So much of Tom Spencer's talk about gardens has stayed with me today. The notion of a "gathering in" and careful observation in particular. A friend gave me this sign, which is both a physical truth and a metaphorical one. I'm pretty much always in my garden, whether in actual reality or when lying awake at night thinking about where on my little plot I could manage to plant an allee of Sky Pencil Hollies (ilex crenata). I saw these at Home Repo for $9.98 and am now somewhat obsessed with finding a place for them in my yard.
The backyard pink bed is doing well, all the cosmos are filling in the space between the roses. My plan to define the end of this bed with a wall of aspidistras is clearly not going to work--too much sun. I think a wall of rosemary or boxwood would do better. Next weekend I'll rip out these poor things and put them somewhere shady.
Meanwhile the front yard bed, which is all white flowers, blue agaves, prickly pear and gray-foliage perennials, continues to infuriate me with its slow growth. I am not a patient person; it's a wonder I managed to raise two children without resorting to mayhem. But this front bed is testing my very soul. I thought I had done a pretty good job of preparing the soil, but clearly things are struggling and I assume it must be oxygen deprivation. Salvia coccinea, brought from my Vale house, should be about a foot tall by now. The only things that really seem happy are the iceberg roses and the white plumbago. In despair, I filled in some of the empty spaces with white lantana and white salvia greggii today.
One bright spot is the appearance of buds on the prickly pear pads. I just snapped these cactus off the mother plant at Vale and stuck them in the ground hoping like hell they would make it. And lo, they have. This is my favorite landscape cactus, it has a velvety gray-green patina and is spineless. I love it paired with the roses.
After 10 years gardening on solid rock in Rollingwood, I moved into a 40's cottage in the North Loop area spring 2007. The little postage stamp yard is black clay and no one had ever dug a single flower bed. After visiting Key West a few years ago, I came back inspired by the little frame cottages, white painted railings, and rustling palm leaves. So the plan is: desert tropical cottage garden.