Mother Nature–the best designer


I’m throwing in the towel as a landscape artist. Oh, I’ve had a few intentional combos that worked, true. But as I’m quickly learning, it’s hard to beat Mother Nature at her own game. After all, she has a LOT more experience than I do at this whole plant combining thing. I think I’ll just leave it all up to her from now on.

Above, the unexpected return of a frozen to the roots and assumed dead Dicliptera combines beautifully with randomly reseeding Gomphrena, creating a 5 star Hummingbird and Butterfly buffet.

And while I did plant it in these spots, I had no idea that these two –Dwarf Lion’s Tail and Society Garlic– would reach similar heights and play so well together.

Another one that Mother Nature knew would work; pairing the strong orange-red of the Gomphrena with Esperanza (Yellow Bells). Besides being stunning in the heat and drought, it is a strong Butterfly attracting combination. I also like the planned combination of the Esperanza complimenting the yellow edges of variegated Agave Americana.

Are you seeing the theme here? Mother Nature knows how to take one awesome accessory – in this case, naturally-reseeding-from-last-year-in-random-spots Gomphrena – and toss it around in the best way. This one landed inside the same pot as my Nolina, and look how great that looks. I would never have thought of that!

And of course, I have to end with my favorite natural combination, below.

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19 thoughts on “Mother Nature–the best designer

  1. Like the new blog. And you are right about mother nature That’s why I let her take charge quite a bit in my garden! Gomphrena- wouldn’t be without it. Although mine are not as advanced as yours they like to wait for the heat before they re seed. They are now popping up al over the place. Not to late to put seeds in.

  2. Jenny, I never realized how much Gomphrena adds as a delightful accent to everything until this year. So much reseeded from last year, and more are coming up. I’m just now starting to see a few of the purple ones come after our much needed meager rainfall; it will be a riot of color once it’s all up and blooming! You were and still are my inspiration, you know.

  3. Kitteh!

    my cedar sage…or tropical sage…I don’t really know which one it is, went and reseeded in the front bed, which is fine–it means there’s something blooming, it’s just that I wouldn’t have chosen that spot for it. But still, it works, it’s fine, i like it.

  4. I clearly am going to have to get some gomphrena going somewhere in my garden, too! I’m going to be on the lookout for the bright pink ones I saw at my neighbor’s. How do you like the new template?

  5. Thanks for stopping in Diana. We’ll have to swap seeds for gomphrena; I have bright purple coming up now that I haven’t photographed yet. I think I like the look of the new blog; it has a few odd things, but they all do, right?

  6. Yessiree, Mom Nature is the best designer and certainly better than me! Gorgeous garden here, and I wish my gomphena would re-seed like that. I just love it. And Flash is a perfect complement to it all. Again, I do love the look of your new site!

  7. Linda, thanks! I don’t know what’s different about this gomphrena that it so freely reseeds, but I do love it. It has a narrower leaf than the purple colors. If I were into plant ID, I would know the difference and be able to tell you, but there you have it. And you did mean that the gomphrena is a perfect complement to Flash, rather than vice versa, right? He was concerned that you didn’t have your priorities straight. Glad you dropped by!

  8. Pam, that combo is so awesome in person, that I plan to make sure it happens again next year! And that pic of Flash has made the CTG list of Garden Pet of the week, to be aired in September. He’s famous! Thanks for the compliments, I’ll pass them on to Mama Nature.

  9. My gomphrena reseeded…..one damn plant. You really got it going on with the gomphrena for sure. I need some of that seed. Oh, did you notice there is a cat in your flower bed?

  10. Where’s a cat? Oh, you mean the master of the household there? If you’ll tell me how to collect these seeds, I’ll be happy to save some for you.

  11. robin – no!!!! that is my daughter – she didn’t push the cushion all the way back. it fits perfectly.

    and this is weird, but she took off the chaise altogether – and now she has that cushion and one small cushion on the sofa – without the chaise – because the coffee table didn’t fit with the chaise. don’t ask. i just can’t believe you take that sofa apart like that so easiliy!!!!

    but no, the sofa is fabulous!!!! so cheap and soooo worth it.

  12. Robin,
    I just found you as a result of Cote de Texas, not sure why the link opened on a June post but so happy it did! My son and daughter in law live in Austin…I’m always looking for a bit of information on gardening there. I realize you post about other subjects as well but I’ve subscribed to your blog…I live in So. California so it will be fun to read your Austin posts.
    Karen

  13. If you look through my blogposts, the high percentage of my blog is about gardening, with only a handful of remodeling posts. Joni’s link should have taken you do the Living Room Remodel; not sure why it didn’t! Anyway, if your son and DIL browse my posts and follow the Austin gardening blogroll links, they will learns a tremendous amount about native plants, drought tolerant plants and what to avoid and where to get the best stuff. It’s a wealth of information; I belong to a group calling ourselves the Austin Garden Bloggers. We are the largest garden blogging community in the world, so it’s a great resource.

  14. Hi, Robin….I just came across your site (from Digging I think) – and love it…especially the post about plants that you’ve…um…not had the best of luck with. I’m an utter novice gardener- who’s recently been bitten by the gardening bug…and I’m blogging too; so that post especially was comforting in a way- just liked you keeping it real, I guess. I’ve killed A LOT of plants…but always thought (rationalized) that it was because I didn’t really try- now I see that I’ll likely continue to lose a few – even when I’m earnestly trying to grow them. Oh, and seeing your garden kitty really made me want one – but we have coyotes ‘round here…so my cat stays indoors…man, I’d love to have a garden kitty. I’ll be stopping back by soon! Cyndi (is GrowingOptimism.com)

  15. Welcome, Cyndi! Believe me, I definitely kill more plants than bloom around here. I used to think it was me as well, then I realized that it’s just hard to be a plant in Central Texas! Also, I tend to prefer lush, leafy blooming plants more than southwestern tough plants, so those are just more vulnerable. Oh well, right?

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