Dusky blues in the garden


June 10, 2020

While photographing the owls and beating away mosquitoes a few evenings ago, I pointed my lens at the Circle Garden for the umpteenth time. This view makes me so happy!

‘Sterntaler’ coreopsis (foreground) is beginning to flag in the near-100-degree heat we’ve had all week. Who can blame it? But there are still plenty of gold-and-oxblood flowers mingling with the Mexican feathergrass. Beyond, Verbena bonariensis continues to put on a beautiful show, dancing like ladies-in-waiting around the queenly variegated whale’s tongue agave elevated in a pot.

‘Sterntaler’ coreopsis and Mexican feathergrass

A wider view reveals structural elements like ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood balls, stone wall, and pool-pump shed. My neighbors’ colorful umbrellas, visible through the lattice of the fence, always grab my eye, but I can’t begrudge anyone their shade from the Death Star.

Blue wall, more feathergrass in a steel planter, a still-recovering artichoke agave that accidentally got solarized last fall during our pool refinishing, and purple heart (Tradescantia pallida) surfing up alongside that cobalt wall, echoing the purple of the agave pot — a happy accident!

True confession: it took me 5 years to get the monolith wall looking the way I wanted. I tried planting directly in front of it, hanging my Austin sign in front, and just leaving it blank (pitiful). Finally — how did it take me so long?! — I hit on the idea of adding a custom steel planter box in front, planted simply with bulbine and feathergrass, and that did the trick. Now I’m completely happy with it. A little Luis Barragán and Steve Martino in my garden!

Behind the wall, big sister and little sister Yucca rostrata seem to shine even as dusk fades into twilight. Man, have these two grown quickly over the past few years.

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Screech owlet makes a surprise June appearance



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