I walked around the garden and took pictures of the immense amount of growth that we had this year. A lot was due to the early rains we had in the Spring which gave us such a good start and the rest was due to not having a killer summer as we did last year. With the thrombosis, I was not able to do much gardening for the last month or so but have just started to get back to it and have cut back some of the walkways. The others do look overgrown and pretty raggedy and need attention.
Earlier in the year, I installed a semi automated watering system of drip and soaker hoses on timers. This was the first real test to see how well it worked. It took a bit to get the timing sequences worked out and I managed to run up a hefty bill for one month of $205. I levelled that off quite considerably in the second month and got it down to $103 and included in that was the water used by the automatic float levelers that I had installed that keep the ponds topped off. What watering I did do this year by hand was on the deck with the potted plants and keeping the small fish and aquatic plant tubs topped up. I managed to lose one shrub that I had freshly planted and I guess it was not able to establish a root system sufficient for the soaker hoses to maintain.
The leaves are starting to fall from the Elm tree and are coating the ground with their usual amount of clean up work. In a way, it is sad when this happens as it is a sure sign that winter is not too far away although here in this part of Texas, we shouldn’t really complain about winter as it is practically non-existent. The Live Oak leaves seem to fall at a different time although some of them are coming down now. I am never quite sure about them whether they come down in the Fall or in the Spring or maybe its a combination of both. All of these falling leaves means more work keeping the filters clean as the skimmers do their job and there will be more emptying of the leaf baskets than usual. This coming winter, I will probably have to break down the automated systems to keep them from freezing on those rare occasions when we do get a freeze..
Talking about winter, we usually get at least one killer frost and it just wipes out any remaining greenery that has not died through the natural cycle. Many of the evergreens get hit this way and I have to build special covers over the succulents to keep them from freezing. What this does mean is a massive clean up job as all of the vegetation you see in the picture has to go somewhere after it has died. I load all of the dead material on this giant compost heap that I am working on. I’m sure that within the dark interior, there is probably some really great soil just waiting to be spread on the garden and maybe this winter, I will do just that. This is the only time that I can see the whole yard with nothing on the way.
This coming weekend, the Wildflower Center is holding its Annual Fall sale. I don’t really need too much as my garden is pretty full (just look at the pictures) but I do have a couple of plants that I do not have and would really like to add to my collection. So I will probably throw my trusty little hand trailer in the car along with my camera and pay them another visit. Members are lucky enough to get a preview sale on Friday afternoon meaning that we get to miss most of the crowds and get a chance to get to the “good stuff” before it is all sold.
I may even hang around and take a bunch of pictures and write a blog piece on the sale, maybe.
The gallery below can be viewed in full size pictures by single clicking on any one of them and then using the arrows to get to the next picture.These pictures, which I took on Wednesday, October 10, are of all of the flowers that are still blooming in the garden even at this late time. Some, like the Fall Asters only bloom in the Fall. Others like the Yellow Bells bloom all summer long as do the Four O ‘ Clocks and many of the others too.
The slideshow is a combination of all pictures that I took as I walked around the garden not including the flowers. They too can be made full size by clicking in the arrows on bottom right. The quality of the picture is not as good though. I wanted to show off the luxurious growth and Mother Nature doing her very best to take over from me. Its pretty amazing that if left to her own resources Nature has a totally different plan for how things should grow and it never seems to be the same plan as mine. Now, if only I could better communicate with her..