Through the Garden Gate & Down The Garden Path ...

I've spent several days this week, including today, working in back to clear the overgrowth.  Every fall my vision for the garden changes and I rework things to bring it closer to what I see in my mind.  The back gardens are my most personal gardens: I let myself play and make frequent changes because I enjoy the process as much as I do the results.
I walked out with the camera and took a shot from the dining room patio.

Then I walked over to the gate for the usual views.

Looking to the left from the gate, you can see a lot of bare ground where I cleared Pigeonberry, cut back Rock Rose Pavonias (P. lasiopetala) and took out some Barbados Cherry. Never fear, they'll come roaring back in spring.  They're indestructible & mature plants have an impressive root system.

The rusty metal circles will be used to mark the planting spots of various bulbs on their way to me from the Bulb Hunter, Chris Weisinger, at Southern Bulb Company.  I've been inspired to include more bulbs in my plantings, thanks to Chris AND the fellow garden bloggers who hang out on Plurk & talk about their bulb ordering frenzies each fall.  It's contagious!

The purple blooms at the front of the fireplace bed are what's left of the Symphyotrichum formerly known as Aster. My other Asters don't seem to thrive the way this one does but I'm giving them time to settle in before I get too worried about their lassitude.

Lots of bare earth in the back bed, it's true ... I'll scatter Toadflax, Larkspur and Poppy seeds in the next week or two.

The big plants at the front of the bed are Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis).  They're way too big for that spot but the butterflies are enjoying them too much for me to pull them yet.  Next year I won't let them stay that close to the path.  The NABA butterfly site described them as low-growing. Uh, NO.

The fireplace wall bed will also be seeded with linaria and perhaps some larkspur.  Alyssum and Violas will provide groundcover. 

The Pigeonberry (Rivinia humilis) had really gone crazy in the Robert E. Lee Persimmon bed.  Before you go searching for that variety, allow me to explain.  I have two Texas Persimmons, one in each corner of the back fence.  The tree in the North corner is Ulysses S. Grant, and in the South corner, we have Robert E. Lee.  I will not go so far as to only plant Southern specialties in the latter corner, or Northern in the other.  Although that's an intriguing idea ...

Never let it be said I don't show it all, including strung out hoses and open bags of soil/mulch.  The Almond Verbena is the centerpiece of this bed.  Why I thought a Southern Wax Myrtle would have enough room to grow right next to it, I am at a loss to explain.  I will be moving it shortly.  I added those Wax Myrtles (Myrica cerifera) in spring for evergreen interest and structure.  Not working out so well for me in some areas.

I've considered painting the trunk of the Persian Vitex to make it even more of a yard art piece.   I spent a lot of time cutting back 'Pam's Pink' Turk's Cap today (Malvaviscus drummondii).  Underestimating mature size of plants is an ongoing problem of mine.  (The Head Gardener could say a lot on the subject but is not allowed.)

The fireplace wall bed has quite a few roses, some poorly placed Porterweed and Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) and needs more structure.  That's a pot of Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) that I might plant in front of the picture window.  It bugs the heck out of me to look inside and see the back of the television!

Stay tuned for further developments ...


Layanee said…
I love this look at your oasis. Don't fret concerning plant sizes, many of us who adore plants sometimes succumb to the 'planting to close' or 'cramming them in' method of planting heretofore called PTC or CTI method. I can almost hear the birds in your garden.
Commonweeder said…
I love your paths - and I'm warning you - we are planning a trip to Texas in the very early spring! expect a knock at your door.
I love the big views that give a real feel for your garden. Those plant stands on the patio foreshadow your purchase of Table With Legs!I am a big believer in cramming plants in...what else can one do if the alternative is to stop buying plants!
I don't think I ever noticed before that your neighbor has a palm tree. Even with lots of plants cleared, the garden looks great. What color are you thinking of to paint that tree? Turquoise, maybe?
Gail said…
Cindy, It looks wonderful~I am enamored of your gravel and stone paths~Love that you will be painting the tree!
If it's not the right color, you can always repaint it~But, try stain it's easier to use! Oh, my, am I ever a cramming them in gardener! gail
Anonymous said…
Hi Cindy, thanks for the tour. I looks so neat and tidy, you have been a busy gardener. The pathways and art, love those metal circles are what makes your garden so special. :-)
Kathy said…
You've really been cleaning up! All those seeds you're planning to scatter--I do that in March, maybe April. You really don't have winter down there, just segue straight from fall to spring, and then a double dose of summer!
Anonymous said…
looking good cindy! love the views, you've obviously been busy! have fun with your bulbs, they are addictive. glad to hear i'm not the only one who keeps overgrown plants in the ground for the sake of the butterflies... i also want to hear more about your persimmons... especially bc i saw some at peckerwood this weekend and was debating whether they'd do well here in b/cs.
Cindy, MCOK said…
Layanee, in my case it's more of a 'forget to pull it before it gets to bloom size' method!

Pat, I'm delighted to hear I'll get to see you in spring! I'd better get busy out there.

Leslie, the plant stands were sold as gazing ball stands but I like my use of them better.

MMD, that danged palm tree is a frond in my side. I frequently contemplate asking if I can pay someone to clean it up for them!

Gail, there's no telling just what kind of paint/stain I'll end up using on the tree. If I don't like it, I'll start over!

Frances, most of my garden art comes from Round Top or Warrenton. I love the spring & fall antiques fairs.

Kathy, I think what we call winter probably would feel more like fall to you!

Andrea, there are Texas persimmons and Mexican persimmons: the latter has a fuzzier leaf. These have grown quite happily in my garden with very little attention. I think they both started life in 1 gallon pots! Dang, I wanted to go to Peckerwood on Sunday but didn't want to go alone. Why didn't I think to call you? Go with me in spring!
I am afflicted with the same disease--underestimatitus! Your garden looks wonderful. I love the idea of pink Muhly Grass to hide the TV through the window. I am smitten with Muhly grass and would love to have a stand or two of it, but I don't seem to have enough sun.
Anonymous said…
Your paths are very inviting. Lovely garden and the plants will adapt.
meemsnyc said…
I love your yard, it's gorgeous! Pretty walkways.
Susan Tomlinson said…
Back atcha. (from Jingles the cyclist ;-))