Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Touring my garden with Pam

When I learned garden blogger and author Pam Penick was scheduled to speak in San Antonio, I emailed an invitation for her to drop by and visit my garden.  She graciously accepted.

Now what?  I had just invited Pam of Digging and Lawn Gone! book fame and her camera to our garden which is also home to numerous "works in progress".  Some might even be called "experiments" if you get my drift.  What do I do now?  As it turned out, I didn't do any more than I would if one of my local gardening friends was coming for a visit and all was just fine.

Rain measured in feet along with heat and humidity meant I could spend very little time in the garden last week so what Pam saw was the garden as it looks every day.  That's okay for some areas.  The front looks pretty much the same all the time from this angle.



Then there's my experiment with planting agaves and groundcover by the front walk.  You can see the area in the left foreground.  It's struggling but that's just the way it goes around here.  We had an early heatwave which toasted the Berkeley sedge in early spring, then nearly a year's worth of rain in just a few days almost drowned the Wooly stemodia.  So far it's not looking like I envisioned.  But Pam nicely pointed out that these plants take a while to get established.


The hellstrip is nicely established, not much to do here.  The native barrel cactus (on the right behind the grasses) were blooming away the day she was here.  I forgot to get photos but she might have.


Around to the back yard and the garden everyone wants to see when they visit.  The circle garden is blooming nicely right now so it's a prime place to show visitors.


Up on the deck, which I don't show much on the blog, there are a lot of plants.  This is where we live when outside.  This is where I keep plants away from the deer and also nurture plants which need plenty of care and attention like the cuttings I'm rooting under those plastic bottles.  I enjoy being surrounded by plants and the deck is where I go to play.



Here we are in my favorite garden setting


Pam is so enthusiastic about seeing how others implement "lawn gone" options.  Just like any other gardening friend I enjoyed showing Pam around and look forward to visiting her garden when I'm in Austin.

33 comments:

  1. Gardeners are just the friendliest people! :)

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  2. Shirley, visiting your garden was a treat after reading about it for so long on your blog, and it's always fun to see how a garden is the same or differs from the virtual version. My main impression of difference is how much bigger your garden looks in real life! Also the potted-plant deck was a fun surprise. I loved the circle garden and the front xeriscape. Thanks so much for having me over despite the heat. I haven't even had a moment to look at the pics I took of your garden, but I think I did get a couple of the cactus blooms. I hope!

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    1. We enjoyed showing you around. You've pointed out something I didn't realize and that's a good reason to have other bloggers and gardening friends visit. When David Cristiani was here a few weeks ago he mentioned a similar impression.

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  3. Nice! I think your place always looks gorgeous from the pictures I see!!! Gardeners are the best! I love your variegated yuccas and grasses along the front of the house! And those barrel cactus!! AMAZING!

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    1. Those plants do so well here that once planted, I rarely think about them. The golden barrel cactus get all the attention, but having native barrels is special too.

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  4. Your xeric garden is an attractive model for a lot of the United States where watering is an issue. Beautiful beds. What is the mounding plant at the bottom of the first photo that is covered with tiny fuchsia blooms? Are the fantastic twisty trees live oaks?

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    1. The flowering plant is Salvia greggi also known as Autumn sage. It is available in many colors and takes whatever is thrown at it and more. Even car tires can't kill it which is why it is there.

      Those are live oaks or Quercus fusiformis which I have always thought was a very descriptive name for them.

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  5. What a treat for both of you, you get to spend time with Pam, and she gets to see your garden! I like that spot on your deck too. Great hellstrip too!

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  6. Both of you seem so nice and down to earth. I'm sure Pam had as much fun as you did. Your garden is fantastic, and it's great you had a chance to share it with Pam. :)

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    1. That's certainly the case with Pam and I always enjoy visiting with her whether on tour in Austin or here in San Antonio.

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  7. It sounds like you both had a great time! It's great fun to have gardeners visit! Love your plant heavy deck!

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    1. The big secret is the part I showed is only about a quarter of the plants up there!

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  8. The garden looks great. The plantings by the driveway and in the hellstrip look particularly nice. I think it is the rocks that are capturing my attention.

    I hope Pam give us a tour of your garden. I enjoy seeing her perspective.

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    1. All those rocks were sourced from our yard, kind of amazing isn't it? It will be fun to see another perspective.

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  9. Shirley, what fun to have Pam there! It's always a good day when you have a friend in the garden. I took an aloe ferox over to Ragna yesterday and, although I had other errands to run, I couldn't resist spending some time seeing how things were doing in the backyard. Her new "digs" are looking good, filling out, and showing off. Looking forward to seeing your garden on Pam's blog!

    patty

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    1. I look forward to it also. Nice to hear about the new digs, I need to go check that out soon.

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  10. Those are great shots of what I am sure was a great day :) I enjoyed the peek of your potted plant collection - can't wait to see it in person soon.

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    1. It will be soon, I promise!

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  11. Very nice. I'm sure Pam had a great time, and got even more ideas for another book! I loved seeing your deck. So many treasures there! It looks like a great place to relax with some welcome shade from the overhanging trees.

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    1. The trees are an important asset and we can be out there all day without an umbrella on the table.

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  12. I know that feeling when all of a sudden you realize AWK! It's Pam (THAT PAM) and she's in your garden with her camera! But thankfully she has a fabulous filter on her camera that only shows things looking good, not that your garden needed any filtering I'm sure. Love that image of your deck, thank you for letting us see it!

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    1. I remember her post on visiting your garden. It is a bit like that, especially since we have so many incomplete projects right now.

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  13. A famous gardener coming to visit = panic attack! We just need to remember the kindness of gardeners and the way visitors fail to see all the niggling little imperfections we obsess over. Meeting in the flesh gardeners we have come to know through their blogs is pure pleasure.

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  14. You nailed it Ricki, I obsessed over the little patch that didn't turn out "right" while Pam made observations on the whole of the garden.

    Fortunately there was no panic attack since I had met Pam previously and knew her approach.

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  15. Hey Shirley, love your blog. So a couple of questions: where in town do you source your barrel cactus? I find them really hard to track down. Also, what's up with my deer- they mow down my salvia gregii, while yours in the front yard look beautifully untouched. so frustrating!!

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    1. Deer are frustrating because they will eat different things depending on location, weather, and many other factors. They have plenty to eat in the undeveloped areas here so they usually only browse my yard unless a plant is a favorite. Do you have Axis deer? The Axis deer eat everything.

      I would try deer repellent on the salvia greggii. Deer are creatures of habit and if you can deter them long enough they might lose their taste for it.

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    2. The golden barrel cactus are from Walmart. The native cactus are from Jean the cactus guy. His contact info can be found in this post.

      http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2012/01/got-cactus.html

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  16. I love the rocky spaces you've put in between your yuccas and other xeric plants. Your collection of potted plants is terrific. Have you shown us these before? I don't recall seeing them. Thanks for the nifty tour. I bet you two had lots to talk about.
    David/:0)

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    1. I don't show the deck much as it always looks "lived in" mainly because we use it that way. I'll try to show more of it in the future.

      It is fun to talk with Pam, especially since our approach to gardening is so similar.

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  17. Pam must have enjoyed seeing your garden, and since you showed your deck pots, I don't have to post on that! Your garden looks even better than when I saw it last month...the first pic and the one of the wheel really look stunning. I think all that rain did some wonders, and from here, it doesn't look one bit humid!

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    1. Exactly, it was a preemptive move! I saw you taking those pictures.

      It's not as humid now since dryer air has moved in. The rain has been amazing.

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