currently in Austin


Gardening on a budget

I’ve never had a ton of money for the garden, and not a bunch of time, either. And like the rest of my life, the garden is a process, one step and experiment at a time. Honestly, I can count more failures than victories (though every disaster is one-up for experience). But a sure-fire way to extend your bucks is with naturalizing bulbs for reliable seasonal surprise every year, one of the best joys of gardening. Well, if you like surprises, that is.

Oxblood lily with lantana

After the 6″ of rain, my oxbloods went stark crazy. I love the way they spring up through perennials like blue plumbago (Plumbago auriculata).

Oxblood lily with plumbago auriculata

This year, I’ll divide some to include around the native Plumbago scandens.

Plumbago scandens

Another rain lily popped up. I think it’s some version of Zephyranthes labuffarosa, but I’m not sure.

summer rain lily

Thanks to the rain, the passionvine got a second wind, too. From the patio, Greg spotted it on the back fence and raced out for a picture.

Passionvine Greg Klinginsmith

Back on the patio, he got this romantic shot of our potted begonia, another long-term reliable if protected from freeze.

Begonia Greg Klinginsmith

Since gardening is how many of us launch into DIY projects that we never imagined taking on, this week on CTG, Tom Spencer meets with Pam Penick, of Penick Landscape Design with tips to give your garden structure, definition, and intrigue on a budget.

Many of you know Pam already through her beautiful and informative blog, Digging, where she journals the adventures in her garden and travels to others.

On CTG, she tackles three easy projects that make such a difference in the garden’s personality. Sure, there’s a little sweat equity involved, but with cooler days on the way, now’s a perfect time to try this at home. Pam explains how to make an easy trellis with cow panel (without a post hole digger!), and how to stylize your garden with paths that are equally functional and eye-catching.

Pam Penick, Penick Landscape Design

For a little intrigue, Pam shows how easy it is to make a peek-a-boo gate. One illustration she chose is the picture she took of the curious & creative Michele Holt’s version at Wabi-Sabi Home and Garden.

Michele Holt wabi-sabihomeandgarden

Daphne tackles a little intrigue this week, too, with some troubled leaves sent in by Richard Reinert and his daughter Vivian Miller.

Fungus on Chinese pistache leaves

If you’ve only considered kalanchoe a patio or houseplant, check out her tips on growing ground-hardy Kalanchoe sp., Mother of Thousands.

Before racing to the nursery this fall, check out Trisha’s tips on how to pick a healthy plant.  Gardening on a budget is a lot easier if you pass up a plant that’s about to croak.

Catch it all online, including our garden visit that reminds us that it’s time to be thinking about planting wildflower seeds.

Note on Casis garden: I really thank Lynn Boswell who spent tons of time organizing it all. Well, no wonder. When she’s not being a Casis mom, she’s a freelance television producer (via CNN) who also produces Texas Monthly Talks. This October, watch for its new rendition as Overheard with Evan Smith; great guests to overhear on the way!

Until next week, Linda