Friday, May 30, 2014

T-Minus 8 Days and Counting

There is no turning back now. The map for Plano's first Water-Wise Landscape Tour is posted and the countdown has started. There are so many things I think I need to do before June 7 and so little time.

As I look around my own front garden, everything still looks pretty good even though most of the spring blooming plants have reached their peak. I was concerned that there may not be many flowers still in bloom on June 7 so I deadheaded several of the Four Nerve Daisies over the weekend in hopes of coaxing another round of blooms.

The Hesperaloes and Mexican Hats should still be blooming in nine days and the Skeletonleaf Golden Eye is getting ready to bloom.

The cactus will be in full bloom soon too. I have three unrooted pads from this cactus that I will give to the first three people that ask me for one on tour day. 

Temperatures have not been overly high yet this year and we are finally getting a little rain so the plants are looking pretty lush. Maybe some of the American Basket Flowers and Echinacias will still be blooming.

A Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly feeds on Butterfly Milkweed as a bee is making its approach for a landing. 

When I post photos on this blog, I show the the views of my garden that I want the world to see. I usually don't show the messy areas. I will not have this control on the day of the landscape tour. The good, bad, and ugly will be there for all to see. 

I have been furiously cleaning and moving things to prepare for inspection. I have been on garden tours before and wondered why some of the gardens were worthy of being on a tour. I don't want mine to be one of those gardens.

Here is an area that still needs to be addressed. Bluebonnet plants are going to seed in the parkway between the street and sidewalk. The part of my garden that received the most attention when the bluebonnets were in bloom is now its biggest eyesore. I collected all of the seeds I want and I offered neighbors the opportunity to pick some seeds for themselves. These plants will all go to the compost pile this weekend.


Going through the gate to the backyard, I have a little more cleaning to do. This area has become my cattle panel storage area and Mexican Feathergrass farm. I built new tomato cages and an arch for vining vegetables this spring. The cattle panel pieces will be hidden away inside the garage and a few more grasses will be plucked. Word to the wise: one Mexican Feathergrass plant will produce more seedlings than you can imagine when allowed to grow in decomposed granite.


Moving on into the backyard, things are looking pretty good. Flowering Tobacco, Mealycup Sage, Butterfly Milkweed, and Horsemint are in full bloom.

These plants quickly grew over the pathway. I will prune them this weekend. Around the corner is another area that needs attention.


This has become my storage area for landscape materials. Rocks, mulch, sticks, concrete edging, bricks, flagstone, dirt. You name it. I have plans for all these item, but right now, my plan is to get them out of sight. Unfortunately, I do not have any good hiding areas (although this could be one if I built a fence or planted shrubs around it) so I will move these items to the side yard where my remaining lawn grows. 

Even though I am trying to get my property organized, I can't pass up a good deal. I spotted this sign at a house down the street.

Of course I had to bring home a load of rocks. Now where will I store these? 

17 comments:

  1. Good luck with the tour! It is all beautiful as is though I well understand the frantic need to tidy, haha. The flowering tobacco is massive and must smell wonderful. That is one of my favourite scents. I adore the horsetails. I saw a display like that at a local restaurant once and decided I had to do that sometime.

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    1. Thanks Debra. The flowering tobacco is not the type you usually find as transplants in stores, although it is often available in seed packets. I like the smell too when the flowers open in the evening. The leaves, on the other hand, are sticky and stink. Horsetail reed in a stock tank could not be easier and it makes a dramatic statement.

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  2. You could always put a sign in the bluebonnets offering seeds to tour guests. I pilfered a pad from my father's spineless Opuntia last weekend, I hope it looks as good as yours someday!

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    1. I thought about that K, but the seedpods are drying out fast and throwing the seeds out. I found several seeds on the sidewalk today. If your cactus pad was recently removed from the plant, be sure to let the wound callous over for a couple of weeks before planting. I have heard they will rot if you don’t.

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  3. Your garden will be an inspiration for visitors interested in replacing at least some lawn. You've set out a lot of work for yourself this week but I'd think as long as the stones are neatly stacked it shouldn't be a problem it it's visible. Some of the best gardens I've seen on tour in Austin had piles of bricks for a project in progress or garden equipment visible. I've also seen gardens on tour that were tidy enough but did not interest or inspire in any way. That's not going to happen with your garden. Have fun showing your garden to visitors and I'm looking forward to hearing about the tour.



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    1. Shirley, I think my garden will introduce visitors to several plants they have never seen before and maybe it will inspire a few to try something a little different. We are on every other week sprinkler watering through October, so interest in drought tolerant plants will surely grow this summer. It will be a busy weekend for me. I did not mention everything on my list of things to do.

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  4. Many of your visitors will be interested in the process of creating and revising your garden. Your landscape materials storage area is part of your creative work in progress.Don't fret about it!

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    1. Thanks Collagemama. I am still going to move it all. One way or another.

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  5. Great haul on the rock. I'm always on the lookout for barn foundation rock with the old chisel marks from the quarry. I remember when my garden was on the xeriscape tour in San Antonio and the SAWS point guy ran out of plant markers. I was worried no one would come, my biggest critic had just moved to the neighborhood from Colorado and told me I had mismatched water zone plants.

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    1. Barn foundation rock. Sounds like they would be a nice and historical addition to a garden, Greggo. I bought 100 plant markers to put in my garden. It is not enough to label everything, so I will put them on the plants that I think will get the most attention. I suppose my water zones are a little mismatched too. At this point, many of the plants are growing wherever they want.

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  6. I'm sure everyone will adore your garden, as I do from afar. I have been pulling the bluebonnet skeletons out too. It is one of the more difficult things about having bluebonnets in the garden. Have fun.

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    1. Thanks Rock rose. My bluebonnets have started another round of blooms. They still have to go. That will be my first project in the morning. It should make a huge difference in the appearance of the garden. I will leave a few plants if they look especially good. I think there are a couple.

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  7. I think your storage area is nice and neat, and I don't mind seeing evidence on a tour that a garden is really worked in, so long as it's tidy. Your garden is going to be a hit, but I'm sure it feels rather frantic getting it ready for the hordes. Best of luck and I hope you'll post about the experience afterward! I'm glad you let us know about it. I just did a little publicity for the tour on my FB page and Twitter.

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    1. Thanks Pam. I am not sure the publicity was needed. I had people coming by early to take a look and ask questions.

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  8. Your garden is going to be a big hit on the tour. Everything looks great, but I understand your dilemma about storage. I like to snatch up free stuff too, especially good rocks. My construction supply zone used to be well hidden, but I've started encroaching on the space, so it's not so hidden anymore. I wish I could erect a magic barrier like on the Wizard of Oz... Pay no attention to that stuff behind the curtain.

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    1. I considered a reed screen to hide the rocks and stuff and then I decided that would just entice people to look behind. Most of the rocks are cleaned up now and hidden in plain sight.

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  9. Those stones were easily worth around $50.00 or higher! Great find!
    Your garden looks terrific. My one and only granite gravel local provider has moved away. I love that stuff.
    It looks great in your garden. David/:0)

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