May 13, 2020
Garden Distractions Working From Home!
During an online team meeting the other day, I got distracted for a minute when I glanced over to the window and saw what the light was doing.
I’ve often heard that the trick for self-employed, working from home folks is to dress for “the job.” The philosophical concept is to seal the divide between “home relax” and “work.” Like, no pajamas or day off clean-out-the-garage garb.
But the first thing I did working from home was abandon my 1-minute makeup routine. I do slather on a bit for video records and sometimes even for meetings. And I’ve got to give kudos to my patient audio engineer husband who’s jumped into all video/audio/lighting/clipboard “teleprompter” records!
There’s something quite humbling about seeing your own face in a computer screen. I mean, really, how often do we usually look at our own face for minutes/hours at a time? Plus, I prefer being “behind the scenes,” so being on camera is a little unsettling.
In the garden, even Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ abandoned its red lipstick for solid white. I can’t confirm why, but High Country Gardens says that it’s a seasonal variation.
Fortunately, plants are not self conscious. My native shrubby boneset, also called white mistflower (Ageratina havanensis) sports pinky-sized white buds (and now flowers since I took this picture). In February, I severely cut back the browned branches. Now, it’s nicely fluffed out and I won’t prune again. A perennial shrub to 3-6’, it’s absolutely perfect for part shade and quite content in my Blackland Prairie soil. Very drought tolerant and moderately deer resistant.
Its real show for me is in fall when countless pollinators—including migrating butterflies and hummingbirds—alight on its tiny flowers.
For a touch of lavender on equally diminutive flowers, native perennial snake herb (Dyschoriste linearis) has become one of my favorite border fillers and groundcovers in part sun.
Although it struggled its first harsh winter, now it takes winter in stride. Once established, it does ramble. I appreciate that since I never have to do a thing to it.
As always when we get lengthy cloudy days, native aster popped a few flowers. I’m still cutting it back for denser growth and more flowers in fall, while leaving current blooms for now.
The Texas Wildflower, Pamela Price’s beautifully written and photographed ezine features more than gardens and natural spaces from San Saba to San Antonio! Working from home, she writes, edits and publishes her monthly engaging stories that cover culture, artists, restaurants, recipes, travel and events. (Of course, she’s usually on the road, too, as well as team writers.) You can also read the archives for anything you missed! I’m so honored to be part of this month’s issue when I meet with garden author and artist Andrew Keys. Gorgeous cover by artist Debbie Carroll!
Community gardens, like Sunshine Community Gardens, are sure to attract new gardeners wanting space and convivial knowledge to grow their own food and flowers. Recently, Sunshine tackled their hell strip with mostly native, drought-tough plants that attract pollinators and birds. CTG director Ed Fuentes walked over to get video and a few shots. Here’s one section featuring clasping coneflowers, salvias, red yucca and yarrow.
Their native goldenball leadtree (Leucaena retusa) will lightly shade its companions.
To inspire your succulent designs, even with companion perennials, catch our interview with Jay Arredondo from Desert to Tropics Nursery for tips on building a raised bed. Plus, see how he plants an eye-popping container.
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda