Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I Plan, I Cut, I Shop, I Fail At Math

Anacacho Orchid Tree
Somehow obsessing about plants all day has not gotten old. It's 9:40 pm and I am still entering data into my spreadsheet about the plants I wish to put in the garden. Of course now "the garden" has expanded from the new garden to the entire garden. The previous owner of our home (unlike the first owner who designed and planted everything) was not much into gardening. He pretty much let it all go to hell so all that I have left of the original plants is a few crepe myrtles, red yuccas, some nandina, and a bit of phlox, jasmine, and English ivy. It might sound like a lot, but there are many virtually empty beds that I might as well fill now along with everything else!

I had the landscape guys cut five more cedars today--all around 15 feet tall. These cedars were on the front (northeast corner) of the house and I am replacing them all with a variety of other native Texas trees and shrubs. Maybe if there is a gorgeous Anacacho orchid tree in front of the bathroom window instead of a straggly cedar, the contractors will be too busy looking at it to look in at me. A girl can dream.

Goldenball Lead Tree
The stone didn't get delivered today, I am told first thing tomorrow morning along with four additional laborers--two stone masons and two general lifting and clearing help. I am going to spend the day out with them laying out the first course of all the beds and making changes to it as necessary. I'll also finalize the design of the pond. I was really happy with my pond in Atlanta except for the leaking liner in the bog pond part. I had originally thought to avoid that failure point by putting the bog pond inside the regular pond here, but the way the layout worked put it separate and behind. I think we'll be okay though as there is an old driveway in the spot where the bog pond will go that will provide a stable slab for it. I'm also not making it as deep so if I ever did have a leak and had to empty out all the rocks, it wouldn't be that big of a deal (menaing I can hire people to do it without breaking the bank or their backs). The other change in the design is that we're going to use a spray-on liner instead of sheet liner. Jay used it in a pond several years ago and it has been totally maintenance-free. There is a clear version available that I got all excited about thinking we could use it to fix the leaks in the stream in the backyard, but it only works if it stays full of water--we drain the stream in the winter. Of course I guess we don't have to drain it...

I ended my work day with a trip to the Barton Springs Nursery where I bought all my native Texas plants 14 years ago. Their selection is even better now, and even though I was only planning an exploratory foray today, I ended up buying 10 trees. They were all on my list so I'm only jumping the gun a little bit. I didn't buy everything they had that was on my list even though they have just about everything I want. I was not only restrained (for me) because we're not ready to plant till the week after next, but because I need to decide on quantities for each type of plant now that I know they're available. In order to decide quantities, I need to get the final beds laid out and measure their area...

Lyre Leaf Sage
Okay, math sideline here. When we were taking measurements of the bed layout to decide how much stone we needed to buy, we measured the perimeter of the beds because, well, the stone goes around the outside. It made sense to me thinking about it that the area for all the shapes with the same perimeter would be the same: If you take a roundish shape and pull it out into an oval it will be longer and narrower, but it seems like it should be the same area because the length of the outline didn't change. However I good I felt about my deduction, I had to run it past the spouse because I always check my math with him. Good thing I did because apparently the area changes. He started in about using calculus to prove it to me, but I thanked him and told him I needed to get back to bed planning and I would just take his word for it.

Before I can figure out quantities of plants I need to be able to decide which ones are going where, which means I also need to finish my spreadsheet. It includes light requirements, size, bloom period and such. I have a feeling I am going to be spending a lot of time in Honduras next week working on this project. But back to today. In addition to the 10 trees I selected in person, I also ordered one very hard-to-find tree online from Vincent Gardens, and 23 packets of wildflower seeds, one bunch of wildflower roots, and one packet of grass seed from Native American Seeds.

The 11 trees are:
Guajillo Senegalia berlandieri, Berlandier acacia
Anacacho Orchid Tree Bauhinia lunaroides
Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis
Kidneywood Eysenhardtia texana
Goldenball Lead Tree Leucaena retusa
Mexican Plum Prunus mexicana
Toothache Tree Zanthoxylum hirsutum
Arbequina Olive Tree Olea europaea var. Arbequina
Southern Sweet Dwarf Peach Prunus persica var. Southern Sweet
Mexican Buckeye Ungnadia speciosa
Wonderful Pomegranate Punica granatum var. Wonderful

And the seeds are:
Barbara's Buttons Marshallia caespitosa
Blue Curls Phacelia congesta
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
Frostflower Verbesina virginica
Gayfeather Liatris punctata var. mucronata
Greenthread Thelesperma filifolium
Horesemint Monarda citriodora
Indian Blanket Gaillardia pulchella
Lyre-Leaf Sage Salvia lyrata
Meadow flax, blue flax Linum lewisii
Meadow Pink Sabatia campestris
Mealy Blue Sage Salvia farinacea
Mexican Hat Ratibida columnifera
Mountain Pink Centaurium beyrichii
Nodding Penstemon, Beardtongue Penstemon laxiflorus
Pavonia, Rockrose Pavonia lasiopetala
Penstemon Sage, Big Red Sage Hensley's Salvia penstemonoides
Prairie Coneflower Ratibida columnifera
Scarlet Sage Salvia coccinea
Tahoka Daisy Machaeranthera tanacetifolia
Tall Goldenrod Solidago altissima
Western Spiderwort Tradescantia occidentalis
Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa
Yellow Evening Primrose Oenothera missouriensis
Little Bluestem Schizachrium scoparium

Best place to get information about all of them is in one of the on-line plant databases that I believe are all ultimately based on the USDA database that I couldn't make work for me yesterday. My favorite one is the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant List. Pictures on this page are linked to from there.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I remember Ladybird Johnson touting "Keep America Beautiful" during the Vietnam War.