Rachel came by last Sunday just as I was finishing a day of labor in the garden. She had come from a friend's house, with a gift of Moroccan mint. The mint was smuggled into the country from Morocco some years ago and they have been propagating and sharing this mint with friends ever since. It's very pungent. I looked at the pictures on Rachel's camera of the mint smugglers' garden and went into an immediate spiral of envy, stunned by the amount of physical labor, clever design, and overarching vision. Why do I do this? I remind myself that the style of my garden is mostly informed by my stated desire to keep this plot homespun and quiet in the mode of the house's 1941 vintage. But how much of the plan for my garden is based more on the the limitations of my age/energy, budget, etc.? Is it just a coincidence that green is the color of envy? Let's move on. This weekend's activities: planted white verbena in the pink bed potted purple mini petunias in the muñequita transplanted lambs ears, dayflower, agapanthus,and oxalis planted the white oleander propagated from rustled cutting on Arroyo Seco
Finally, in a giant gaping space that has long baffled me in the front window bed, I planted what might be my new favorite plant: Indigofera kirilowii or Pink Indigo. From a casual glance it could be hypericum, the same pinnate leaf pattern, color, and surface touch. But more upright and shrubby in growth. It's got a spreading clump growth habit and reportedly blooms from spring to frost with its sprays of pink blooms. Nursery guy said that while it does sucker, it's easy to control. It's really sweet and old-fashioned. It makes me miss the altheas I had growing in my two previous yards. But I don't have enough room for one now.
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.