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Briar vine (“Saw greenbriar”)

I’m adding this to my plant list because I battle it often and don’t want to forget the name. If you live in Austin, you probably know this vine, the one that grows unasked in the shade and tangling up your trees; one day you decide to pull it out and in response it attacks you with a sharp cut from one of its very rose-like sharp thorns. Read more

Attack of the Chinaberries (and other tree-planting adventures)

Last month I finally planted my first tree, a Mexican plum. I didn’t expect the tiny thing to bloom for me this spring, but a couple of weeks ago past it rewarded me with a few small fragrant flowers. (We also have a five-year-old Mexican plum in our front yard, planted by the realtor right before we bought the house, and it never bloomed until this year.)

I’ve not yet been so daring up till this past year to plant a tree. in fact, most of my tree adventures have been about eradicating the junk trees I do have. Once we started to get rid of nuisance trees, I wanted to know about the good trees. I started noticing trees in our neighborhood. Once I read about Mexican plum, I suddenly started seeing it everywhere. Read more

Daffodil Day

Today is daffodil day. In my garden, it’s a moment when the very early tazettas are just past their peak and the early bloomers are in full bloom. In the fall of 2007, I went a little crazy with daffodil bulbs; I didn’t understand the differences so I ordered a bunch that were recommended by Scott Ogden’s Garden Bulbs for the South, and then threw in a few non-returning daffodils just for the fun of it. Pink daffodils! I had to try them! At the time, I didn’t have anywhere permanent to put most of them; our property was very shaded from buildings and fences and such and the little garden bed space I had I wanted for more permanent things. So I used planters, and a lot of them, wheeling daffodils around to show off when they came in bloom and wheeling them away when they became a mess of leaves. Read more

In the Beginning

Better late than never, I’ve been wanting to get around to writing about our adventures in garden design this past year. Last summer was a long and infamously hot drought-filled summer, so much so that by the time we finished our backyard hardscaping, I was too tired (and too hot) to write. Thankfully, armed with my new SLR camera, my husband and I took hundreds of pictures.

When we first moved into our house, it was the backyard that sold me. Nothing special to some people but for this neighborhood it has a long yard, which is nearly twice the size of our house. Most of the original platted properties in this neighborhood have been divided into two lots in the last 20 years. Everything about this house and the yard had its original touch, and the last two previous owners had added nothing major but they had cared for it lovingly. Read more