New stuff I forgot to post

I have some new Garden Art. Many of you in Austin will know the artist – Dale Whistler. He created most famously the dancing frog band on top of the original and subsequent Whole Foods (the new one just doesn’t have the same soul) and our wonderful Bat Sculpture on Barton Springs Road and Congress, near Congress bridge that houses the largest bat colony in North America.

I am the fortunate recipient of two of his pieces, the dog and cat chasing each other above, which can be reversed to be all purple if I want. It was originally a hanging mobile, but the string broke and I haven’t decided whether to rehang them as a mobile or let them run on the fence.

I have another mobile he created on loan from a friend – it’s one of my favorite pieces, but ridiculously hard to photograph. All the pieces are made from 1/8 thick metal, and painted with metallic auto paint to give them a great shine. It’s my kind of art – whimsical, colorful and fun.

Dale Whistler garden mobile

Dale Whistler garden mobile

Okay, stop laughing! I KNOW it’s a horrible picture, and I KNOW you really didn’t want to see my neatly covered outdoor grill, but dangit! it’s the only way I could get it to hold still and have the colors sorta show up. There’s more color, too – the opposite sides have some turquoise, reds and other colors that spin around in the breeze. How awesome is that???

I’ve had several projects going on during this cold snap – only 90 degrees now. But last week, with that lovely north breeze and days in the 80’s, I really did get a lot done.

I finally planted this bed near the infamous outdoor grill. It took a long time for me to get a feel for what I wanted there. It’s completely in the shade, so my options were limited. Several people kept saying “Put ginger there; it’s a great place for some ginger” so after much consternation, research, dream therapy, freudian analysis, prayer to the great Garden Fairy, and reading every shade garden book I could get my hands on, I decided to put Ginger there…with a gaggle of Holly Fern to keep it company.

My Ivy Geranium is certainly enjoying the weather, if I must say so myself.

I saw this planting below at a local retail store, and fell in love with it. It’s so hard to find nice plantings for shade, and this really brightened up a dull corner in an unfinished part of the yard. I already had the empty planter, looking lonely and empty.

So I copied what I saw and put in black and green Sweet Potato Vine, Crotons, and Cordyline, which you can barely see because the one I found wasn’t quite big enough. Assuming I can protect it through the winter, next year its soft spikes should shoot upthrough the middle, giving the planter some much needed height.

And this isn’t a new project, but I haven’t yet posted a picture of it. I found this awesome Garden chair in an antique store in Salado, and snagged it (especially since it was half-price, always a great thing). This corner of my yard needed interest, and my budget wasn’t ready for something permanent. This grouping is very happy under the ancient Cedar Elm (I love the semblance of autumn with the yellow leaves on the ground from the Elm. I’ve actually had years when this huge tree has turned bright yellow and been quite beautiful.) Look at those blooms – I’ve never had that succulent in the chair seat bloom so much, and I’ve had it for 8 years now.

(by the way, I need suggestions as to what I should put behind that chair to cover the fence? An outdoor screen of some sort? What can I do – it’s a totally shaded area in the summer because of the elm, and sunny in the winter once the leaves are gone.)

And get ready to laugh again, but don’t tell me you are laughing cause it might hurt my feelings. My yard has been very green and lush since I bought this place, but without any colorful blooms. I spent so much time and energy working, I never got around to correcting that situation. Finally this year, I’ve had the luxury of time and energy to add blooming plants to my shady garden. So this is the first time I’ve been able to actually have flowers to enjoy, and about a month ago, I was able to create this small vase of flowers all from my garden. I know you have all been doing this for years, but I’m celebrating my first homegrown indoor flower cuttings!

As you can tell, I am a fan of tropicals. I also have planted many natives, which I’ve shown in previous bloom day pictures. Once they get established, I’ll probably let many of the tropicals go, since they are higher maintenance. But they certainly do give me a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to adding color quickly in my green garden. And I am a tropical kind of gal – send me to the blue water anytime and I’ll be happy!


The Day of the Dead, I mean, Bloom Day July 08

I’m a day late with my bloom day images because I was truly uninspired to get out in the 105 – yes that’s a one-hundred-five degrees to take pictures. Needless to say, there isn’t much to take pictures of. A lot of my plants are new this year, so they withered a month ago. The ones that are established are hanging in there, but not in a very pretty way. So here’s my favorite bloom right now:

I’ve decided to let you enjoy some of my favorite Garden Art, since it is the most colorful thing in the yard right now, and will be until the fall.

Wait, I forgot! The Crape Myrtles are sort-of blooming, but I didn’t get a picture of them. They are 30 years old, and just don’t bloom a lot anymore. But I do love the trunks, summer and winter.

Here are some “bugs” that have landed amongst the greenery:

And here is one of the new beds this year, showing the Plumbago blooming a bit, the Esperanza green but no blooms, and the Hibiscus covered with buds that never open, just fall off without blooming… sigh. Another good reason for me to move into more succulents. I don’t think I’m a good enough, or caretaking enough gardener to worry with tropicals, as much as I like them.

I suppose this must be an AFGE (You know what those are, right? “Another ….. learning experience.” I seem to have lots of those.

The Bicolor Iris still has a handful of blooms, but even my lantana is green with no blooms. The Flowering Senna isn’t. Daylilies have abandoned all hope. The Bulbine occasionally sends up a little yellow and orange, but it’s so minor I hardly can see it.

Hmm, sounds more like Whining Day than Bloom Day…