A Better Sense of Place

2014 October 7 (Tue)

Two-month recap

As I said in yesterday's post, this post will sum up with pictures what's been going on the past two months. I'll start with the alley circa August 15, a mere twelve days after my neighbor accosted me at my front door with "But have you seen the alley?"

I took this in the morning before my bike ride to work. I left my bike in the shot for some sense of scale because the height of that unidentified plant next to it is admirable. In the foreground is some orange tithonia surrounded by spiderwort, black-eyed Susan, and fragrant flatsedge. Beyond that is a tall lateflowering throroughwort growing right next to a small coralbean. Past that is a larger coralbean and a purple coneflower. After that is the start of the partridge pea and Maximilian sunflower. On the fence back there is some wild grape. Down low along the concrete is straggler daisy and prairie verbena.

On the other side of the alley is my dear neighbor. What's growing there is nothing but one species of groundcover (that I can't find the name of, but it's EVERYwhere down here).

The next two shots are a month later of the rain garden and Chicken Yard (Sep 17).

All the annuals are dead, as expected. There wasn't much action in the rain garden, really. Some shrub sticks, basically. The Chicken Yard showed more life with a bunch of lanceleaf coreopsis. Ought to be interesting in the spring.

After my second neighbor interaction, I decided to up the priority of buying some garden edging. It was something I figured I was going to do anyway, but I decided to stop procrastinating. I bought four 5-inch by 40-foot reels of edging online. Before installation, I stretched them out in the driveway to heat up and weighed them down with weights.

Oh, I also have a friend who was in the middle of pruning some live oak trees, so I drove over to pick up some logs. These next two pictures shows the results after installing one roll of edging,

Meanwhile, the butterflies were making due with whatever host plants there were. I don't have much yet, but a Gulf fritillary laid some eggs on my maypop and a monarch did the same on some swamp milkweed.

Along the way since I first scalped the front yard grass on August 2, I've been out hoeing and shaking off dirt from the grass rhizomes. This picture shows the result of the hoeing and edging as of September 30.

In the bed nearer to the road, I sowed partridge pea, rattlesnake master, purple coneflower, lanceleaf coreopsis, and plains coreopsis (wild from LSU). I'm still preparing the bed on the right but have a whole ton of seeds ready to be stepped into the soil. I'm mainly just waiting for all those spindly asters to flower so I can finish hoeing, but I might just start sowing anyway.

Now that I've done all this work based on my front yard plan (which I haven't actually scanned in and posted yet, it seems), I think it's too bad that those two sago palms are where they are. I'd prefer to replace them with Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle), but I can't imagine digging them out now.

In other news, I bought a reel mower at the very end of August to replace my gas-powered rotary mower. It's a Fiskars 18-Inch Staysharp Max. It's a lot more enjoyable to use. Quieter, no fumes, safer, less maintenance, no gas, no oil changes, etc. The downside, if it really matters, is that it can't cut anything taller than six inches. It also only works in one direction. But it's worth it.

I've sowed a bunch of seeds and planted things, but I may just leave that for another post.

Anyway, that's what's been happening the past two months.


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alley before caterpillars exotic fall flowers front yard laws neighbor planning plant id prep rain rain garden snow sowing spring sprouts summer winter