Monday, June 10, 2013

Gardening on the Rocks: What's new in my own garden?

It's been a while since I posted about my own garden and there have been recent changes that are beginning to pay off.  The biggest change is the wheel garden, which is bigger and better.  We've had several good rains so it's also been a good spring generally for the garden.


We built the circle garden last year to cover a bare spot in the yard.  At the time I limited the size of each wedge for ease of working and the amount of soil and other materials available.


Here it is last fall looking quite good in its first year.  


The original version left a lot of weedy and bare ground around it.  So this year I decided to make the circle larger to make room for more plants and fill more space.  We added about six feet in diameter and stepping stones which will help me reach into the beds.  The ornamental grasses in the middle don't need a lot of maintenance so that works out well.  You can read the story of this garden from last year here.


The newly expanded garden a couple weeks ago as viewed from the roof of the deck.  We also put a thick layer of mulch around the outside edge to try and keep weeds down this year.
 
 
The deer walked right through the new dirt at first.  Deer develop habits and generally follow the same track through the yard each visit.  They didn't notice or even care that the path had moved over a few feet.


Other than the deer, it looks much better and has bloomed quite beautifully since early spring with a combination of native and heat-loving adapted plants.





The local butterfly population approves.


Out by the driveway I've continued the row of Pink Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) all the way back to the garage.  They are still small in these photos and it might take another year for them all to reach full bloom but the row of pink blooms should be pretty amazing in the fall.


I have declared this area finished several times now but it seems I kept coming up with more ideas.  The space is pretty full now so there's not much else to do here.


I love the progress we've made this year.   Beginning this week it has become too hot to get much more done in the garden so it is about time to sit back and enjoy the results until Fall arrives.

38 comments:

  1. Love the circle bed! And to me, bigger is always better. Funny that the deer don't seem to mind the changed landscape! I have been looking for some pink muhly grass, and have not yet been able to find it.

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    1. Bigger is definitely better, especially in Texas!

      That's surprising you can't find pink muhly where you are because it's so common in San Antonio area. You'll find it eventually, maybe when you travel.

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  2. Oh, I loved this look at your own garden! I am so glad I don't have deer coming through mine. When that ribbon of pink Muhly grass blooms it will look spectacular. I planted a similar ribbon of pink Muhly in my front bed last fall, but they are still rather puny. I love how you expanded the wedges in your wheel, they look great!

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    1. It does take a season or two for the muhly to reach its spectacular peak but its worth the wait.

      Deer add an extra dimension to the challenge of gardening in a tough climate.

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  3. I really like your circle garden. It is looking great! And that row of the pink muhly grass is going to be stunning! its one of my favourite things to see! And isn't it great to see things like the butterflies? For me I always look forward to the humming birds

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    1. The garden had attracted more bees and butterflies than I had imagined. We love the hummers too.

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  4. It looks great! Your deer seem so much better behaved than mine!

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    1. That's the same with Linda at Patchwork garden, if I had her deer it would be a different game for sure.

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  5. I love what you have done - the pink along your driveway is going to be a delight to come home to. And the wheel garden is AMAZING!!!! I like your mulch idea around the edge...good thinkin'!

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    1. The weeds grew up and into the garden too easily so it is a learn from experience move.

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  6. It's all looking so good! I love the wheel garden, not as much as the deer as I wouldn't walk through the soil, but still love it!

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    1. Nice to hear you would behave if you visited, I can put you on the good list now.

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  7. Looks very beautiful. I have a circle garden also, but javelinas ate it to the ground, so we put up a fence and now I'm starting over. :) First year here it was actually a medicine wheel garden with a peace pole in the middle. I really loved it. Now I plan on a variation of that, still with the peace pole. ON each side of the pole are different Native American words for peace.

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    1. I am putting in a small fenced area to keep the deer out.

      The circle holds plants on the slope and adds interesting geometry to the garden.

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  8. I'm a big fan of your garden, Shirley. So I'm excited to know that you expanded the circle bed. You didi a great job! The combination of grasses like Carex and wild flowers is quite attractive!!! In addition, the allocation of flowers and foliage is great, too!

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    1. I am happy to know that you like my combinations because I understand from my visit to Japan how important foliage is in the garden.

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  9. A circle garden is such a nice idea for managing a smaller garden area and you can always expand as you did. They have one at the Natural Gardener and although it is a herb garden I think they put other things in there too. Too funny about the deer. They have well worn paths through our lot. Is that liatris I see growing because the first time I planted liatris at our old house they ate ever leaf down to the ground. That was my first lesson in deer gardening.

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    1. I saw the circle garden when I visited in February and very much enjoyed checking out the layout.

      That is native bee balm, I'm not sure of the botanical name but it grows all over the local fields.

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  10. Looks beautiful! All the plants are filling in nicely. I'm loving the gomphrena 'Fireworks' and Verbena bonariensis. So pretty! Makes me wish I had more sun in my garden.

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    1. In the heat of the summer you will be happy for the shade which we fortunately have close to the house.

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  11. Lovely, Shirley! I've already moved into summer mode here, which means as little gardening as possible until cooler weather returns. Now is the season for staring and planning while soaking in the pool. ;-)

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    1. It is getting hot out there!

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  12. The aerial view puts the other shots in perspective. I love being able to look down on a garden from some perch high above.

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    1. It is nice to have spot to view the geometry of the garden like that.

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  13. Very pretty. I love the butterfly photo. Is that your house? It's gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, that is my house.

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  14. Hi, Shirley, I also like that you have an aerial view. Really good idea and well done. So when you dig down, do you often hit rock? We have an area of our backyard that I was making plans for and have recently realized that it's solid rock about a foot down, or less.

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    1. The existing rock layer was right on the surface of the slope because the topsoil had worn away. Even the weeds quit growing there. We dug up a number of the rocks and used them as borders. The stone borders allow for raised beds of 8" to 12". Most of the plants are shallow rooted so it works.

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  15. Shirley I love, love, love that circle bed...just beautiful

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  16. Oh yes, it does look fantastic! I love the idea of a circle garden with lots of paths around it! And obviously the butterflies (and deer) like it!

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  17. Oh that looks great, Shirley and I am so pleased that you can start to sit back and enjoy the garden now. Your plant selections look so right in the circular garden too. I love your optimism in declaring an area finished! You'll tweak it - you're a gardener, so you won't be able to help yourself!

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  18. The wheel garden looks great. Good idea to make it larger. Is that your dalea at 9:00 in the photo from the roof?

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  19. Lookin' good. It looks like you don't have to buy stone....unlike your sad rockless neighbors in Houston. I too love that wheel garden. And isn't it nice when the Swallowtails visit? David/:0)

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  20. Just getting around to looking at your new bed, Shirley. Great. I wish I could find gomphrena, I tried growing from seed but next to impossible to germinate. Good stuff!

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    1. It doesn't grow well from seed at all. Our local nurseries stock it so it's easy to find. This year we did have a few pop up from seeds so you can get them to grow that way once they are established.

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  21. Love it! What's in the strawberry pot? I have planted so many things in those pots and fail at everything! Thanks, Pamie G.
    pgraham@gvtc.com

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    1. All my strawberry pots are planted with succulents like sedum and cacti. I posted about it here:

      http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2012/07/foliage-follow-up-july-2012-succulents.html

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    2. Thank you so much Shirley! I live in New Braunfels, would love to see your garden!

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