Fergus Garrett | DancingRedRanch.com

Christo, Fergus and me

Central Texas has been rainy this month, so everything here is surprisingly, and rather oddly, green. Still, it’s too hot to start planting and will be for at least another four to six weeks. Sidelined, I turn to books. Today I finished one by Christopher Lloyd — The Adventurous Gardener. (I’m concurrently working my way […]

Continue Reading

Things I didn’t photograph

I am a constant gardener, but an unconstant blogger. If I were as devoted a blogger as a gardener, I’d have pictures for you of the lovely garden we’ve left on its own to enter spring and early summer in Sydney. I’d have pictures of our Eremophila nivea, a bushy silver-gray native that is notoriously […]

Continue Reading

Greenhouse envy

I’m a sucker for any kind of  “backstage” tour, and the glasshouse tour at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney was no disappointment. Led by botanist Dr. Dale Dixon, Curator Manager at the garden, we made our way through the new tropical display house, known as Latitude 23, which is home to an amazing collection of […]

Continue Reading

Sunflowers, by way of Berlin

I had better luck sowing seeds this year than ever before. Beside the hollyhocks from Georgia O’Keeffe’s garden, I sowed sunflower (tithonia rotundifolia) seeds that I bought at one of the most wonderful artist home/gardens I’ve ever visited: the Max Liebermann Villa outside of Berlin on Lake Wannsee. Here’s what the seedlings looked like when […]

Continue Reading

Far from England . . .

For the first time in several years, we did not take our annual springtime trek to England. Instead, I must be satisfied with my own foxgloves, in Austin, in what I call (aspirationally) the “cottage garden.”

Continue Reading
shade bed | DancingRedRanch.com

At Dancing Red, a lush shade bed

There is one tiny spot of shade at Dancing Red Ranch, and it’s taken me a lot of years to get it right. With the help of landscape designer and radio host Sheryl McLaughlin (if you don’t listen to her weekly show, you should!), I planted up a shade-, drought-, and deer-tolerant bed last year. […]

Continue Reading
fallen crape myrrtle | DancingRedRanch.com

After the storm . . .

From the bedroom we have such a great view (well, two views, actually, from the double windows across to the hills and from the french doors across to the field). A nighttime Texas boomer is a sight (and sound) to behold. But Friday night’s storm was off the charts. The driving downpour on the metal […]

Continue Reading
corymbia | DancingRedRanch.com

Meanwhile, back in Sydney

A few days after our dear neighbor sent this photo of our glorious corymbia ‘Summer Red’ in full flower, she emailed this other photo of a large, fallen limb of the jacaranda several yards away. Apparently the corymbia needs a stake, but will survive! (Work to do on that limb when we return . . […]

Continue Reading
sunflower seedlings | DancingRedRanch.com


The several times I have attempted to sow seeds, I have been spectacularly unsuccessful. But look at these sunflowers (tithonia rotundifolia)! I bought the seeds from one of my all-time favorite artist’s home/gardens, the Max Liebermann Villa outside of Berlin on Lake Wannsee. We spent a magical day there last year. I sowed the seeds […]

Continue Reading