sounds heavenly. I looked ahead at the afternoon highs and they are stopping just short of triple digits again. Remarks were made that will not be repeated in polite company.

Kris Peterson said...

Thanks for sharing these links, Deb. I have CTG bookmarked on-line but I only check in on it sporadically so I appreciate the prompt. CTG is a fantastic show and I'm happy to see it on-line as there's little to no garden-oriented TV available in the SoCal viewing area. And HGTV should take the "G" out of its name as the little that's there is all outdoor room with no plant or nature emphasis whatsoever...

TexasDeb said...

Kris: Happy to help out! The show mentioned is the first of their new season, so you'll want to check in weekly now to catch the latest in tours, plant tips, etc. CTG is top notch and honestly I assumed there was something similar where you are with such a large viewing market. (and much as I love watching several of HGTV's shows, you're right - that "G" is totally misleading.)

Maybe you will start a California version of the CTG format for your own PBS station there. It could be precisely the right time with water restrictions forcing everybody to take another look at how they've landscaped and gardened previously. Who knows - maybe you would be California's version of Linda Lehmusvirta! (and I could say "I knew of her back before she was a celebrity on PBS..."!)

Tina said...

It's fun that you were able to watch the show being taped, but big, giant kudos to Rollingwood for the wisdom of planting appropriately and beautifully for this region!

TexasDeb said...

Tina: I agree. The gardens sit front and center of the municipal building which serves as police station, collection center for water utility payments (a little irony there for some folk perhaps), polling place for elections, zoning commission meeting site and site of the municipal court. It is a busy place with lots of pedestrian traffic, so the beautiful lessons of using xeric and native plants are there, visually reinforced, day in and day out.

The gardens are adjacent to another more standardized park with playscape/pavilion where exercise classes and birthday parties are routine, so there is the added benefit that with so much to look at, cars often slow down for a better view as they pass by. Win/win!

Rock rose said...

Just checked the video. Thanks for the link. Always fun to listen to Scott and the garden is truly an inspiration. I think I know now where you are going with your garden makeover. Hope some of your neighbors will take on the challenge. I did visit the garden some months ago but plan to go back next spring. I'm wondering where he got the sage plant because I had a beauty like this one and lost it in the hail. I know it is just the common or garden sage but not an easy one to find. The irrigation is impressive-puts mine to shame but not easy to do that with irregular areas.

Pam/Digging said...

Thanks for the head-up and the link. I'm off to see the wizard -- Linda's show, I mean!

TexasDeb said...

Jenny/RRose: Ha! That would be ideal, that our spaces here would draw such favorable comparisons. At the moment I think much of what I've done would serve more as inspiration for an article like "Five common mistakes to avoid when taking out lawn" (and "five" is me letting myself off easy). Actually I'm seeing people taking out at least bits of their lawn in this neighborhood more and more often. The deer are certainly happy about that and we all serve as ongoing field labs to help define what "deer resistant" means on the ground.

The irrigation system is quite impressive but as you note the ground covered is mostly two flat rectangles. Even so it was not an inexpensive piece of the overall installation. The idea is that costs will be (slowly) recouped via water savings. I am fairly certain BSN carries those sage plants seasonally. If I see Mr. Ogden in the gardens (he performs ongoing maintenance) I'll try to stop and ask him if he recalls the source for the sage.

TexasDeb said...

Pam: Um, when you say "wizard" you are referring to Mr. Ogden, and not Linda Lehmusvirta? I see LL more as Glinda, only add a more soothing voice, subtract the wand and swap out the voluminous pink gown for more garden-friendly outfits. (Maybe a glittering crown would still work - should we suggest that to the producers?).

Debra said...

You know it has been hot when you can happily say to your family: Oh, it is definitely getting cooler. We haven't gotten above a hundred for a few days now. haha.

I'm looking forward to watching the video. I do like Ogden's work. Thanks for the link.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: I somehow convinced myself we were going to get away with fewer hot weather days this year after the rains kept June on the cooler side and July refused to go to the triple digits for so long. I should have known that run of crushing heat was simply postponed. August can be a cruel time in Texas and when August weather leaks into September so messily...ugh.

I'm not overly familiar with much of Mr. Ogden's body of work other than briefly looking at his website and seeing how the municipal gardens are shaping up. If this project in Rollingwood is indicative, he has a wonderful eye and a knack for putting the right plant/s in the right numbers in all the right spaces. As tired as everything looks here these days, that garden is definitely holding its own.