In September, I took advantage of a gardening WOO to dig this bed. I decided fairly quickly that rusty metal and broken glass are not the best plant-growing mediums so I borrowed my friend's truck once again for a drive out to the Natural Gardener for some of their Hill Country soil. A yard of HC soil weighs about 1400 pounds, 500 pounds more than their Revitalizer mulch, and about 400 pounds more than the recommended weight load for my friend's petite truck so I had to make multiple trips to get all the soil shown above--one and a half yards, or two dog lengths.
For those of you keeping track at home, that's the fourth time I've borrowed my friend's truck, which is probably one time too many. Ask the truck. She'll agree.
So the bed probably could have used a bit more soil, but after putting my friend's truck out of commission, I decided that that window of opportunity had definitely closed. One and a half yards would have to be enough. (Note to self for next time: a yard of soil, despite its name, isn't all that much. Go ahead and have multiple yards delivered.)
The finished bed measures about 12 feet by 5 feet (at it widest) by 8 inches deep. It gets morning sun, afternoon shade, and some late afternoon sun, although the shade is a bit deeper now. It's already in shade by noon.
On October 1, I planted the bed. Given the hot weather we were having, I probably should have waited, but only if my calendar had shown another gardening WOO before mid-November.
Some of the plants I'd been collecting and storing in my #1 garden utility item were already starting to show signs of having waited too long, like this blue porterweed (aka rat's tail. Had my husband known of this alias, he never would have selected it. Long story. Hilarious even, if you weren't the one having rats rain down on you.)
On that same buying trip I picked up this plant, identified on the tag as Dicleptra Mexican Hummingbird Bush. I think that should be Dicliptera (look at me! using botanical names!), but I still can't find a good image online of the flowers. It's not Firecracker Bush or Mexican Firebush. If I remember correctly, the flowers should be purple.
Here's how the bed looked right after I planted it:
Some of the other occupants include a friend's society garlic and black and blue salvia, another friend's chile pequin, an American beautyberry (as it looked then),
a lemon rose mallow (as it looked then). Have I just violated the first rule of Bloom Club by showing a picture of a plant in bloom on a day other than the 15th? Perhaps I can make up for it by showing the pineapple sage, which is blooming as I type?
Here's how the rest of the bed looks today. I've added a Forsythia sage on the left. I've kept some room there for the Turk's cap I plan on transplanting from the alleyway to this bed in January. I also added two Gulf Coast penstemons I had bought for the front yard. One is thriving; the other isn't but I'm giving it a chance for a comeback before I compost it.
I've also added some of MSS's red spider lilies. They didn't bloom for her so I'm not sure how good the odds are that they will bloom for me, but as we really aren't in control of Mother Nature, I figured they were worth a try.
I've also got a couple of other items to go with this bed. I plan to add a bottle tree with the blue bottles Pam passed along to me back in May. Today I hope to attach my husband's beedominium (™my husband) to the shed.
And now on to the much neglected front yard. I watered it little to none over the summer, and it shows. a few years ago I stuck plants in the ground before I had
I had refurbishing the front yard beds on my gardening to-dos. Feeling cocky with a bit of knowledge under my belt, I thought I could save them. I even bought a few new plants, but in the end, I decided I had overgardened. The need to keep the new plants alive in the back with limited to nonexistent rainfall won out.
But all is not completely lost. Yesterday as I walked up the front path I saw a flash of something large out of the corner of my eye. I'm calling it the world's largest leaf-footed bug. Seriously, it's about two inches from antenna tip to stern.
In the reverse of what normally seems to happen (but which is increasingly the norm chez Vert these days), the presence of this huge insect alerted me to the fact that the Barbados cherry had refused to succumb to my neglect.
It may not quite be blooming, but I think it deserves special merit for trying so hard.
So that's my not-very-many-blooms Bloom Day post. I and my new friend will be looking for yours.