Saturday, October 4, 2014

Planting begun!

Muhlenbergia "Regal Mist", Muhlenbergia capillaris, Pink Muhly, desert garden
At last!

It has been a little difficult to know where to start in purchasing plants for the garden.  This is not a puzzle I am used to dealing with; but I now live well outside a newly grown-up suburb where old, established nurseries seem to be rare.  I have had difficulty matching my book and online research with plant availability.  It must be said that the large chain garden centers do have some nice plants but, of course, limited selection!

Earlier this week I was able to make a trip to a real nursery carrying a larger assortment of native and adapted plants.  And oh, how good it felt to be in a pleasant little nursery with all those cultivated, growing green plants.

Results: 1 Muhlenbergia "Regal Mist", 1 Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana), 2 varieties of Eremophila, including "Outback Sunrise" and a low-growing spreading species that I can't recall the name of (pots were not labelled, most unfortunately!), and Ruellia brittoniana.

The Muhly grass went in first.  The gentleman at the nursery kindly brought me a 1 gallon pot not held in the sales area, but he warned me that it was already a 5 gallon plant.  It was indeed!  Rootbound and then some!  But I loosened the roots a little and settled it into a large planting hole and puddled it in.

Muhlenbergia "Regal Mist", Pink Muhly, Muhlenbergia capillaris, desert garden

It looks happy and very well suited to its location.  I look forward to next year's pink plumes...

Then I planted the Damianita.  Like the Muhly grass, this is a native plant.  Damianita is native to the Chihuahuan Desert (New Mexico, Texas, and northeastern Mexico).  I am a little concerned that it will have to be moved into more sunlight eventually but will wait and see.  I have never seen these in bloom, but they are said to have bright yellow, daisy-like flowers above the fine, deep green leaves.  It is a small shrub (2 ft/61 cm).  The foliage is aromatic and quite attractive.

Damianita, Chrysactinia mexicana, desert garden

I was unable to plant the Eremophilas today, but hope to get them in shortly.  The Ruellia will probably find a home at the front of the house, as a landscape plant.  I read that it is potentially invasive, which I did not realize when I picked it out; and from past experience I think it wiser to simply keep it out of my little garden, no matter how attractive it would be there.  I don't enjoy controlling/removing the too-rampant specimens!

So here they are: the first green friends to go into the ground in my small, sunny garden!
Muhlenbergia "Regal Mist", Muhlenbergia capillaris, Pink Muhly, desert garden

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