Take watching Central Texas Gardener's show on the Master Gardeners Tour, add reading various blogs featuring wonderful photos of their favorite vignettes on the tour, take that total and add the extremely prolific's EastSide Patch's announcement of pre-taping jitters for his own appearance on CTG and what do you get?
Inspiration enough to get me moving on a long list of small jobs and a well considered but continually postponed project for our bed out front closest to the house.
You don't believe me? Here, I'll show you my work....
In the back, I trimmed overgrowth back to clear out a better line of sight for the bottle tree. Seeing as temps are dropping into the 50's overnight regularly and another cool front is on the way tonight, I went out to enjoy and capture the tropical bloomers for what may be the last time this season.
I checked on the sloooowly ripening Meyer Lemons and I wove the rambling rose into the trellis.I also poached two large rocks for my front bed project.
And speaking of the front bed, here it is in its BEFORE state.There was nothing wrong with this bed per se. As a matter of fact, some people will probably look at my after shots (be patient, I'm getting there!) and be thinking to themselves "she calls that an improvement?".
I'd shifted it over to nearly all herbs because it is close to the door (a must I've discovered for last minute herb harvesting in inclement weather) and small. This allows me to give it extra water as needed and cover it to protect the plants from any hard frosts or freezes we have to face in our increasingly sketchy Central Texas weather.
I could have bought a couple of bags of bark mulch, tossed them on, and let it go at that. But. This bed just didn't really fit with the other areas in the front of our house. And slowly but surely, despite my apparent intentions to be as haphazard as humanly possible with regards to any sense of overall design for the beds around our house, there has been the excruciatingly slow evolution of what I think of as Central Texas Eclectic.
What do I mean by that? While not a completely native landscape, there are mostly native plants in use. There is liberal use of native stone and xeric plantings and not a single blade of St. Augustine left (except for the persistent strands that occasionally crop up in out of the way places). I have not spent much on the plants or hardscape, using loads of passalong plants and seeding in areas from packets and harvested sources both.
And this little bed close to the front door just hadn't gotten with the program. Until today. I think the bed with rocks is simply more interesting than without. See? Boring: And then interesting:My bed, I get to say. Deal? You want all mulch you do that in your yard. Okay then.
I went to my favorite local nursery, scored the requisite three bags of rocks, some chervil seed (the one herb I was missing to serve as a replacement for tarrgon which won't grow well here), and as mentioned before, poached some larger rocks from other beds that had maturing plants no longer requiring the stony interest pieces in place.
And...voila! Now this bed is much more like the others.As is typically the case, getting the horizontal surface into shape only underscores for me now how much I despise the side wall of the rising driveway in the background there. But, as I was sitting sipping water and enjoying the new look, I had a brainflash about what to do to transform that fugly wall into a Central Texas Eclectic Charmarama.
I am going to gather and assess the materials already on hand for this magical transformation to be, and hope to start work on it as soon as the showers predicted for tonight and tomorrow pass through. So stay tuned folks. The transformation of this bed might not rock your socks off, but you will either love - or hate - what I have planned next.
While I was out working, I tweaked the shelves a bitand took another bit of time to stop and enjoy the orange and purple going on in another bed, a look I had actually planned for and then had to wait through the hottest most hellish summer imaginable to see.One final note. This little bit of whimsy - a marble planted in the nook of a rock?This one is for you, ESP. A teensy tiny vote of gardener's thanks for all the inspiration you provide through your blogging. Gracias, amigo!