Thursday, May 29, 2014


Mexican Bird of Paradise in Bloom
I've lived in many places and put in many gardens by now. Unfortunately, we always ended up moving just when the gardens began coming into their own. The rule of thumb with perennials is "first year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap."However, when you throw deer and armadillos into the mix, the learning curve is steeper, and that leap can take a tad longer.  Make that a lot longer. We installed the Cantina Garden in fall of '09, and it's just now starting to take off. In fact, we're still struggling with the bed near the front door, and it's been in even longer! There appear to be some dead zones in it, either from limestone bedrock being too close to the surface (a problem we run into in all our beds) or from something toxic the builder left behind.

Another thing that's really different here is that, for the first time ever, Hubby and I are gardening in tandem. When we bought our first house, he did most of the gardening -- especially when the babies started coming! When the kids went off to school, and his career started taking him away from home more and more, I stepped up to bat, and ended up going back to school to study horticulture! I must admit, when we bought this place and finally started gardening together, things were occasionally, well, tense. I am more about control. Design is important to me. Also, I hate wasting money. I do a lot of research before I purchase a plant, to find out whether it will be a good fit. Hubby? Not so much. Eventually though we divided our territories, so as not to step on each others toes so often. Plus, as in any good relationship, he started to rub off on me, and vice versa. For instance, check out what he just did with our old water-guzzling fountain pots, which we replaced with a simple birdbath.

If that's not great design, I don't know what is!

Another area where we differ is in the amount of bed space we are willing to deal with -- back to that "control" issue, I suppose. The downstairs Cantina Garden, the front door bed, and a few pots are all I'm willing to take on. I weed and prune and deadhead because I want things to look nice, but I have never loved doing it. There is a limit to how much I am willing to do, especially when our summer heat kicks in! Since maintenance never actually crosses my hubby's mind, however, he never tires of adding new beds!

Anywho, like I said. We've learned a few things along the way, and things are finally starting to come together.

Two Favorites - Perilla 'Magilla', and a Tall Gomphrena Called Sparkler (I think)

Only problem is, the longer we stay here...

Purple Coneflowers in Bloom
and the more glorious the garden becomes...

the harder it will be to ever walk away.

Tomorrow I'll talk a bit about things we have learned along the way -- maybe save you a bit of time, money, and heartache, if you too garden in the Texas Hill Country.

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