Around the stock-tank pond


Despite the heat (which may be coming to an end this weekend — yay!), I’ve been working in the garden nearly every day this week, doing the usual end-of-summer tidying plus cleaning up Moby’s old bed and potting up all his bulbils. It’s given me plenty of opportunities, sweat dripping from my hair, to enjoy the stock-tank pond, which always looks best in the hot summer months.


Looking slightly left toward the shed


Nearby, a handful of crimson spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) stand on flamingo legs.


And Philippine violet (Barleria cristata) is opening its first fall flowers.


I’ve enjoyed the summer garden, but boy am I ready for fall.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Austinites and native-plant shoppers, I’ll be at the member’s day Fall Plant Sale at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on October 14, and I hope to see you there! I’ll be signing books between 1 and 3 pm in the Wild Ideas gift shop. If you’re not a member, of course you can still come on out and see the gardens and stop in at Wild Ideas. Hope to see you there!

South Texans, come see me at the 2nd annual Planta Nativa festival in McAllen, Texas, on Saturday, October 22. I’ll be delivering the keynote talk, “Local Heroes: Designing with Native Plants for Water-Saving Gardens,” that evening. Tickets are on sale at Quinta Mazatlan. I hope to see you there!

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The berry good season


I’m calling it. We’re over the hump of Death Star Summer and sliding into mellow fall. I know, it’s not exactly mellow out there yet, but I can feel it coming. Can’t you?

The beautyberries do. In the lower garden, black beautyberry (Callicarpa acuminata) is laden with rich purple berries that’ll darken with age.


Closer to the house, American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) shows off magenta berry clusters amid chartreuse leaves (brightened by a shaft of sunlight). Blue plumbago blossoms mingle too.


Out front, a Texas dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor) that bloomed earlier this summer is now sporting an arching wand of berry-like fruit. These should blacken later in the season.


Summer’s end sees an abundance of pale pavonia (Pavonia hastata) blossoms.


Pale pavonia is a Brazilian cousin to our native rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala).


On the front porch the other day, I spotted a young Texas spiny lizard stretched out on the wheel of a cart. I wasn’t sure if it was dead or alive. It was quite still when I leaned down for a photo. Suddenly it panicked and shot into the garden. I guess it was just enjoying a nice stretch!


Around the corner, the gravel garden is looking tidy since I pruned up the overgrown ‘Alphonse Karr’ bamboo. What a beast! But it’s so beautiful when pruned up to show off its yellow-and-green-striped “legs.” In the rusty steel “floating” containers, from front to back, are red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora); toothless sotol, or Mexican grass tree (Dasylirion longissimum); ‘Jaws’ agave; and ‘Frazzle Dazzle’ dyckia.


Galvanized steel, rather than rusty steel, dominates the back garden, including this trio of IKEA GRÄSLÖK pots planted with four of my xeric favorites for containers: Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima), ‘Chocolate Chips’ manfreda (Manfreda undulata ‘Chocolate Chips’), rock penstemon (Penstemon baccharifolius), and blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum). All are native to central Texas except the manfreda from Mexico, but you could substitute our native Texas tuberose (Manfreda maculosa) to similar effect.


The view from the deck reveals a few more galvanized containers, including the 8-foot diameter stock-tank pond and three spiraling culvert-pipe remnants planted with squid agave (A. bracteosa).

Now that fall is on the way, it’ll soon be planting season in central Texas and throughout the South and Southwest. Do you have any projects planned? Do tell!

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

South Texans, come see me at the 2nd annual Planta Nativa festival in McAllen, Texas, on Saturday, October 22. I’ll be delivering the keynote talk, “Local Heroes: Designing with Native Plants for Water-Saving Gardens,” that evening. Tickets go on sale soon at Quinta Mazatlan. I hope to see you there!

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Stock-tank pond garden is cool even in summer’s heat


Mid-summer is all about foliage in my garden. The spring flowers are long gone, but evergreen plants like ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood, ‘Color Guard’ yucca, bamboo muhly grass, and squid agave look good even when the Death Star’s on full blast. The stock-tank pond helps the garden feel cool, with a trickle of water spilling from a faucet pipe in the center.

Even my pond plants are largely about foliage — a dark-leaved crinum and sparkler-headed dwarf papyrus, plus rounded water lily leaves — since my garden doesn’t get enough sun for the lilies to bloom as much as I’d like.


To the right, Adirondacks by the pool are a good place to sit and let a lazy summer day float by.

This is my July post for Foliage Follow-Up. Fellow bloggers, what leafy loveliness is going on in your garden this month? Please join me in giving foliage its due on the day after Bloom Day. Leave a link to your post in a comment below. I’d appreciate it if you’ll also link to my post in your own — sharing link love! If you can’t post so soon after Bloom Day, no worries. Just leave your link when you get to it. I look forward to seeing your foliage faves.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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