Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just Another Monday Morning

I know how this looks. But really, I don't generally let my wine bottles go for a swim and goof off. (At least, I spared you the photo of them getting rowdy and naked.) Sometimes they have to work.

Here they are working, just starting to form the edging* for my new full sun bed. While I know many winos wine lovers, I need about 140 more bottles. So if you feel like drinking for a cause and are in the Austin area, wine up and drop me a note. I'll pick up your empties. For those of you outside of Austin, drink up and post the pictures.

I could have cropped this picture but then you would have missed the huge pile of tree limbs. As I mentioned before, I realized after digging the bed that my neighbor's hackberries were providing too much shade for a full sun bed so my husband cut one of the trees down.

Then I went and bought two roses, which needed even more sun, so more trees and limbs needed to come down. I've already filled about 10 bags with cuttings. My husband even broke the chain on his new saw. I hope to have the rest of the big limbs cut up soon.

We made the 6' by 15' trellis from a cattle panel and t-bars. I hope to get something to front and hide the t-bars, maybe cedar posts like I've seen at Pam's house and at Zilker Garden. I wanted to do it all at once but I was already behind on getting the new plants in the ground.

I hope the plants on the trellis will eventually screen a bit of my neighbor's shed but not her adorable pig.

I bought most of these plants at the master gardener sale at Zilkerfest; a few others are passalongs. I bought the plants at two different times so I didn't quite keep track of what I had already bought and ended up three butterfly bushes. I also think I don't quite have enough textural variety, but overall I am happy with what I've got:

one purple, one white, and one yellow butterfly bush
two Mexican bush sage (salvia leucantha)--one bought at the plant sale, one rescued from Lady Bird Lake when we dug the vegetable bed
three Mexican milkweeds

two Husker red penstemon (penstemon digitalis)--a new one to me; I like its dark, reddish foliage
two passionvines--one has a bud already!
three or four moon flower seedlings--I started these from seed and had a horrible germination rate but hope that the survivors will grow and flourish
Duchesse de Brabant rose
Cramoisi Superieur rose
three purple coneflower--I bought some seed but they didn't germinate well so I added a few plants I bought at Link's garden during the garden tour
three variegated sedums--also bought at Link's

one Mexican mint marigold--a passalong from the MG plant swap
one Pride of Barbados--currently hidden behind the butterfly bushes; I wish I could have gotten a gallon-size but only a four inch pot was available. It's a bit lost now but should eventually go taller than the butterfly bushes
one rock rose--see below

(Annie, I'm confident you could get a 12 days of gardening song out of this list).

When I picked the spot for the bed, I tried to put it in an area that the dog hadn't already claimed as her own. I probably erred in letting her help me dig the area. She now feels some ownership over it. And I definitely should not have encouraged this behavior:

but she just looked so comfortable and demure, note the crossed paws, that I didn't shoo her out.

I definitely should have stopped her when she buried in the bed the mini-waffle my nieces gave her. Unlike me, when my pup is given something to eat when she isn't hungry, she doesn't eat it. She buries it and saves it for later. When she buried the waffle, she carefully avoided any of the plants.

When she went to retrieve it hours later, however, she wasn't as careful. I came home to find something missing from the bed--the rock rose. I replanted it but I don't how long it was just lying on the grass. It may be the first casualty of the bed.

But as luck would have it, I didn't quite heat up my compost pile hot enough to kill all the seeds and have ended up with two volunteer plants. My guess is that they are cucumbers, possibly a melon, and just maybe a squash. Time will tell.

*I totally borrowed this idea from fellow Hyde Parker Jill Nokes. I probably walk by her yard and admire her fence and edging at least once a week. I also considered using tequila bottles to edge the bed, a la Lucinda Hutson, but I decided that drinking that much tequila just meant too much trouble.


  1. Wow, you have some ambitious projects going on: tree trimming, new bed, trellis screen, edging, dog shooing, and wine drinking. Whew! I'm envious that you can walk by Jill Nokes's garden anytime you want. She gave the Austin garden bloggers a tour last year on our first "Ground Robin" get-together. What an interesting and beautiful space she's created.

    And you are starting your own personal garden creation. I can't wait to see how your new bed looks by fall, after a season of growth.

  2. Party at your house! I thought about doing this once with beer bottles (they are more plentiful at my house) but kind of forgot about the idea. Seeing yours, I might just try it.

  3. Vertie,

    Looks great! I'm somewhat of a beginner and really appreciate how much effort goes into even clearing/MAKING a bed before the fun part of adding plants.

    (We have several piles of cut-up tree branches "decorating" our back yard now, too, including freaking hackberries!)

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Pam, yes, it's been quite an undertaking! This is my first truly purposeful flower garden space as opposed to planting a few plants.

    Wicked, beer bottles would have been easier for us too! I just wanted the extra height afforded by the wine bottles, in my perhaps vain attempt to keep the dog out.

    Hi, iris, welcome to the blogosphere! I actually really enjoy the digging/soil prep part and am always finding reasons to dig, but it does take much longer than I think it will. My original plan was to get these plants in in mid-March!

  5. I really enjoyed your blog(-: Your dog is so cute(-: I love dogs. I am glad she got to bury her waffle in the garden too(-: My dog does his share of digging but usually doesn't do to much damage to my plants. I can't wait to see your bottle garden done(-: Lots of work but very rewarding when you finish(-: And all that wine can't be a bad thing either!!!!