Backyard mattress evolution and a newly named agave

August 21, 2021

It’s taken over a 12 months, however this nook mattress beneath the deck is lastly transferring in an excellent path.

For a number of years this area was stuffed with a frothy cloud of bamboo muhly — positive for a hedge or background planting, however I didn’t desire a monolithic swath of inexperienced for this area, particularly after I took out the focal-point pond (nope, nonetheless no regrets, although I cherished having it for a few years).

For my first try, I envisioned one thing romantic, dare I say English? One thing completely different for me! Humorous, proper? I gave it a attempt with ‘Icecap’ roses and ‘Midnight Candle’ mealy blue sage. Nope and nope. I knew the roses would need extra solar, however dang it, I simply needed to attempt, didn’t I? They sulked, and even after they did bloom I hated the way in which the white flowers pale to tan after which held on. The ‘Midnight Candle’ salvia was positive, however the epic February freeze took it out. And I’d at all times deliberate to interchange the spindly golden thryallis (back-left nook) with a rose of Sharon, as quickly as I might get the one I needed.

So final fall I ripped out the roses and tried once more with my patented transfer (probably not) of a number of pots of a putting xeric plant. This not solely showcases a cool plant and provides the ability of repetition, it offers peak to an in any other case low-growing plant. A xeric one, like ‘Coloration Guard’ yucca, gained’t want watering on a regular basis. I added dwarf ruellia ‘Southern Star Blue’ (virtually an identical to ‘Katie’) in entrance of the ‘Midnight Candle’ salvia, and when the latter died within the freeze I made a decision the ruellia was higher with out them anyway.

Just lately I pulled out some underperforming iris and messy tall verbena and added Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) in again. I hope for flowers on these quickly. And the child ‘Purple Pillar’ rose of Sharon within the back-left nook is lastly placing on some peak, if the grasshoppers will simply go away it alone. My blue tuteur from TerraTrellis provides complementary shade and peak, and the Orbit hanging planters from Potted are a splash of zany enjoyable, spilling over with silver ponyfoot, topped with a scruff of ‘Frazzle Dazzle’ dyckia.

It’s trying vigorous and fascinating however pulled collectively — I hope! I’m liking it increasingly day-after-day.

Talking of ‘Purple Pillar’ rose of Sharon, right here is my different one, a trial plant from Confirmed Winners, trying fab close to the again gate. And look how properly it’s taking part in with the lipstick-pink blossoms of pyramid bush (Melochia tomentosa). I noticed this plant — a South Texas native — rising in my buddy Cat’s backyard and needed to have one.

As quickly as Barton Springs Nursery bought extra of it in inventory final fall, I snagged one after which…I didn’t know what to do with it. I ended up sticking it right here and form of forgetting about it. Nevertheless it not solely established with minimal consideration, it got here by means of the February deep freeze like a boss. I have to attempt a couple of extra in different sunny spots (if I can discover any) in my backyard.

Whereas we’re right here, let’s undergo the gate and take a look at the japanese aspect backyard, which I fully redesigned final fall-winter, replanting actually days earlier than the February freeze. It’s filling in slowly however absolutely, which is particularly good contemplating the freeze and the truth that after a month or two of normal watering on my half, it now will get watered simply as soon as every week by way of sprinkler system. I credit score a wetter than regular summer season for permitting me to slack off on my child vegetation. Additionally deer, rabbits, and armadillos give the whole lot out entrance a run for his or her cash, so planting something is a crapshoot.

Whereas we’re meandering let’s cease to admire a couple of summer-happy vegetation, like this powder-blue Yucca pallida.

The sword-like however pliable leaves are so stunning. They’ll poke the unwary, although.

The passalong crocosmia from my buddy Melody’s backyard in San Antonio bloomed higher than ever this summer season. I suppose a deep freeze agrees with it — that and a wetter than regular summer season.

And meet Ursula! Really you’ve met her earlier than. That is my variegated whale’s tongue agave (Agave ovatifolia), handed alongside to me by a buddy transferring abroad. It survived the freeze and has regained a lot of its freeze-bleached moonlight-yellow striping.

I not too long ago requested my followers on Instagram for identify strategies for her. Ursula — prompt by two folks referencing each Ursula from The Little Mermaid and delightful Ursula Andress — looks like an ideal match for this prickly, Rubenesque, sea-creature-named queen of the backyard. My due to everybody who participated within the naming course of, and particularly to Phyllis Steury (@psteury) and @noochapalooza for suggesting Ursula!

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