>How Bonnie Got Her Groove Back

>OK, so maybe not the same way that Stella did…

The nice fall weather (anything below 95 is nice for me!) has given me the energy and opportunity to rethink some beds that have bothered me for a while. I find moving into a house and taking over someone else’s gardening vision can be tough. In my case, it has taken me three years to really divorce my self from some of the gardening choices here. I’ll admit it, I suck at throwing out any living plants. I feel some responsibility to find them a home elsewhere in my garden. Then they just annoy me in the new spot.

When we first moved here, I knew the topiaries had to go. They were everywhere.Then we began changing the foundations of the garden. The wood fence was removed and a metal one was installed. Part of the fence was permanently taken out and a play scape area created. Leggy shrubs were cut back to regain their natural form. Beds have been delineated with borders instead of just trimming back the grass and hoping it will not intrude. All of these were easy for me.

Old picture showing the old fence and topiaries when we moved in

But then came plant choices. I found the organization of the last owner very haphazard. Small plants hidden in the back of beds, invasives taking over, nutgrass everywhere! Over the past 2 years I have moved probably 90% of the plants that were here to better locations. And yesterday, I finally did a complete reorganization of the large bed in the backyard. It took me all day…Here are some of the plants that I put back in the bed after tilling and adding compost:

rock rose-relocated from other bed
garlic chives-relocated from other bed
bulbine-relocated from other bed
daylilies -relocation to semi-shade to protect from burning
dividing of bi-color iris
sweet broom-relocation to protect from deer
removal of cannas
relocation of Esperanza to better location

This morning I planted cilantro and chard seeds. Now it’s time to sit back and see how it looks. Although I hate moving and dividing plants, because they look as if they are going to keep over for at least the next month.

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>Ant Issues

>What’s the deal with ants. Good bug or bad bug. You’ll probably tell me “it depends” which is always the answer to bug questions.

Well, I ask because I discovered a BIIIIIIIIIIG ole ant pile next to my vegetable garden. Yes, I could leave it alone. No, I don’t have to step on it to get to the garden. But I picked up a rock today to wedge in my garden fencing where there was a hole from some critter who is digging in my garden (but that’s a whole ‘nother post), and there was like this explosion of yellowish (not bright yellow, kind of translucent yellow) large ants. So I picked up another rock about a foot away. Another explosion. I backed away quickly. Don’t like ants, even if they are NOT the dreaded Texas fire ant that has bitten me many times and hurts soooooooooo bad until you spray the bites with Windex or a 50/50 bleach/water solution. Ahhhhhh! Who knew bleach could be so soothing.

Anyway, so what do I do about these ants. Are they eating ither bugs? I don’t know if ants do that? I have not seen any in my veggie garden except for about a year ago when I was turning the soil and had an explosion of ants in one section of the soil. Same ants. So maybe they go wise and moved out of my veggie garden into the ground next to it.

Or…maybe it is such a huge underground ant colony that it stretches under my garden AND out into the area next to it. [shudder]

C’mon you bug specialists (yes Vert, I’m talking to you). Lend me your expertise.

>Lemon Drop, anyone?

>No. not the alcoholic drink. Geez, you gardeners are a bunch of lushes! Oh wait, maybe that’s just the Austin garden bloggers. No. I’m pretty sure it’s all of us.

Anyway, I had an impulse citrus buy today. I was swinging through Lowe’s totally wasting time before my dentist appt by browsing plants. And they had lemon trees. I have always wanted one. But they have this one called “Lemon Drop” and it is a cross between a kumquat and a lemon. I love kumquats [then why don’t you just buy a kumquat tree?????? I know, I know. what can I say, lemons sounded so….culinary.]

So I bought one. Says they are cold hardy. But I can not find any other information about them online. Frustrating. Anyone out there seen or have this kind of tree???

>September 2008 Bloom Day

> Lots going on in the garden, especially with the cooler weather we have been enjoying. Supposed to be in the 80s all week here and going into the 50s tonight. The ac is officially turned off. Yea!!!! (at least for this week.) I find myself more willing to stroll around both day and evening because I’m not perspiring the momeent I step out the door. And that means my plants get more attention.

The Mexican Bush sage is putting out some beautiful spikes right now. It blooms along with zinnia, Grapes of Gomphrena, canna lily, the roses, and my buttercream lantana.

All 3 of my gerbera daisies have come back this year, but only the red one has sent up a flower. Dang, these guys are high-maintenance. And finally, a picture of my passion flower- which for some inexplicable reason has turned from a purple passion flower two years ago into a pink passion flower. That’s OK, I can roll with that.

Veggie garden is looking good, just see my previous post. Tomatoes, eggplants and sprouts of squash , cucumbers and Malabar spinach are all there. But something is sneaking in and eating my newly sprouted seeds so I may have to do an evening recon to see if I can catch the offender.

Hope all is well in your garden.

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>Onion breath, anyone?

>

I love my white flowering garlic chives. They have just finished blooming but it is fun to watch the seed pods form and dry out, waiting to drop a round of seeds all around to keep this plant spreading. I have been gathering seeds into enevlopes so I can share th egarlic-chive love with gardening friends now that it is planting season for those of us here in Texas.

Definitely deer resistant. Nice green foliage. And dramatic white flowers in late summer.

A perfect addition to any garden.

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>The Return of the Patch

>Can I get an amen for these lower temperatures at night??

The veggie patch has resurrected itself. The tomato plants that I cut back by half in August are going gangbusters and have tomatoes on them. They have more tomatoes on them right now than I got all during the spring/summer season. So screw that early veggie season. I am a fall veggie girl from now on. Fall has won my loyalty. I’m going to join a facebook network for fall veggie lovers

(Note: to anyone who has not joined facebook. Don’t do it. It is highly additive. Like crack for the internet. It will cut into your gardening time.)

Anyway, so here is one of my most steroid-induced tomato plants. Jetsetter. It has tomatoes all over it. You mean I can finally have a homegrown tomato salad? Gasp.

And my rosa bianca eggplant has been steadily producing these beautiful eggplants. Someone, please send me more recipes for eggplants than sauteed or Parmesan.

Yum, I can can taste the fresh tomatoes already.

>Damn you, Ike!

>This is Ike showing off before giving us a big middle finger and speeding right by without one drop of rain. Is it so wrong to wish for a little band of the hurricane to come somewhere close so I can turn my sprinklers off for one friggin’ cycle?

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