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.

Still musing on wall color


The color saga continues, with no progress but lots of reader suggestions and various inspiration since my first attempt at choosing colors for my new stucco walls. (Click and read the comments on that post if you’re into color discussion!) My first stab at a red was too McDonald’s-ish, as one reader aptly described it, even for red-loving me, although some readers gave it a thumbs-up.


I’d just about decided instead on a terracotta-orange (not too soft because I still crave color!) for the curved walls when I encountered this two-page spread about a garden in France, from a book I’m currently reading and highly recommend, Gardens in Detail by Emma Reuss (which I will be reviewing just after Thanksgiving, so stayed tuned). Check out those red and charcoal walls! And by the way, this excerpt gave me a name for my central, rectangular wall: a monolith. How very 2001: A Space Odyssey.


The red in the book is not too different from my curved-wall red, is it? But I do have the turquoise pool to consider, which plays a big color role in my garden already. So I’m still pondering. I definitely want two colors, one for the curved walls and one for the monolith. The existing colors in my garden furniture, art, and painted surfaces are cobalt, turquoise, red, and gray-green, with a few pops of pale yellow. Foliage color tends toward olive and blue-green, with some yellow variegation. Flower color is negligible but mostly orange or hot-pink.


Like this. In fact, see this post to see the colors I love to use. You’ll notice my blog design is built around these colors too.

Feel free to opine on wall colors in the comments section. I won’t be painting again until February because of a big project I’m working on. More about that soon too!

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

Evergreen foundation garden for Foliage Follow-Up


What won’t block the windows and grows no taller than 3 feet? What remains evergreen? What can live in shade? What won’t the deer eat? These are the foundation-planting questions that haunt generations of gardeners (or me anyway), especially those in the South, where we expect the garden to be green year-round, those who must share the garden with deer, and those dealing with shade.

I’ve got a foundation combo that works for my particular circumstances, which I’m especially liking since I recently sprinkled Aztec grass along the front edge; its bright variegation keeps all the greens from getting too heavy. Notice I didn’t add “drought-tolerant” to my conditions above, since my home lacks gutters and these plants get waterfalled (is that a word?) when it rains, plus a dry stream in front funnels runoff from the driveway. My happy combo includes, from left to right, ‘Soft Caress’ mahonia (Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’), ‘Sparkler’ sedge (Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’), ‘Everillo’ sedge (Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’), holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), and Aztec grass (Liriope muscari ‘Aztec’). Just out of frame on the right is a pair of lovely Chinese mahonia (Mahonia fortunei) and more Aztec grass.

I should mention that ‘Soft Caress’ mahonia and Aztec grass have not proven deer-resistant in my larger garden, but here along the house they’ve been unmolested. And I used to hate ubiquitous holly fern for its lumpy form and inevitably browned fronds, but I may be coming to terms with it at last. I mean, anything the deer won’t eat can’t be all bad, right? The ‘Everillo’ Carex was sent to me for a free trial by Southern Living Plant Collection, and I dubiously plopped it in the ground thinking it would dry up and blow away by summer. No doubt it’s a testament to its north-facing, shady, dry-stream location, but this golden, diminutive sedge has thrived with once-a-week watering in summer and looks great.


And while it’s not a foundation plant, it could be! I love foxtail fern (Asparagus meyeri), and it works so well in pots. This one sits on my front porch, begging to be stroked by any passerby, and now it’s producing pretty, red berries, which gives it a festive look.

This is my November post for Foliage Follow-Up. What lovely leaves are making you happy in your November garden? Please join me for Foliage Follow-Up, giving foliage plants their due on the day after Bloom Day. Leave your link to your Foliage Follow-Up post in a comment here. I really appreciate it if you’ll also include a link to this post in your own post — sharing link love! If you can’t post so soon after Bloom Day, no worries. Just leave your link when you get to it.

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