Enjoying fall color and a mellow garden

December 07, 2022

When I hang red Christmas balls from the agave thorn, the Japanese maple eventually turns red too. Fall comes late to Central Texas, but I’ll take it, even at Christmas time.

It was the peak color for last week Maple palmate. Today, shriveled brown leaves cling to the branches. But it was lovely while it lasted.

In the garden next door, fall color is missing, but I’m pleased with how the Mexican feathergrass has filled in around the agave pillars and ‘Baby Gem’ boxwood. Community Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) is also OK — there are some lavender flowers — though not quite as fulfilling as I’d hoped during this hellish summer. Maybe next year!

At dusk, string lights along the fence come on automatically, illuminating the side paths.

This is an ‘Opal’ American Agave in a dish planter.

Front, wheeler’s sotol (Desilyrion Wheelery) is a jagged, blue-green starburst. I’m thankful that deer don’t ant them in the fall, as they do with smaller trees, agaves, prickly pears, giant hesperaloes, and certain yuccas (ugh, deer). I didn’t cage my giant Hesperalos this fall — I’m tired of cages — and they’re now broken, courtesy of Bambi. I will be removing them soon. My deer-resistant plant palette shrinks every year, but I still have more variety than most in my neighborhood. Will keep trying things!

Our sweet weather this week is outdoor weather. High 81F today. No accumulation in my garden yet.

Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida) and ‘Amistad’ salvia make a lovely combo alongside a potted ‘Munglo’ mangove. purple oxalis (Oxalis triangularis) continue the color scheme by the sofa in a turquoise pot.

A native pepper, the chile pequin (potatoes), Christmas-colored alongside a silver whale’s tongue agave — a moby dog! – and Silver Ponyfoot (Dichondra argentea)

In the lower garden, the little Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana) The leaves are butternut-yellow and catch my eye.

More yellow sparkles around the circle garden with Eve’s necklace (Stephanolobium affine) behind, forsythia sage (Salvia madrensis), and ‘Color Guard’ yucca.

Bouncing balls are ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood, with ‘Micron’ dwarf Japanese holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘micron’) around the center ring.

But right now the golden star is ‘Wonderful’ Pomegranate. It’s not quite at peak color yet. I love it against the steel-blue Yucca rostrata and ‘Blue Eyes’ Arizona cypress.

A wide view — and see how strangely tall the yucca has grown!

A view across the Circle Garden, with pomegranate and forsythia sage heading for fall.

My forsythia sage entered after this blistering summer. I sympathize! It usually starts blooming around Halloween or early November. But this year it did not bloom until early December.

I’m thankful for no frost yet to nip it in the bud.

The moon-yellow variety of whale’s tongue agave echoes the fall splendor of pomegranates.

Along the deck, Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) adds velvety purple.

The bees were following him.

A rogue fall flower on ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)

And a cute little anole hanging on a ‘frazzle dazzle’ daikia — spiky!

Inside I’m still enjoying the fall vibes, but the Christmas decorations are going up this week. It’s time to let pumpkins and mums go.

Anyone else between fall and winter?

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All material © 2022 by Pam Penick for Excavation. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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