Golden pomegranate is pretty wonderful for fall color


I know many of you have mentally moved on to Christmas. But Austin’s fall color comes late, and the golden leaves of my ‘Wonderful’ pomegranate keep catching my eye through the window while I try to work. So naturally, instead of closing the blind so as to get work done, I got my camera and went outside for a photo op to share with you.


I am really loving the various greens and yellows in this view. The small, yellow-and-green yuccas at left are Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’. The tall, blue-green yucca beside the pomegranate is Yucca rostrata ‘Sapphire Skies’, one of my favorite plants. The dark-green shrub to the right of the pomegranate is a young Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora), and the clipped shrubs are ‘Winter Gem’ boxwoods.


Here’s the same view from last June. The Yucca rostrata has grown a lot more than I realized this year! (Scroll up for comparison.) And as you can see, I let the purple coneflowers go to seed to feed the birds. They don’t detract from the garden’s beauty, instead adding their own melancholy tone to a fall scene.


Like most Southern gardeners, I like having a lot of evergreen plants to keep the garden lively during the brief winter. But markers of seasonal change are just as essential, otherwise the garden may as well be a stage set. Don’t you agree?

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

New orange Hover Dish is sedged up


I planted up my birthday-present orange Hover Dish, but not with succulents. I went with a grassy mix of Texas sedge (Carex texensis) and yellow columbine (Aquilegia hinckleyana), with pink rain lilies (Zephryanthes ‘Labuffarosea’), divided from elsewhere in my garden, mixed in for good measure. All should survive winter freezes, and if not, they’re easily replaceable. I’m really enjoying seeing this from my kitchen and dining room windows.


The new stucco walls remain unpainted. It takes a long time for the alkalinity of fresh stucco to neutralize. I was hoping to paint this weekend, but with our welcome recent rains, I think I may push it another week.


The rain topped off my stock-tank pond, and with today’s sunshine the ‘Colorado’ water lily offered up a peachy-pink flower. Life is good. Enjoy the weekend!

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Visiting a San Antonio garden with rocks, oaks, and deer


Ahh, I’m back and enjoying our mellow Texas fall after a garden-visiting weekend in New York City, and guess what I’ve been doing since I got back? Yep! Visiting more gardens.

Last Friday a few friends and I headed south to San Antonio to visit the gardens of two Alamo City bloggers and a gardening friend. I’ll give you our visits in reverse order, starting with Shirley Fox’s garden, known on her blog by its challenging features: Rock-Oak-Deer.


Shirley organized our visit and still made time to show us her garden as well. This was my second visit; I first saw Shirley’s garden in summer 2013 (click for my post). This iron bedstead, planted as a garden bed (wink), is new since then, and I think it fits perfectly with the rustic Hill Country style Shirley has cultivated. Plus it’s just fun.


In a pot, Shirley has corralled a clump of variegated St. Augustine. Yes, just like the popular lawn grass, only with stripes!


Her Circle Garden was in full, meadowy bloom thanks to a collection of grasses mixed with flowering annuals and perennials.


And there’s Shirley in the orange blouse, her own camera at the ready.


I collect metal spheres in my own garden, so it was fun to spot a few in Shirley’s as well. I like how she’s given this one some prominence by displaying it atop a pot.


Looking at the Circle Garden from the other direction, you get a better sense of all the grasses. That’s pine muhly (Muhlenbergia dubia) in the left corner, one of my new favorites since Michael at Plano Prairie Garden introduced me to it.


The tall wire fence along the side of her garden keeps deer out, giving Shirley space to grow particularly deer-tasty plants. She and her husband built the cedar-arbor gate.


Here’s another new, dynamic feature since I was last here: a crevice garden planted with yuccas, agaves, and cactus.


In the dappled light under live oaks, Shirley grows shade-tolerant plants and succulents in pots.


The fireplace wall along her back deck is a nice spot to display potted plants and garden decor.


I was intrigued by this fuzzy-leaved tradescantia.


A new screened porch is the biggest addition since I was last here. Shirley and her husband constructed it themselves at one end of their shady deck so they can enjoy being outdoors even during our buggy summer spring, summer, and fall.


It’s spacious inside, with an accent wall made of painted corrugated-metal roofing asphalt roofing panels. (Thanks for the correction, Shirley!)


The front-yard gravel garden — notice not one shred of thirsty lawn — was looking good with a mix of cool blues, golden yellows, and emerald greens, all foliage-based color.


Small boulders and Mexican-style terracotta pots add to the south-central Texas look.


A purple prickly pear looks especially lovely next to a pockmarked limestone boulder.


And I had to stop and admire Shirley’s large ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave (A. ovatifolia), a little sunburned by the Death Star but still looking very content with room to spread its flukes.

Thanks, Shirley, for opening your garden to us and for organizing a fun day of garden-visiting in San Antonio!

Up next: Xericstyle Heather’s lawn-gone, family-friendly garden.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.