From the producer: October 24, 2008

On my travels through neighborhoods, I see so many tiny lots in new developments.  Some of the newest are really “intimate.” I started worrying about their inhabitants. If they wanted to garden, how in the heck would they do it?  Since many homes, not just the newest, are low on acreage, I took my troubles to designer Scott Thurmon, who rattled a list off the top of his head.  So, this week he joins Tom with exciting ideas for small gardens or small places in your large garden. As always, we didn’t get to half his collection, so check the CTG web site for the complete list (at least, the list for this show).

Speaking of the web site:  We’re in the process of making it the ultimate resource for you, including the entire show online.  Your input will guide our design, so when you have a minute, please check out our totally safe survey and tell us what YOU want (rain and no stinkbugs does not count). And thank you very much!

On tour, we meet the scavenger after my own heart, Link Davidson, an innovative gardener I consider a “trashy artist.”  What he’s done in his small space will have you eyeballing that “stuff in the shed” or cruising bulky trash days with creative energy.

In my garden, in small niches here and there, it’s still all about asters. We await their fall explosion just as we anticipate the first leucojums in spring. Oxalis came out of hiding to join them in the front window bed.

I’m glad I added this Salvia greggii to that bed last spring.

Oh, gotta stick in this lucky shot, a sulphur butterfly on the new salvia.

In back, here they are in the crepe bed, against ‘Powis Castle’ artemesia.

With zexmenia in the sunny part of the bed in back

Edging the right side front of the bed, with pavonia and coneflower beyond

Against ‘Hot Lips’ salvia to the right

I have so many because I divide them in January – March.  I cut back their frostbitten foliage in December or early January. Within a few weeks, the new growth emerges in clumps that are easy to dig up. This native plant roots very quickly and tolerates just about everything.

Here’s an orange mum I couldn’t resist years ago at the grocery store. In my campaign to downsize the container plants last spring, I stuck it in the ground. Looks even better now than when I bought it!

On mums, I got these at Geo Growers years ago. They’ve spread like crazy in the crepe bed through freeze, flood, and drought.  They’re easily divided.

In the crepe bed, here’s the Knock Out rose against the pavonia I almost composted in March. Both of them benefited from their move.

Along the back fence, the toadflax and lantana look better this fall than ever this time of year.

I’m sure it’s because they’re getting more sun, but I wonder if Harvey’s continual pruning hasn’t made a difference.  You well know that pruning promotes flowering on plants that bloom on new growth, and I do too; I just get lazy. But Harvey just keeps on going and going.

So do the turks caps, though they’re winding down and forming fruits.  This one’s at the back fence against wedelia and lantana.

A garden like mine isn’t picture perfect all the time.  But as it changes clothes every season, or even every week, it never tires us.

Finally, have to tell you that Jeannie Ralston will be at the Texas Book Festival on Sunday, November 2 from 2:30-3:30 in a panel discussion:  “Stranger Than Fiction: Me and My Memoir,” and will be signing her book, The Lavender Queen.

KLRU will also be there all weekend.  Come by and say howdy and give me some gardening advice:  I’ll be there from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday.

Until next week, Linda