Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Horse of A Disparaged Color

Poor horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis). It's gotten bad rap. Some consider it an invasive pest. You have seen it often, one of those weeds that, if you live in Austin, is ever present on the periphery, popping up in St. Augustine lawns or clinging to the driveway, an afterthought, like the variety of moss rose (portulaca) that grows out of the cracks in the sidewalk pavement. Yet its miniaturized charm is hard to resist: spritely green foliage dotted with even tinier yellow daisies—that bloom throughout the spring and summer. But it has a role as a viable groundcover plant. It is growing here and there all over my plot, and today I dug up bunches and transplanted them to the front yard which is currently a dirt patch. The plan is to convert much of the front "lawn" to horseherb cover. It can be mowed; takes foot traffic, and tolerates poor soil, drought, and variable light conditions. What's not to like? Since it will be contained between a sidewalk and the driveway, I'm not concerned about its robust spreading by runner. Horseherb's other name is "Straggler Daisy." Clearly this plant needs a PR firm to handle its image and conduct a relaunch under a new and more positive name.
Daisy Carpet?
Little Miss Sunshine?
Yellow Star of Texas?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dig Dirt? This is your job.

Garden-ville is looking for a “fearless” woman in Austin, to call on landscapers and soil yards. The position worth 50 - 65K plus, includes a car allowance and all health benefits, matching 401K etc.

Chuck Butler

Sales and Marketing Manager

Garden-Ville / Texas Organic Products

P 210-483-1933

C 210-710-4169

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cottage Cheese

Does it get any sappier than the twining vine on the front porch? No, it doesn't. I have achieved my holy-grail gardening esthetic of the Little Cottage down the Lane. It struck me recently that this star jasmine is in EXACTLY the same spot as the star jasmine on my mother's house: front left corner. Possibly creepy or just that it happened to be the best spot.
Poor Aurora Primavera has been sadly neglected lately, blog and garden taking backseat to forced march wedding invitation production and mailing. But a MOB's gotta do, what a MOB's gotta do. Imagine my surprise when I looked up from my writer's cramp and saw that the iceberg roses had mounted their own campaign of blizzard white-out in the front garden. Apparently the combo of mild temps and fleeting rainfall is just their cuppa tea.

The front garden is finally looking remotely presentable just at that moment in time when all of the grass in the front yard has up and left the building. I go out and stare at the bare earth for long periods of time. The neighbors have probably concluded that the strange gardening lady is losing it or into the wine again. But really I'm just puzzling over whether to bother replacing it at all or do Something Completely Different. Today I saw a rose called Peach Drift, apparently some new small groundcover rose. I'm thinking I might shrink my already tiny yard to nothingness by planting deeper and deeper beds of this groundcover rose. Thoughts?

While I had planned to dig up and pot the Pink Indigo due to its water-hog fraities, it got the jump on me and roared into life and bloom and now I can't bear to move it. It has also started spreading, sending suckers to all compass points (this is its second spring in my yard). But since it's in a huge whole in my side yard this growth pattern suits my needs. But if you are concerned about spreading: DO NOT PLANT THIS SHRUB. It's definitely right up there with Port St. John Creeper for aggressive growth.

The now ubiquitous Red Knockout rose makes a nice jolt of color at the end of the backyard. The big black tub was my compost bin but either an acorn or a butternut squash seeded itself and is happily growing so I dragged it out to the sun. Maybe I'll get some produce.

I'm anxiously awaiting the bloom of this agapanthus, a division given to me by my wonderful neighbor Joe. It's the blue-violet color. It's been in this pot for a year and half with no action thus far, so this is big doin's!