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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Fall Garden

Ooops - here we are half way through October and this is my first blog post for the month.

My husband and I went up to Lake Conroe for a weekend getaway last week so I didn't get around to blogging.

I really haven't done much in the garden recently, but it seems to be thriving, in spite of the benign neglect.

The island bed just continues to bloom and flourish, although I realized too late that Pink Muhly Grass grows a lot bigger than I thought it did! There's an Artemisia between it and the Cat's Whiskers, but you can't see it.  I need to plan more carefully next year.

I may need some advice on what to do with this glorious mess along the back wall, and when to do it.

The Southern Wax Myrtle on the left is beloved by birds of all kinds. However, I planted it too close to the Rose of Sharon (center) and now it is shouldering it out of the way.  I don't want to move it, and I'm not sure the Rose of Sharon would survive a transplant. I may end up doing what I did when I moved from my previous house -- start some cuttings from it (this one started life as a cutting from the Rose of Sharon at my old house.
Next to/underneath/behind the Rose of Sharon is a Flame Acanthus.  When we had the mother cat and her kittens in the garden the summer before last, the kittens did a number on the Flame Acanthus with their rambunctious galloping round the flowerbeds.  I didn't know enough about it then to know if it was safe to prune it and tidy it up and well, I haven't done anything to it since either.  As a result, it's a shaggy mess.  I need to find out more about pruning these things.

In between the Rose of Sharon and the Dallas Red Lantana is this plant, which I have no idea what it is.  The bees seem to like it though!  I got it at the Houston Chronicle garden bloggers plant swap a couple of years ago and it's been sitting in a container tucked in behind the lantana since then.
I would have moved it and planted it in the ground somewhere, but it's firmly rooted to the ground, pot and all! Not sure what the best course of action is now - any advice would be appreciated.
We still have some Monarchs floating around, mostly nectaring on the lantana now, but they've apparently been busy laying eggs.


Some of the milkweed is in disgusting shape, covered in aphids, caterpillar droppings and chewed to bits, but there are yet another generation of caterpillars out there as I type! 

Edit: When I got home from work this evening, I went out in the rain to check on them and sure enough, they had eaten the yellow milkweed down to nubs, so I snipped off the stems they were on and relocated them to milkweed plants that still had leaves. 

OK - so I'm weird! 

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Lancashire rose said...

Your garden has really filled in this last year. I know what you mean about the Southern Wax Myrtle. It is a huge huge plant. I removed one from my garden when it became weighty and started to grow sideways. Now I prefer the dwarf variety but even that gets big. I have the same problem with the flame acanthus. Yes, you can cut it back down to shape it otherwise it becomes rangy. I have it seeding all over the place. Do you? But I envy your cats whiskers. I don't have any this year and I really miss it. Lovely plant.

sandy lawrence said...

About that plant that has rooted in the ground through the pot: What works for me is to cut (or break if clay) the pot and then dig out a rootball with the plant when you get ready to transplant it.
I love a wax myrtle. The white tail bucks destroyed mine rubbing the velvet off their racks before I had the fence installed and I never replaced it.

Jayne said...

I haven't noticed the Flame Acanthus reseeding, Lancashire Rose. But I'm not sure what the seedlings look like, so it's entirely possible I unwittingly weeded them out!

Jayne said...

Thanks for the advice, Sandy. When I get ready to move the plant, that's exactly what I will do.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

The plantings look good to me. I don't seem to be able to do "neat" in my beds, and I actually like some overlapping of the plants.

I always admire the pink muhly grass when I see it on blogs. There is some kind of muhly that grows in my area, but the guy at the arboretum said they don't look like each other.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I like the new photo of you, by the way. Did people build a new home next to you yet?