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Gen-X Gardening (a manifesto?)

Time magazine did a special this week on organic gardening and my favorite local nursery, Natural Gardener. The article and video concerns the trends that are happening in the younger generation with gardening, as a part of a “New Frugality” series. This was the place that really inspired me to garden. More than just a nursery, it’s a wonderful place to spend a morning with coffee in hand. There are a number of display gardens and it really shows off what one can do in the Hill Country near Austin with its rocky limestone soils and wizened junipers. Read more

Tale of Two Painted Ladies

April is gorgeous and sad at the same time. Gorgeous in that all the spring flowers are in operatic bloom, sad in that they are at the moment right before they decline. Every moment in the garden is precious in that way–at any day’s notice, this momentary show will start to look seedy, weedy and making way for the summer heat. My poppies are stretching for light now that all the trees have filled in so I am trying to at least capture them on film as much as I can. Read more

Byzantine gladiolus, or Corn Flag

I’ve not had much luck with gladiolus here. I’m wondering if I plant them too late. Most Texas gardening advice suggests planting gladiolus corms in succession during April and May, but I almost think they’d do better planted even earlier. Glads are not tender here, and don’t need to be “dug and stored’ as they do in other parts of the U.S. Unfortunately, most bulb sellers don’t start shipping their gladiolus bulbs till April, which doesn’t give me a chance to try planting them earlier. Last year I planted six different kinds of gladiolus corms in April, and most of them just became a big bunch of floppy, ragged leaves with no flowers.

The Byzantine gladiolus, however, is another kind of glad. Read more

March (oops, April) blooms

March is drawing to a close April is halfway over, and just by my instincts, it was one of the hottest Marches we have had since I moved to Austin, with regular temperatures in my part of town reaching the high 80s and even a few 90s. Today as I am writing it is a dreamy 78, and I wish it would stay that way, but the temperatures have been up and down, and I need to breathe in as much as I can of our fleeting spring.

I’ve been trying to keep up with everything that was blooming, and have spent more time taking innumerable macro photos of sweet peas and cleaning. Since last spring, my garden is considerably larger (new landscape installation = more plantings = more watering = more clean up!) Read more