Friday, March 22, 2013

South Texas Garden in Spring or....Another Form of Mixed Media Art! Hastypearl

South Texas Garden in Spring
Another Form of Mixed Media Art!
 For me, assemblage art can happen in a studio or it can happen in a garden! For 37 married years, I have in various South Texas homes, attempted to conquer our regions set of challenges and create gardens. Every region has its own set of challenges. For us in the beautiful Hill Country in South Central Texas, it starts with shallow soil, resting on limestone. Night time temperatures in the summer can stay in the 80's. As a semi arid region, next to a desert, rain is often slight, and when it comes, it can come in amounts so high, that run off is its only alternative. Then, the final blow, for those of us who choose to reside in the country, are the ravenous whitetail and axis deer. Both, ignore the available lists of deer resistant plants! Still.....                                           


the gardening community is strong. Texans gardeners don't give up easily for anything. My goal in my only three year old organic garden, is to take seriously our threatened water sources. I understand that we have less turf than most of our neighbors. Years of experience has taught me to utilize the rich catalog of plants that come from our neighbors to the deserts west in Texas and south in Mexico. We don't however, have to ONLY use xeric plants, but can judiciously compliment with more hybridized choices as well. Hey, a girl HAS to have roses! So, we call on Heritage roses that are found blooming untended in abandoned cemeteries and homes. For me, a rose HAS to rebloom AND be fragrant to make the cut in my garden.


 While we have a deer proof fence in the back yard, other visitors are frequent. Last week, we had a run in with a porcupine that resulted in an early end to his days. Rattlesnakes will go the same way. They are dangerous to humans, to our dogs and expensive to our wallets. Otherwise, we coexist with lots of creatures. Skunks, road runners, raccoons, fox and hawks all pass through and visit our pond. We are in a north/south migratory path for many birds that reside here during our mild winters and return home to the north, in the spring. The same is true for butterflies. Monarchs head north from Mexico through Texas and find their favorite food, milkweed, if homeowners don't irradicate it, in favor of a perfect and water thirsty lawn filled with neat and tidy hedges that are pretty useless to most wildlife.

 Over the seasons, I will post pictures of the unfolding of our long growing season. With probably just under an acre under cultivation, we have for the first time in our marriage, gotten some help. As backs and joints wear out, its nice to leave the heavy lifting work to the young and fit, leaving energy for the CREATING part that brings me so much pleasure.

 I do have some helpers in the garden. Lola, our beloved Airedale has forgiven us the addition of Goldendoodle, Darcy, but just barely. Frequent potty trips with our newest family member bring opportunity to enjoy the strong but short lived fragrances that linger at night. Stargazing in our broad, dark, country sky are astounding. While I admit, I'd probably rather be in bed, there are those rewards!


 This beautiful tree is the Huisache. It is covered in the spring with yellow pom pom flowers that smell like buttery, honey, especially at night. I'm sure that that makes for absolutely happy visits for the night time pollinating, moths. The white blooming tree in the first picture is a Whitebud, like the native Texas Redbud that starts the spring off with its beautiful red flowers.

 With alkaline soils, the more common acidic hollies are impossible to grow in my garden, but instead, we are happy to have the deciduous Possomhaw Holly. The red berries next to the Huisache are a great combination, don't you think?

Spring is our greatest time for wildflowers and the rains dictate how lush the show will be. This year we are again behind on rain, so in our area, unless supplemental water has been made available, they will probably be sparse. Finally, I have found a way to have roses in my deer exposed front yard, by using antique climbers. I'm pretty good at keeping the tags for all of my plants, but pretty promptly forget the varieties. Ill leave that to some really wonderful garden specific blogs. My job here, is to journal along my creative process throughout the year in the life of my garden.
I hope that you enjoy what you see. This is just a start. There will be much more to come.
See, art comes in many forms:) 
Have fun!

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