Sunday, March 16, 2014

Intro into the middle

Starting this to catalogue my garden, crafts and life over time. Probably will be mostly garden things, with a few rants or raves about my kids. Who am I? A mostly local gal who's been gardening off and on since 1996 in Austin, doing the xeriscape thing with some veggies thrown in..

Today I'll start with the back garden, which has a new garden space after adding a guest house/ shed area. I'll let you all know if my attempt to quarantine the neighbor's bamboo with a concrete retaining wall works..

It's always fun to have a blank slate, though a mixture of weed grass and lonely wildflower seeds are poking up here and there. My cat Toby (in the upper pic, sniffing the grass) loves the hardwood mulch.. as a cat box. Remind me not to plant veggies there. 
So the challenge is the narrow space that runs north/south. I figure it will get part sun/part shade and am trying to select plants accordingly. The southern corner is much shadier so I've placed some baby Turks Cap to see how they do. Someday I'll get OCD and organize the loose rock into pretty patterns (ala Pinterest), but for now it's a jumble..
There's one sunny corner that I'll try lavender (above) and butterfly weed (below)

My new Mexican plum tree is rocking with flowers and bees right now- thank you Natural Gardener!

Also have lambs ear (shown), Mexican Feathergrass, bulbine and silver ponyfoot in- all in tiny 4 inch pots, but all of those have done well at the front of the house and should fill in well. Ooh, also have a new gopher plant which should provide a "creature from space" geometric element, though I think it's too late to get the gorgeous yellow blooms from this one (my gopher plant up front greets me happily when I drive up).

Here's the tiny Turks cap (1 of 4). Not sure if I'll water them enough to thrive, but we'll see how they'll do with benign neglect.

The mid-garden is the old back yard, now with new chicken coop and chicken tractor in place..

Don't mind the dead swaths of grass from the contractors leaving huge ditches open all last summer- I was tempted to replace it with something more drought proof but the boys still run/leap and frolic back here so I'll keep the St Augustine for a little bit longer. I got the chickens to eat the grubs that decimate it in late summer and to fertilize it- we'll see how that goes.
I'll post more pics when the Texas wisteria blooms off the back porch!

Plants that always seem to come back for me in the mid-garden include:
Mint in pots, devoured regularly by my boys.

Oregano (top), that inevitably tries to invade it's neighbors (that's a blue salvia below that valiantly fights back every year)

My enormous coral honeysuckle which lost it's fence with the renovation last year but is happy enough with the various stakes/trellises that I rigged up to keep it from flopping

My random salad burnet, which happily self seeds just enough so that when one plant gets old, another pops up to form a bright green edible mound for me..
Borage is a spring herb that self seeds, apparently has a cucumber flavor (but feels a bit prickly!) and has pretty blue flower. It usually fades by summer.

These little volunteer chives are in dire need of a transplant to somewhere respectable (they found their way into an old succulent planter)

The oregano, again

Thyme is funny in my garden- it spreads like mad for 1-2 years, then collapses and dies. It's pretty while it lasts

Newbie plants include
Some catnip and marigolds to watch over the square foot seedlings (that I forgot to take pics of, but imagine carrots, chard, lettuce and volunteer pumpkin seedlings with two tomato transplants in the middle)

Some culinary sage fighting for space with the creeping thyme and asparagus plant next to it

A token ?pansy? that my son Noah picked out

last year's fennel seedling that has decided to grow this year

Numerous volunteer red poppies (all you need is one to start!)

A Home Depot "why not!" daffodil impulse buy about to unfurl

And my asparagus shooting up for the second time this spring (it's new growth was frozen a couple of weeks ago and I was glad to see it staging a comeback today!)

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