Monday, June 30, 2014

End of Month View June 2014

June has been great for growing here in San Antonio, with cloudy days, relatively cool temperatures, and almost daily predictions of rain that ensure new plants and transplants have a fighting chance.  That's unusual for here, and has allowed continued planting and transplanting later than normal.  It's been good to have plenty of rain for a change after almost none all winter.  In this post I'm joining Helen at The Patient Gardener for the End of Month View of my garden for June 2014 to look at the progress.

Summer begins in the front garden with most of the blooms taking a rest while the silvery agaves and yuccas take center stage.  The Bismarck Palm which took a big hit this past winter is recovering and producing new fronds again.


Silvery foliage is duplicated across the walk where small agaves, Estafiate or wormwood, and Artemesia Powis Castle fill in the gravel garden.



We'll head on down the front walk and see the biggest change in additional planting space.  Here is the view from today.



The sprouts from the oak trees were just too much to keep up with so now Inland Sea Oats and liriope duplicated from the far bed will give them cover.  Most garden designers recommend removing liriope if it is existing but I have found its drought tolerant and spreading ways important in the garden.  It's a spot of green that will cover a multitude of problem oak sprouts quickly and are free of cost because they were here when we purchased the house nearly 20 years ago.  The "Before" from March in case you were wondering is below.  Not good.



This view out from the front door shows the pea gravel has been removed from the path between the two beds.  This time of year we get to enjoy the neighbor's bright Crape Myrtle blooms.


Through the back gate the summer garden is resting for a few weeks before it bursts into bloom again.  I've begun cutting back overgrown salvias to encourage the Gregg's blue mist flower blooms which bring in masses of butterflies.  The bright colors of bougainvillea so evident in early June photos have faded and the plants have been moved back by the shed to rest and wait out the drier, hotter days to come.  The buffalo grass lawn is finally looking much better after several months of refurbishment and we will keep it green this summer to ensure it is well established by fall.


The tall clammy weed plants have been removed from the center stock tank .  There's still plenty of it around for bees and seeds.  Here's the "Before" so you can see the difference.



After looking at the above photos I decided to move an old iron gate over to the new potting area so it can disguise the edge of the bench and provide a trellis for the bougainvillea.


Looking back up the hill Nolina Lindheimeri is blooming in the middle of the new crevice garden.  This is where the pea gravel from the front path was recycled.


I never get tired of this view over the side fence.  It's a good thing because this is the side we use most often in daily tasks around the house.  Still waiting on the native sedges planted along the stone path back in May to make their move.  I do see a bit of new growth on some of them but I expect they will be slow as the summer heat settles in.


Just when I think Sunflowers will never grow well in my garden one pops up in the midst of the Gregg's Mistflower.  I think it's a native Maxmillian Sunflower which were originally planted several yards away near the fence.  It looks very happy here and makes a nice ending to our June tour.


That's the view of my garden at the end of June 2014 and you can check out Helen's blog to see more garden tours.

19 comments:

  1. The unusual yet favourable weather pattern in your area are doing wonders for your garden Shirley, looking good! The views over the side fence is my favourite and didn't know until now that the Nolina blooms early and as a small plant.

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    1. Nolina lindheimeri and N. texana both produced blooms after about two years in the garden. These will remain low mounds of "Bear Grass" as distinguished from the tree form or "Tree Bear" as a nearby nursery labels them.

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  2. I love your garden wheel beds! I'm building out some new beds in my backyard and shooting for the cottage garden feel - Texas style. Any suggestions on your favorite plants that will bring birds, bees, and butterflies to my garden year-round? (bonus, this is in a fenced area, so I don't have to worry about those pesky deer)

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    1. There are so many great plants and as a bonus most of them are native. My top recommendation is Gregg's Mistflower. It's a butterfly magnet and easy to grow. The garden is accessible to the deer and I often see their tracks but they seldom bother native plants.

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  3. Sunflowers do seem happiest when they've self seeded, don't they? Yours looks delighted with its spot, that's for sure. I like the garden gate move - it looks just right in its new home and will be a handsome support for the climbers as the weeks pass. Gosh Shirley, that side view is everything I think of when I think of restful Central Texas garden views. The interplay of plants against rock with a backdrop of arching live oaks - just gorgeous! I can see why you'd linger.

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    1. That view does make it appear we live way out in the country instead of near a very busy commercial area. I do like sitting back there in the evenings.

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  4. Your garden is looking fabulous, especially the back and side. I sometimes think of all Texas gardens as being overwhelmingly sunny, so it was nice to see so much shade in your first few photos.

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    1. San Antonio and Central Texas have plenty of tree cover in the form of Live Oaks which provide much-needed shade. It would be quite hot in the front garden without them.

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  5. Oh, I would have to agree--that view over the gate--with the arching trees, the stone path, and the stone buildings--is magical! Lucky you! And I might have to borrow your "crevice garden" idea. We have a really tough area at the corner of our house with a bit of erosion. I'm trying to think of how to blend a wood bark-mulched area with some type of stone rain garden. Anyway, your garden looks fabulous! Have a wonderful 4th!

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    1. Borrow away, I copied it from some very old and famous gardens. It's a great solution to problem areas.

      Have a great holiday weekend.

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  6. Your garden looks great, Shirley! I love the photo of the oaks visible from the side garden. And, being particularly obsessed with lawns lately (due to the ragged state of my own), I was very impressed by the growth and health of the buffalo grass in the backyard.

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    1. I think there are several California native grasses I've seen on blogs out there that would work well for you. We typically let the lawn go dormant in the summer but this year it will remain green since we are already at July.

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  7. Oh! those sunflowers just won't stay away from a Texas garden. But they love the heat and the birds love their seeds. How can we banish them. We have to let them stay. Your street planting view is wonderful and I love the idea of sea oats to hide the ugly annoying oak sprouts which are just having a field day with the rain and cooler weather. I have to do something about that myself.

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    1. After seeing the sunflowers along the train tracks recently I think I will coax them over to a bigger space. They take up a lot of room.

      Most garden experts I've read recommend low ground cover but I'm going with taller foliage which I think will work even better.

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  8. Wow! Your wide shots are great! My favorite is the next to last, view over the side fence. The way your native oaks lean over creating interesting structure with their trunks and a gorgeous green canopy always thrills me when I see pictures of your garden. Glad to see that Bismarckia nobilis is still going strong!

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  9. Hi Shirley! Isn't photography a big help for a gardener? You look at the pictures and get ideas about what to move and what to change. I like the pictures Before and After!

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  10. Your garden is looking good. And, way ahead of mine.
    I like the side view, too. Looks inviting.

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  11. I too love the side fence view as it shows off those magnificent trees.

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  12. Hi Shirley! I just found your blog and I'm loving it! Where did you buy your Bismark Palm? I got one at The Great Outdoors here in Austin and I'm contemplating another one, but they no longer carry it. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures!!

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