12 February 2009

Small Changes Up Front

A lot of my focus in the garden has been on that back. That's where we spend the most time, and I think it's pretty common for most folks to focus on the spot where they'll be first. And, there's still a ton of work to do back there. Always will be.

But, I've started to take some baby steps up front. Pruning here, transplanting there. I'm very excited about two new things up there.

First, chairs. It's important to have a place to sit out front. Our 2-foot wide porch was designed my imbeciles, and is no good for watching the neighbors stroll by or catching a glimpse of the sunrise. So, voila: chairs.

I've had the one blue one + ottoman for a while, but it was lonely and relegated to the garage. But John found this white one in someone's garbage pile this week. Garbage chairs have treated us well in the past and this one'll do just fine. So, now we have a pair, and I can't wait to see what they look like with tall green buffalo grass growing up around them. Inviting, I bet.

I also decided to turn the ratty larger circle of buffalo grass into a planted bed. My first step was to plant this twiggy, young Anacua tree (Ehretia anacua). I'm really stoked about this tree. It's also called Sandpaper Tree and its leaves feel rough like a cats tongue. Rough enough to file your nails on. This tree is from South Texas, but I first saw them growing all over the place on Austin's Lower East Side (Holly Street neighborhood), a neighborhood with a relatively distinct plant palette relative to other parts of Austin. There, the anacuas are as tall as pecans and live oaks. These evergreens pack a lot into one tree too. Apparently, they have lovely white flowers in the spring that the bees swarm to, and then orange fruits after that. And their trunks grow all corky, tangled and strange. What's not to like about all that?

Next steps will be to cover all that sod that I painstakingly installed (dammit!) with pea gravel and some new plants. I want lots of sculptural plants, evergreen, hardy. Can't wait to fill that space in!


Lancashire rose said...

I think you have the right idea. Must have a place to sit front and back and getting rid of the grass is a fine idea. I'll be interested to see what you plant there. what a stroke of luck on the chair.

east-side-patch said...

Hi Lee.
Great idea on the new bed verses grass. It is quite a large area and will undoubtably become an eye-catcher. It would also be a great spot for a bubble fountain!
I look forward to see how you progress here!

Bouncer said...

Hi Lee,
I'm curious about the buffalo/grama lawn. Was it too much work to keep the weeds out? Or do you just want more room for plants? I've been thinking about removing my St. Augustine lawn and replacing it with a mix of buffalo & grama grasses this spring, but I'm not quite convinced. I may end up installing a "lawn" of crushed granite instead!

Lee said...

Hey Ben, The buffalo/grama lawn was a good idea, but I just put it in the wrong place. Mainly, it's too shady. Buffalo/grama needs full sun, which everyone had told me, and only now do I believe. I have another circle of buffala/grama in full sun and it is healthy, happy and virtually weed free. If you have a shady spot and are looking for lawn alternative, I hear that Texas sedge is a good one, but I'm not sure if it handles high traffic.