Friday, March 08, 2013


This post, June 2012, Karla's Garden Day, was made by Diva Glinda/Annie in Austin for the Divas of the Dirt Blog
Any June project in Austin, Texas is going to be a warm project, but we also knew that at Karla's house, every project has a delicious payoff!

As instructed we brought many tools, some sunscreen & mosquito repellent and we tried to be on time - otherwise, it could be 90°F before we started.

The table in the dining area looked summery with pretty Kalanchoes as a centerpiece.

Karla made sure we'd have plenty of refreshing fruit: Honeydew & cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries & Kiwis.

A breakfast casserole combining egg, ham, potato & cheese casserole was perfect, accompanied by mini cinnamon swirls & streusel-topped rolls.

It's a running joke that when we go to Karla's house her yard is already so groomed that we can't believe there's anything for us to do. Then we work for hours and hours on that "nothing"!

This time Miss Organization had printed out a list of requests. The main task would be the bed in front between her house and her neighbors.

Karla wanted the common groundcover Ardisia, the self-seeding Nandina and any other weeds and tree seedlings out of there! The edge needed to be rebuilt and Karla wanted a flat spot that could hold a large pot with a frost-tender hibiscus.

Sometimes it seems as if garden planning is a game you can't win! This doorway bed used to be drenched by runoff from the roof trough, making soil & plants wash out after a storm. After Karla had gutters installed the flooding problem was solved, but with little rainfall funneled into it, the bed became drier. Instead of drowning, some plants suffered from thirst. This bed needs a redo. 

Karla hoped we could relocate some hardy plants in containers to the fence bed - maybe they'd do better in the ground?

Buffy decided to reset the rubble-rock edge while Sugar, Annie & Sophia cleared the center and Mattie emptied containers. 

We spent a long time working in the front beds and in the long side bed. We planted Salvia leucantha that had been in a pot, transplanted daisies & Purple Heart/Setcreasia from overgrown beds to more open areas, reset a section of ornamental fence, cut back the rosemary & the bloomed-out lantana in the front corner. The parkway/parking strip is something we tackle every year - it needed to be clipped, weeded, plants reset, ground cultivated, composted and mulched. In the front entrance bed, Karla, Mindy & Glinda dug out non-performing plants like variegated society garlic, tried some new ones like purple heart, artemesia and santolina.

In the back yard we started in on the annual snipping of oak sprouts and removal of hackberry seedlings. The rectangular stones at the edge of the decomposed granite path were dug up and reset. All this tidying, cleaning and neatening of the edges made a big difference to the garden.

Under the oaks, the Blue Plumbago was so pretty it almost made us forget about those darned oak sprouts!

Karla knew what we'd need so she had a good supply of compost and many bags of mulch ready for distribution. No task was really hard, but it all took time.

In late afternoon we went inside and saw not just one salad but a three-salad feast.

Soon each plate had chicken-cranberry salad, quinoa salad & broccoli salad with a roll.

Extra-rich Neiman-Marcus bars appeared for dessert -  by the time I remembered to take a photo, all but one had disappeared.

We went out to finish composting, handwatering and mulching the back beds. Our attention was caught by these twirly purple coneflowers. Punchy with the sun, we speculated on whether the Echinaceas' pinwheel-shaped petals were natural, caused by some environmental element or perhaps they'd been affected by the changing colors from that glowing solar light every night? That spacey theory was exploded once we noticed the petals on the front parkway coneflowers did the same dance.

Another plant that deserved admiration was Karla's lovely succulent near the patio- Ghost Plant/Graptopetalum paraguayense. It is extremely happy here.

The back beds moved along toward completion

The entrance bed looked darned good.

And Karla had her #1 wish - a redone bed near the drive with a place for that pretty Hibiscus.

Dear Divas,

Thank you once again for all the hard work and helping to make my yard look so beautiful... Have a great week and again, thank you for your help and being such great Divas!!!


This post, June 2012, Karla's Garden Day, was made by Diva Glinda/Annie in Austin for the Divas of the Dirt Blog

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