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.

Drive-By Gardens: South Congress Avenue in Austin


This drive-by is really a walk-by. I was on South Congress Avenue on Sunday afternoon, the center of the funky-hip Austin universe, enjoying a blue-sky, 80-degree day with my family. Fall, winter, and spring days like this are what sustain me through Austin’s broiling summers.


When my face was not tipped up to the mellow sunshine, I was simply trying to take in all the action on the street, which included picture-perfect views of the state capitol, a string band playing on the street corner, throngs of people strolling along the street, unique shops with doors flung open…


…and even a couple guys riding horses down the busy street. Where in the world did they ride in from? They tied up their horses at Doc’s and went in for a drink and later rode back up the street.


Lots of businesses along the street have containers full of agaves and other architectural plants, but some have enough space for actual gardens, like this eye-catching combo outside TOMS, a shoe store/coffee shop. A silver agave holds court with full-skirted Berkeley sedge cascading down the slope around it. Turk’s cap and a silver-white cenizo add height along the top of the slope. I don’t recognize the plant on the right, but is that basil at the bottom?


Across the street, at the minimalist-Zen Hotel San Jose, a hip boutique hotel…


…the surrounding gardens wow, especially as they are tucked into slivers of planting space along the sidewalk and parking area. Here giant hesperaloe’s sword-like leaves create drama above a waterfall of silver ponyfoot.


Streetside, mottled crepe myrtle trunks rise from grassy beds of Aztec grass and rain lily in bloom after Saturday’s downpour. I saw so much more on S. Congress and wish I’d taken more pictures…


…but I want to jump to nearby South Lamar for a moment and show you a new outdoor garden area at Mockingbird Domestics. Mockingbird has always carried a few pots and succulents, but now they’ve dedicated an outdoor patio to the garden, with furniture, mod steel chimineas, steel planters (tempting!), concrete pots…


…and a metal jackalope, which I fell in love with a little bit. This garden patio could be really awesome if they spruce it up and do the same enticing merchandising that they do inside. Maybe they’ll take some inspiration from my favorite L.A. garden shop, Potted, but with a Texas twist.


Back to South Congress, and this eye-catching mural on the side of TOMS’s shop. I want to give thanks to you, dear reader, for being here — for reading and commenting and making up this virtual gardening club that I’m so happy to be a part of. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

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

Summer never ends thanks to flower and hummingbird sculpture


At a recent garden blogger get-together, metal craftsman Bob Pool of Gardening at Draco (who made my ocotillo bottle tree) brought this lovely flower-and-hummingbird piece he’d made as a random giveaway for our group. And I won it!

Thanks, Bob, for the generous gift! It looks right at home in my garden and will beckon the hummers in when they return from Mexico.

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