April 16, 2009

Racing to catch up

Over the past 3 weeks, there have been 3 major plant sales from local organizations. First there was the Zilker Botanical Garden Festival. Then there was the Cactus and Succulent Society plant swap/sale. Last weekend was the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Sale. As a result, we're loaded with plants, and the rain is coming in this weekend.

I managed to get the cacti and succulents potted from the Cactus and Succulent Society sale, and that took an amazingly long time! First, I didn't have enough small pots so I had to purchase some. Then there was mixing up potting soils for the plants. Add to that the fact that a lot of them are little beasties that want to tear up your flesh and consume it. Bastards. My boyfriend went to that one, and he bought up! He won 5 plants too, and 3 of those plants could be split up into multiple plants. Pretty good in general.

This past weekend, we both went to the native plant sale which had plants from all over Texas. I got a Beauty Berry, a TINY mountain laurel, a lace cactus, and bunches of others. On Monday, I bought up 15 Easter lilies that were marked down to $1, and on that same day, my order of Wyoming Cannas and Abyssinian gladiolas came in from Old House Gardens, which, by the way, I highly recommend - the bulbs and roots were GORGEOUS and a fab price.


So I had roots, bulbs, and loads of plants with rain on the way this weekend.

Naturally, I decided it was time to kick the front yard up a notch and start the irritating process of converting turf to garden. Yesterday, from 10 AM to 5 PM, I did nothing but dig and plant. No lunch, no breaks, just work. It had to get done.

Well, it's done, but it looks absolutely ridiculous:

You can see the Easter lilies losing the last of their blooms, some tiny cacti and native perrenials, and some bamboo skewers. The thing is that the Easter lilies were forced and are blooming unnaturally early. Lilies that have gone through the winter are just now forming blossoms and are about the same height as my gladiolas that were already planted. The cannas are slowly coming up. The bamboo skewers mark where the cannas and gladiolas are, and between the three types of bulbs planted in the plot, I will have successive blooming. First the lilies (though not this early), then the glads, and finally the cannas. And that's just the bulbs. I'm not sure when the natives will bloom, but there's quite a variety and will hopefully vary and continue the length of bloom time to cover more of the year.

Here are the rest of the plants in the plot (in no particular order):

Whitlow Wort

Twist Leaf Yucca

Spice Lily

Spanish Dagger

Siler's Tuberose

Maximillian Sunflower

Little Nipple Cacti

Horse Crippler Cactus (SCARY!)

Harvard Agave (3x3 when mature)

Guapilla (5 plants from 2 pots)

Echinocactus Grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus)

Barbed-wire Cactus

To make things just a little more hectic, my hosta order arrived right when I was digging up the lawn. By "finally", I mean I placed my original order in January, and they were ready for shipment just now. I got them from Direct Source Hostas, and I am very impressed with their selection, care, and price. The plants look great and very healthy. I ordered 9 varieties, and we'll see how many survive here in Central Texas. I got Fried Bananas, Guacamole, Lunar Orbit, Pineapple Juice, Stained Glass, Zounds, Lakeside Kaleidoscope, Patriot, and Wolverine.

I'm also very pleased with how the side plot is coming together. I wasn't sure how the colors would all look together, but I'm impressed the purple and orange look nice. The purple heart and bulbine are continuous bloomers as well, so that's a nice bonus. The one lamb's ear plant isn't looking so hot. I'm not sure what's up with it.

I also found a spot for my gargoyle. It's guarding an aloe that's finally turning green.

Here are a couple cacti from the sale. This first one looks like someone playing the tambourine:

And randomly, here's a neon planter. Pink and white petunias in a lime green pot which is sitting on a wrought iron standing planter filled with green sweet potato vine and a couple purple hearts which you can't see in the picture:

I still want a cig.


  1. Cool, can you dig it girl? looks like you've been busy, I have gone down to about 5 cigs a day
    and that's hard.

    good luck

  2. Your front garden looks great! I would love to be able to tear up our front yard and just put in garden. Our backyard will have to do for now...

  3. Dang! Slow down! hahaha. Great job. Everything looks very good.

  4. Forgot to say...

    I LOVE the cactus that looks like its playing a tambourine!

  5. Wow, great job! This bed will be beautiful for years to come. I can't get over the "horse crippler" cactus!

  6. You got so much done- very nice. I like all the variety. Happy gardening to you.

  7. AR~~ It sounds like you're keeping busy which is a great way to not think about cigarettes. At least I hope that's the case. The Golden Ball cactus looks pretty scary to me. :)

  8. So much gardening in one day? Wow! I like the lime green neon planter colours. It is a planter no one can miss ;-)

  9. Please, post a picture of these new hostas when they are grown up, the names sound interesting, especially Fried bananas!
    I also was converting a part of our lawn to beds. I wish someone would do that and I use that time for more creative garden jobs!

  10. Cathy - 5 cigs is AMAZING! Congrats! I was smoking 11-14/day.

    Suzanne - That's funny. I want lawn in my backyard, but no lawn in the front. I figure lawn would only be useful in the back because that's where the dogs and theoretical children would be. Good luck to you!!

    Adam - Can'tslowdowntoomuchtodo. And thanks!

    Ginger - The Horse Crippler is a terrifying bit of nastiness. I got it because it's out of some sort of horror movie!!

    Tessa - Thanks. I worry about too much variety though, but I always figure I can (re)move plants that don't work.

    Grace - The Golden Barrel is actually the least scary because the spines intertwine so closely with one another that it's easy to handle. Odd, huh?

    Stephanie - Aw, thanks! I love it too. It's very in-your-face.

    Tatyana - Will do! Hosta and Daylily names are always very interesting. There are some Trekkie people working with both, and there are soooo many that you can always find a fun name. Digging up lawn is a bit dull, but it seems to be getting easier for me. The first bit of turf I dug up took FOREVER! Now it's much quicker.

  11. Boy...looking back over your prior succulent posts here! You were a planting maniac in April!!! You have such variety and yet a butt-load of succulents as well. Awesome gardens!!!


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