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Garden picspam

We had some lovely and much needed rain yesterday, so I ran out with my camera during a pause in the storm to snap some pics - everything looks so intensely hued during a rainstorm. <3

This is a plant commonly called "Chocolate Chip Ajuga" aka Bugloss. Sometimes plants have ugly names. This flower is short lived, but when it first comes up, it's so intensely colored, it's fantastic. It fades as the weather heats up, but at first blush, it's almost identical to blue pen ink. The leaves stick around until frost, and they're darkish purple with green margins, and for some reason that made the taxonomists think of chocolate chips? Alright.

I tried being artistic with the raindrops and all, lol. Dutch Iris, you can't go wrong with blue and yellow, and hey did you notice that I like blue flowers in the Spring? It's such a hard color to find for summer and fall plants, I tend to go a little overboard come springtime...

Spanish lavender, and oh, how I love this tough plant. I've said it before, but I have some newbs reading now: lavender is TOUGH. (Um, not the English variety. That stuff wilts faster than a fellow playing tiddlywinks with a glass of Pimms in a PG Wodehouse novel.) I have this stuff lining my rock wall, it gets NO supplemental water, and gets straight-on hot western exposure in Texas summer. And it thrives like crazy. Plus, the blossoms look like bunnies from a distance. Or bees. I <3 them. Plus? It smells delicious.

Another incident of me trying to be an artiste. :) I love my dry river bed. It's light blue/grey when dry, deeply slate-blue when wet. The black grass in front was a successful experiment of mine: black liriope (also known as monkey grass in some parts.) The Ajuga is in the back, and that bit is starting to fade. The green heart-shaped leaf is an invasive Korean ginkgo that I regret ever planting. It smells like oranges when torn, which is cool, but it takes over everything.

There's the infamous weeping maple (Japanese) that my roofers busted in half last year. It's sloooowly coming back. It's literally half the size it was last year at this time. Oh, so much woe over that. In about a month, you won't be able to see any soil/mulch whatsoever. Anenomes and crocosmias will fill that area all out.

The front of my Texas natives bed, which is also where I grow most of my veggies. Clockwise from top left: bearded iris (not in bloom) bi-colored dianthus, bluebonnets, yellow-eyed blue grass. There's a native goldenrod starting to mound up in the upper right corner. Ah-choo!

Saving the best for last (imo) a closeup on the new leaves that just burst forth on my weeping maple. Look at that color!! Oh, I love to just look at it. Clearly I have no life, sitting around staring bug eyed at trees... Each of these leaves is the length of my pinkie finger. I have three Japanese maples, two are weeping forms, the other traditional.

I have total ants in my pants today. I want to do SOMETHING exciting, but instead I'll most likely end up doing laundry and vacuuming. I'd RATHER be BASE jumping off that cliff with the massive cave at the base in New Zealand. Or hiking in Zion. Anything but flippin' laundry and mom duties. SIIIIGH. Wanderlust, big time.


( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 25th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, your plants (at first I typed "pants") are gorgeous. The colors! To die for!

Mar. 25th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
hahaha, as I'm still in my running pants, I would have worried about your fashion sense. :D

Thank you very much! Oh, those COLORS. I have all of my windows open so I can just look at them, lol. I am such a nerd.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And you betcha!
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Your garden is LOVELY!!

I get antsy too. Somehow laundry never seems sexy....
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Most of it is just starting to wake up, though. Hurry up, flowers! :)

Laundry = least sexy chore ever? Nope, scooping cat boxes wins hands-down.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, so pretty.
I love Japanese maple, and this weeping variety is gorgeous.

A couple days ago when it got warm - but omg, so damn windy!! - we went out and ripped out all the weeds and carcasses of dead 'ornamental grasses' that the old owner had planted in a raised bed. Now we have a mostly-empty bed of crummy Missouri dirt, which is rather light and full of rocks. And I mean - *full of rocks*. You can't dig up a spade-ful without getting at least five rocks.

We also pulled up a bunch of mint that was growing along the sidewalk and put it in the bed. My gods, root bundles as thick as Cat's wrist! We got rain the very next day and the mint is all perky now, so yay! I hope it takes over.

I'm going to plant bulbs in there. Lots of bulbs. Day lily and such so it just kinda takes over everywhere the mint doesn't and i don't have to mess with it at all in a couple years.

We're rooting for this low, *very* purple sort of...clover? thing? to take over the yard. Heh. It rather looks like what you have up there in the first picture but not as tall, and a duskier purple. I should look at my Missouri weed/plant sites and see if i can identify it.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
My other weeping maple has a fantastic form I'm shaping into the branches. When everything around it is in bloom, I'll take pictures to show it off. :)

Hahaha, that mint will OWN that spot, be prepared. It doesn't care a whit about rocks, soil, nothing. Putting bulbs in that spot sounds like a great idea! Just remember to stick the tall stuff at the back. ;)

Day lilies, irises, crocosmia, alliums, all would be excellent candidates for you.

That clover is most likely the common purple variety of Oxalis - it doesn't spread fast, and it likes to be shaded in the afternoon, but it's one you stick in the ground and forget about, too. I have lots of that here and there as well.
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Mar. 25th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, your flowers and plants are just gorgeous! I just love that weeping maple's color and leaf shape.

We got a little of that rain, but it was mainly just drippy and muggy and gross here.

Bleh to the mom duties when, really, you should be on a private jet en route to Tulum for a fabulous dive trip (that's whereI want to be right this minute!). "Oh, cabana boy, may I have another margarita?"
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love that deeply toothed leaf on the weeping maple, too. It's so lacy and delicate up close, and compact and lush from a distance. <3

I WANT TO COME ALONG ON THAT FABULOUS TRIP. I'm pretty small, I bet I could fit in your luggage...
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
By Zion I assume you mean the park and not Israel.

Your garden is lovely, and I love you more for being such a serious gardener. It's weird for me how few people seem to know anything about growing things. For me, it's reflexive and not anything I put any effort or thought into. Who kills a jade plant, you know?

When our garden gets going I'll post some pics for you.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
hahaha, yes the park! Whoops... It's my most favorite place to be on this earth, just at the precipice of Angel's Landing. So beautiful.

Thanks, Kassie! You know, I'm all official with schoolin' and a title for gardening. (I'm a Master Gardener.) I love helping people figure out stuff in their yards - it's amazing to me, too, that some people just cannot seem to grow some of the simplest things.

I can't wait to see your garden pics! I'm kind of a plant nerd - I ooh and ahh everything from root hairs to new buds.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Weeping Maple! Spanish Lavender! Those are my favorites. So beautiful, Laura! You have such a purdy garden. Let me see your garden grow.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Beff. How are you today? Feel free to call and tell me all your TMI info.

My garden is looking pretty sweet - I can't wait for another month when EVERYTHING pops out. NERD ALERT.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
Do not apologize for being excited about stuff in your own journal! Some of us will just nerd right along with you. It's neat to see flowers/plants from other regions.

I may be all a-flutter about the fact that my peas and cukes have sprouted to be SEVEN INCHES TALL already. w00t! I think I need to switch them over to something more permanent (currently just in peat discs) with a bit of netting for support/climbing. I have so much work to do in the yard before I can properly plant, though. It's a bit daunting.

If you like maples, can I suggest that you visit Vancouver one year, and hit Van Dusen gardens? They have a STUNNING display of maples there, and in the autumn...well, you might faint from the pretty. I may have wanted to hug the trees.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I have seen pictures of that park! Vancouver just looks so beautiful and lush to me. (I'm in Texas - just where the lush stops.)

One of my dream vacations is a Japanese botanical garden tour. Uh, in Japan, I should stress. :D

Better get those beds prepped for your veggies! Cucumbers are notoriously snotty about late transplanting.
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Mar. 25th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, the weeping maple is just gorgeous! I love the iris, too.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I love my little babies. (Or rather, I shouldn't take thanks from Mother Nature, eh?)

Mar. 25th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Where do you get Spanish lavender? I'd love to try and grow some!!

And I miss Irises. ::sigh::

(Also: I'm right there with you on wanting to be doing anything but housework.)
Mar. 25th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
you should be able to find it at Home Depot or Lowes, not to mention any cool nursery in your area. Just make sure that you get the kind that says "Lavender DENTATA or STOECHAS" so you know you're getting the kind we can grow in our hot climates. Put it near the driveway, rocks, any where that gets hot and dry with reflective heat and it'll go crazy nuts.

But you don't have to miss irises! you could plant some out there?
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Mar. 25th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Such absolutely gorgeous photos!
Mar. 25th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you very much!
Mar. 25th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Even though I can't eat or drink them your garden is indeed very beautiful!

You could tie the end of the vaccuum cleaner to the tv aerial and jump off the roof on the cord? Or maybe play loud music as you dramatically shove the sheets in to the washing machine?

In half an hour I'm off for lunch - come over and we'll grab a bite.
Mar. 25th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
I decided to run up and down the street screaming, completely naked, a look of fear plastered on my face. Then i walked to the mailbox, got my mail, and ran screaming back. Pepped the whole block up!

Oooh, save me a table and order me a pint, would ya?
... - dovil - Mar. 25th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 25th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Beautiful beautiful pics! My gardener just put in a ton of liriope, but I had no ide there's a black variant. It goes so perfectly with those dark river stones.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Aww, look at how your icon coordinates! How thoughtful of you. ;)

I like dwarf liriope for filling in bare spots or between stepping stones, but I don't have much use for the standard green stuff. (We had oodles of that at my house growing up, that's all.) But I saw the black one and began to drool. It's great - a little shade in the afternoon, should you put some in.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
The weeping maple is gorgeous. I'm growing English lavendar and I put in some pink flowered ones last year. Here's hoping they come back.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Thanks, R! If that lavender doesn't come back, keep your eyes peeled for French or Spanish - they're tougher.
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
God, so gorgeous!
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