Search for "alley"
2015 September 3 (Thu)
It's looking like the hot summer drought has ended here. As the sun is moving closer to equinox, temperatures are now only going up to about 92°F. Many plants are doing better after some rain showers last week gave them water to drink. We even had a pretty good cold front come through. Fall is coming, so I figured it's a good time to focus on all the fruit and flowers around the yard to make me feel like my efforts didn't all end in failure this summer.
2015 May 11 (Mon)
I forget where I learned this, but it is said that you don't remember where you hear things as much as the thing that you hear. I think of this lesson when I try to remember where I heard that growing native flowers and grasses is harder where the soil is fertile. I think this was in reference to prairie plants. When I see how things have gone so far all over my yard, I can agree. The back alley is amazing while the rain garden, Chicken Yard, and front yard are a bit lackluster.
2015 March 15 (Sun)
I've been trying to be patient all winter. I've sowed seed here and there (milkweed, lanceleaf coreopsis, blue mistflower, tickseed, rattlesnake master, coralbean, and little bluestem). I've planted new things (witchhazel, swamp sunflower, buttonbush, American beautyberry, crossvine, red mulberry, arrowwood viburnum, Turk's cap, and Eastern redbud). I've moved some others (ironweed and groundsel). I've dug things up and put them into pots (redcedars and pines). And I've waited, because this entire time, nothing has grown. At least above ground. As they say, the activity has all been below ground. But that's pretty boring because there's no proof that anything is happening.
2014 December 27 (Sat)
2014 October 22 (Wed)
I talk and think so much about native plants that I'm sure people assume my gardening is nothing but success upon success. Surely I've got a lush, healthy, multi-layer ecosystem flourishing around the house, right? Well, now that it's fall and plants are starting to peter out in preparation for the winter hibernation, I thought it'd be a good time to share how things did in this 2014 growing season.
2014 October 7 (Tue)
2014 August 3 (Sun)
On Tuesday evening as I was finally sitting down and sketching some design plans for the front yard, there was a knock on my front door. I opened the door. It was the neighbor who lives behind me. He started by asking, "Have you seen your front yard? It looks terrible." He complained about the front yard. He complained about the back alley that separates us. I let him finish and then told him I was very offended. Then I launched into telling him my plans for increasing the biodiversity of my yard through introducing native plant species. I said it was a restoration project and I'm still figuring out which species do well and where.
2014 July 13 (Sun)
Native biodiversity is steadily increasing. The area that is doing the best is the full-sun back alley, which kind of surprised me. I thought I'd have the hardest time back there because of the blazing hot sun and dry, washed-away soil, but a lot of plants are actually starting to thrive: straggler daisy, partridge pea, lanceleaf coreopsis, purple coneflower, prairie verbena, Maximilian sunflower, black-eyed Susan, and coralbean. Some aren't particularly native to my parish, but Texas isn't that far off and I use the seeds that I've got.