21 November 2011

Rockin'

Over the weekend, some shopping took me past our favorite supplier of landscaping materials, Whittlesey Landscape Supplies, so I stopped in and picked up about nine dollars of small moss rocks (similar to the larger one we put in the backyard). They're for the narrow strip between the screened porch and the someday-patio, where our landscape designer suggested a succulent garden.



(The green edging in the picture above -- also from Whittlesey -- delineates the edge of the someday-patio (which will probably be made of bricks or pavers). Before we put it in, we need to install the rainwater collection system, which will include a pipe running under the patio. By the way, after some back-and-forth regarding my pitiful drawings, the city approved our rebate application last week, so I made a down payment on a cistern from Texas Metal Cisterns. Unfortunately, their wares are very much in demand, so we won't get ours until March...but at least the weather should be pretty good for rainwater collection system installation by then.)

Back to the rocks. I placed them semi-randomly, knowing that I'll probably have to move them as we add succulents and work out natural-looking layout. So far we only have these five Autumn Joy sedums.



I envision these taller sedums among a lot of shorter, spreading varieties in a pink and green color scheme (like the "tri-color" sedum I came across earlier this year).

Here's an Autumn Joy up close. This one has started sprouting on top in the few weeks since I planted it (a good sign).



Autumn Joy gets fairly tall (for a sedum). The name comes from the fact that it has salmon-colored flowers in the fall, but so far I haven't seen it. This one had these buds when I bought it a month or so ago, but they haven't developed into anything that could really be called flowers:



Although the whole succulent garden should probably wait on the patio installation, I was inspired to buy the Autumn Joys when Lowe's had them on sale for $2.50 each (I loved how Lowe's had different plants on sale in their weekly ads all summer and was sad when fall came to the north and the sales stopped, even though there's plenty of time left to plant down here). That's also how I ended up with eight lamb's ears, four of which I planted in the backyard last month. Sadly, in the time it took me to put the other four in the ground, Lowe's cleared out their garden center to gear up for Christmas tree season. But over the weekend I finally planted the last four lamb's ears by the entry (two on each side of the someday-walkway):



Interestingly, one of the tags on one of the lamb's ears translated the name into Spanish as "oreja de conejo," or "bunny's ear." (Sure enough, the leaves are totally reminiscent of Miss Millie's floppers.) I'm optimistic that being in the ground will help them to perk up and fill in like the ones in the backyard did. The three we put together looked like this when we planted them last month:



Six weeks later, they've become lush and full:



And they're sporting a yard bunny, 'cause that's how we roll. Orejas de conejo, indeed.

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