The morning temperatures have dipped below 70 and the humidity is low, making for pleasant garden mornings. The more I clean up the leaf litter, cut back the overgrown plants and weed, the more I start thinking of new garden plans.

August 31st, 2004
Dietes vegeta

Gardening has its fashions. One year it was pentas. Then it was Tecoma stans. This year commercial landscapes all over Austin, planted Dietes vegeta, the butterfly iris. The long graceful spears are attractive even when the plants are not in bloom. But when they are bloom, it’s magic; single flowers flutter above the leaves.

Seduced, I bought a gallon pot of some at Home Depot several months ago. Since I was going to be away at the worst part of summer, I decided not to plant them then. Today I finally got around to it.
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How long does your garden look nice without you?

August 14th, 2004
My Garden Without Me

Our third day of wonderfully cool temperatures in a row has got me out nosing in the garden again, tidying up here and there.

During my week stay with my parents in Las Vegas, I continued to be very much impressed with the xeriscape designs along the streets and medians as well as the very small, but well-landscaped yards. Two-thirds of Las Vegas didn’t exist when I lived there as a teenager. The desert is bull-dozed as new development is laid like a giant grid in the valley and the landscaping is newly installed, a bit crisp, clean and artificial like the houses. All the neighborhoods are sheltered from the major streets with cinder block walls. Most of the newer developments also include a wide (not greenspace but) planted space between the street and the walls. The design of these xeriscape spaces is delicately fluid and much more attractive than either mown grass or decorative rock landscapes of my past.
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The garden looks trashed, like a house the morning after a big party.

August 6th, 2004
Home Again Post-Vacation Blues

When I arrived home at 4 this morning, I slipped out into the moonlit garden even before disturbing the sleeping boys with my “I’m home”. Plants looked bigger, the grass was longer, and the paths a little overrun with weeds.
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