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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Widely wonderful

Just a few shots of the front beds for this monthly Wide Shot cycle, hosted by Heather at Xeric Style.

Keeping with our original shoestring budgetary practices, I bought a few four inch pots to supplement the planting beds out front, but I also put out wildflower seed and welcomed passalong plants to help fill in the wide open spaces that used to be nothing more than an expanse of boring lawn and ground covers.
The front curb on the uphill side is holding up pretty well.  There are a few blooms here and there but most of those are in the dappled shade behind the agaves and beyond.  There are bluebonnet seedlings emerging across this area, and I am going to put out more Indian blanket seed in the coming days.
The curb on the down hill side is putting on more of a Fall display.  Turk's cap, lantana, salvia greggii, beauty bush and Mexican honeysuckle on the left side of the second tier of plantings have been supplemented by two small desert ruellia (a woodier less invasive cousin that appeals to local pollinators and so might be an advantage over the native in this case.) and two small salvia leucantha, (another near neighbor that is a well adapted non-native and benefits local pollinators).   By next fall, these new additions should be providing a significant color boost and provide further diversity here.

Here's a closer look showing off that second tier of plantings with a little more specificity.  Waves of rosemary hold a steep slope in place, so that behind them a variety of native plantings can flourish even though the layer of soil here is very thin.

Peeking behind the second tier, down what used to be a well trodden deer path.  Working from the far side we've been putting in plants as barriers to through traffic.  So far, so good.  We are about three quarters of the way finished.
You can see the salvia leucantha closing the gap at about the mid point.  It will hopefully stretch out and further fill in over the coming seasons.   In that wide area just behind the inland sea oats?  Next Spring we'll put in a sumac, or perhaps a persimmon.  Or more datura.  Or more leucantha.  Or datura and leucantha and a sumac!  At least I've got options.  I'll decide when the time comes.

That is that for September here at austin agrodolce.  Short and sweet.  We are thoroughly enjoying Autumn here in Central Texas, and wherever you are? We hope your Fall is filled with promise.


Tina said...

I like the all three option for that last photo! Nice post--your front area is so pretty--undulation punctuated by plant spikiness--so Texan, so lovely!

TexasDeb said...

Thanks, T. It is pretty durned Texan overall, isn't it? I appreciate that you think it is lovely.

It will take two to four more seasons of planting perennials and allowing them to reach full size for these spaces to really hit their marks, but we are past the middle point and these areas are finally beginning to shape up!

debra said...

Wow! What a difference one growing season can make. I thought the original 'before' pictures were nice but these are great. Kudos.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Thank you, lady. With these long term large lawn replacement projects it is all too easy to keep looking at what still needs to be done and forget to enjoy what is already happening. It is taking us several years but we're getting there!

Kris Peterson said...

I'm impressed by your street-side views. I'd like to achieve something along the same lines. Earlier this year, I planted succulents (a few large ones but mostly small) and it still looks pathetic. I'm planning to add a few more succulents but I think I need to mix it up a little as you did and add some other drought tolerant plants. thanks for bumping me in another direction!

TexasDeb said...

Kris: Thank you - I'm really pleased you found something to provide inspiration for your own gorgeous spaces. Almost everything I put in was small at the start but I couldn't afford larger specimens. It has taken years for things to fill in and we've lost plenty of plants along the way (and made wrong choices!) but things are finally beginning to show real promise out front.