Monday, September 04, 2006

The day after

The new house and the garden stood up to the inspection by the multitudes yesterday. Well, not quite multitudes but the upstairs porch was certainly crowded for a while last night. The predicted cold front never quite arrived, although the afternoon was overcast and a fine mist fell for about 20 minutes — enough to cool things off a bit but not enough to drive people off of the chairs and bench out in the garden. Mostly though, everyone gathered on the new porch, sitting on the wide steps just as I'd envisioned during all those months of construction.

Here's a view of the garden D took before anyone arrived.

And here's a lovely little succulent Lauren brought me, carried home with her from a recent trip to Los Angeles (next to an agave of unremembered origin and variety, in a pot it's outgrown; I'm afraid I'll never get it out without destroying one or the other, plant or pot).

Of course, despite all my best intentions, I spent most of Sunday rushing around, trying to whip the garden into shape (or at least to camoflage the problem areas). I pulled the raspberry salvia gregii out of the big pot in the front yard, where it has languished since we stopped parking out on the street (once the carport was finished). Since I stopped walking past it every day about the same time it stopped raining, it's gotten more and more bedraggled. I had thought of putting a big bougainvillea into the pot, just for the party, but instead I pulled up one of the larger agave americana pups from the big mama plant (which has recovered some from freeze damage suffered last winter) and stuck it into the pot where it at least looks better than the salvia. I've got the salvia in a pot under the arbor along with the salvia guaranitica "Black and Blue," which I pruned back severely in the hopes of some kind of recovery. Also in the recovery ward are the yellow columbine the foundation crew had to dig up when they were putting in the french drain and the verbascum (I think that's what it is) that I bought several years ago on a trip to the Antique Rose Emporium with Alisa. Maybe with the weather a bit cooler and rain in the forecast they'll all perk up.

I also neatened up the stacks of pots that have found a temporary home under the arbor and managed to wrestle the old hot water heater (such a wonderful garden ornament) a little bit out of sight. I found a varigated agave that someone gave me a few years ago languishing back in the stacks of pots and moved it into the upstairs garden, up on a pedestal in the far back, next to a pot of succulents discovered under the tumbled-down stalks of Turk's cap growing out of the old fireplace.

And then I finally had to stop and sit down for a few minutes before people started arriving.


Annie in Austin said...

Yo Susan! You commented at RSorrel's blog and at first I thought you were one of the other Susans. I'm so glad I clicked your name. How cool to see another Austin garden blogger. I'm not on your side of the river, but am on the NW corner.

I envy you the wide stone steps - hardscape makes gardens more beautiful, but getting it can be so expensive and messy. Congratulations on the completion of your construction.


Susan said...

Annie -- I've been reading your blog for a couple of months. Yours and RSorrell and Zanthan and from there a bunch of others. My husband's a computer guy and he's been reading blogs for years and, though I'm a big reader, I could never get into it until I started reading food blogs somehow and from there into gardening blogs. We (really he) had a blog on Blogger about our recently finished construction project and when I finally got back into the garden this summer I decided I'd like to keep track of where I am with getting it back in shape (and learn how to really use our digital camera at the same time). I'm a writer (I edited an architecture magazine for a long time and now am freelance) so I'm enjoying combining my gardening thing with writing.

Anyway . . . I do love my new steps. I'll have to post more pictures once I get some new batteries for the camera.

Annie in Austin said...

Susan, the other Austin bloggers would love to talk to you, but they're not on Blogger, and it appears your template is set up for Blogger users only. Mine lets anyone comment but still uses the verification to deflect spambots,

Here's a link to Pam/Digging
Yet another Austin garden blog

Susan said...

Annie -- Thanks for the tip. I've now made the changes you suggested (so that anyone, I hope, can post comments). My mother-in-law has been complaining about not being able to comment so maybe this will solve her problem.

I've been reading Pam's blog for a few months as well as the others I mentioned. In fact her's might be the first Austin garden blog I ran across. I'm enjoying reading about what other Austin gardeners are doing.