Friday, October 31, 2014
A Glimpse of the Garden
Here it is: the end of the first full month in my little desert garden. In the small, sunny garden, everything still looks very haphazard, no doubt, to the casual observer; and even to me it looks like I was holding my breath while planting - which, figuratively, I have been. About all that I can say is that the plants seem fairly happy. Most are in bloom as the hot summer gives way to a beautiful desert autumn.
So here they are! The Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) bids fair to become a workhorse of the southern bed. The little plant went from gallon-size pot to soil with barely a gasp. It deserves a post all to itself and will have one soon, I hope.
It is growing between two different forms of Eremophila, the Australian Emu Bush. They were among the first plants into the ground and are now putting out new growth. I don't know what to expect in the way of first year bloom since they are small plants; but the shrubs themselves seem quite vigorous, not to mention tolerant of my confused essays in watering!
At the back of the southern bed, I have begun the hedge. Now I do not have a good record in the matter of hedges, so I approach this one with a good deal of angst. But I really do feel that this particular garden needs a formal hedge to wall it in from the bare land beyond, something to help create the sense of a special space.
I've chose to use rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) for several reasons. Fragrance is, of course, one of them. Another is their reputed tolerance of drought, heat, and alkaline soil. Additionally, I need something that will grow fairly narrow. So I am using the variety known as Tuscan Blue. (The New Sunset Western Garden Book notes that this cannot be Vita Sackville-West's original version of the plant, as the flower color is light blue rather than dark.) The Tuscan Blue variety available here is said to grow 18-24 in (46-61cm) wide. I am perhaps making a mistake planting them on 18 in centers, but it looks all right for now....
I wanted to include a photo of the little hedge as it stands, but it's not much to look at yet!
Of all the plants, the Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) is the quietest, most unassuming little subject. It has hardly changed a bit since it went into the ground nearly a month ago. But it's not turning brown either. It has some growing to do before becoming the anticipated 2 ft mound covered with yellow daisies!
Another tiny specimen is my just-planted Lemon Thyme.
The only rose so far is Sterling Silver, following my theme of using lavender-colored flowers as a color baseline. It looks the picture of health and has a nice, fat bud coming.
And finally, the unmistakeably autumn-blooming plants, Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) "Autumn Moon" and the grass Muhlenbergia capillaris "Regal Mist". I was worried about the browning leaves of the Pink Muhly grass until it started sending up its delicate feathers.
The Autumn Sage has adjusted well and is no longer requiring daily watering despite being in full bloom now. It seems quite floriferous. I love the flowers, which are both dainty and jaunty at the same time.
So that is my look round the garden. Since I finally have a garden this month, I would like to participate in the End of Month View meme over at The Patient Gardener. Here is the link to Helen's blog, which I have just discovered via Hoe Hoe Grow... Thanks to all you garden bloggers for the inspiration!