Sunday, June 23, 2013


This post written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog

Six Divas of the Dirt met at DivaAnnie's in November - Sophia and Sugar couldn't be there, and they missed a pretty fantastic day!

Annie's table looked lovely! White plates in basket weave chargers looked so pretty ranged on either side of a bird-patterned runner. Bird napkins complemented the vintage bird figurines.

DivaAnnie tried a new recipe for eggs, sausage, peppers and mushrooms baked in muffin tins - delicious!

The zucchini bread and a fruit salad of blackberries, grapes, strawberries and pineapple were perfect.

Annie wanted a redo of some overgrown beds and she hoped we could get the ted the entire front garden mulched. But before starting to work we wanted to look at all the wonderful plants she is growing.

Up in one part of the curb bed a riot of flowers were in bloom - red Gomphrena, Blackfoot daisies, lantana and more... maybe that yellow daisy is Zexmenia.

Annie's Podranea ricasoliana/Port St. Johns Creeper has really taken off & blooms well. It's planted inside the gate near a Rose of Sharon but has been successful in sprawling its way over the fence. According to Dave's Garden, other botanical names for this vine are Pandorea ricasoliana, Tecoma ricasoliana and Tecoma Mackenii and other common names are Pink Trumpet Vine, Zimbabwe creeper and Queen of Sheba.

This Mexican Flame vine/Senecio confusus is also doing well - what a bright, autumny flower! This vine is borderline hardy for Austin - luckily for DivaAnnie, her garden is in a warmer part of Austin.

Near the porch the Shrimp Plant/Justicia brandegeana has really settled in, with a huge number of shrimpy-pink flower heads ready to greet visitors

Some beautiful plants are doing a little too well, like this enormous Duranta erecta, also called Golden dewdrop. The problem is that the Duranta grew so large that it had engulfed anything in

the surrounding area - that bit of foliage peeking out from the Duranta's sweeping Ballgown skirt is a stunted White-flowering Russelia equisetiformis/Firecracker Plant.

And some horrible plants are doing well, too - the hated Bermuda grass has invaded this bed, threatening Giant Squill bulbs planted here.

Although some parts of the front parkway were beautiful, the center just looked bedraggled.

Soon Divas of the Dirt were digging out weeds and setting stone blocks and a larger stepping stone in place.

Weeds disappeared and much transplanting followed. It didn't happen quickly, but the white Firecracker/Russelia, some May Night Salvia, a dwarf Lion's Tail/Leonatus, some Four Nerve daisies, and the herbs thyme and Oregano found new spots. I hope the sweet little native Snake Herb (Dyschoriste linearis) will make it!

This front bed is now done and mulched so the native Anacacho Orchid, Argentinian Butterfly Bush and Cape Honeysuckle have a better chance to make it through winter and to bloom again next year. 

Time to head in to the bird table again, this time for lunch! Oh, look! DivaAnnie has also made petite framed pictures for each of us as a memento of our day together

Annie has set the buffet with barbecued brisket, Hawaiian bread, Corn-Potato salad and coleslaw with nuts

For dessert she has baked a fabulous Clementine Chess Pie

We didn't rush through this lovely lunch but we did want to get a little more done before it got dark.
A flowering Senna tree once dominated the right side of the long center bed, but most of it was now dead. The Divas took out the dead wood around the one small live sprout, weeded and mulched the whole bed.

Some Mexican Honeysuckle was transplanted from the established part of the parkway to the newly cleared area and all was mulched.

The established plants in the parkway looked lovely on our workday but I couldn't catch a decent photo. When DivaAnnie and I went to the Empty Bowl project a couple of weeks later I remembered to take photos. Here is the beautiful Mexican Honeysuckle /Justicia spicigera

DivaAnnie's Lion's Tail/Leonatis are so full and flowery!

Two weeks after our project, the mulch looks good, and it contrasts well with the plants in photos, but we discovered that the dark color did not happen naturally, but was added to the wood. While we worked, the black dye got onto our hands, knees and shoes. And it looks as if the mulch didn't stop all those weed seeds from sprouting - more weeding ahead!

This post written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog

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