Monday, February 28, 2011

adding by subtracting

Since that last freeze didn't kill our huge front sidewalk agave, husband Kurt removed it this weekend. Be still my heart! That agave was just too big and drew too much attention away from some of the other cool spiky plants.
today: balance somewhat restored
last Friday: monster agave with pups hogging all the attention
phase one of removal process
agave carcass in the back yard
tiny pup transplanted to huge agave's previous spot with new blackfoot daisies
I'm hoping those blackfoot daisies will fill in around the three agaves, but I may need to add a couple more. And if I end up missing the big agave, I've got another patch of the same agaves now crowding each other and the corner streetlight.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

thawed and slightly flawed

I'd sort of hoped the freezing weather would kill this agave, which is just too big now.  
Austin had several windy days in a row last week in which the daytime highs barely hit 31 and nighttime lows were in the teens/low 20s. The week before that we had more freezing temperatures and measurable snow, which is extremely unusual for Austin.

Our 1941 house has its original wood frame windows, which we normally love, but I definitely did not love their draftiness in that cold weather and am happy to be wearing only one layer of clothing and no knit cap inside the house this weekend.

Outside the house today, I finally checked out the state of the garden. Our xeric lawnless front and side yards came through fine. The only things out there I covered were two potted succulents and my potted Blackfoot Daisies.

Santolina and rosemary fare well, whether it's 30 or 103.
Paperwhites' blooms crashed and burned, but their stalks and leaves are still perky.
Even in a pot, the Mexican Feathergrass is another xeric plant that can handle cold or heat.
I experimented a bit with the backyard vegetable garden, only bothering to cover a few of the tenderest plants. I'm pleasantly surprised by the results: lots of plants are damaged but not dead, and most of the damaged vegetable leaves aren't pretty but are still edible and will be fine tossed into a soup.
Covering these leaf lettuces paid off.
I covered this second round of beet seedlings, and although they're small, they look healthy.
I covered my potted aloes, but it wasn't enough--should have brought them inside. I think this one will bounce back, though.
Violas fared well covered and did double duty as an anchor for the row cover  protecting the garlic.