My tiny cottage garden

On Friday we posted our “Certified Wildlife Habitat” sign on the gate leading into the backyard in our Austin home. While I was there snapping the sign, I turned the camera to the left, to document what I grandly call my “cottage garden.” (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

certified wildlife habitat | DancingRedRanch.com

We love our wildlife!

cottage bed | DancingRedRanch.com

The narrow end of the bed is full of aztec grass, to echo the bed out front, with a dwarf yaupon at the far point and irises on the fuller side. I cut down the bottle brush that had crashed several years ago, and it’s coming back! Underneath the soil are anemone bulbs. The ones last year, their first, were just beautiful

cottage garden 6 | DancingRedRanch.com

Our garden elf, a gift from Sherry, my garden-buddy neighbor. She (the elf, not Sherry) is tucked in between the aztec grass and dwarf yaupon.

mexican petunia | DancingRedRanch.com

I’ve been admiring the Mexican petunias around town in the past several weeks. They’re the regular size, a few feet high, with great blooms at this time of year. I finally found a few to buy and planted this one in front of the cannas and next to the crinums and forsythia sage.

cottage garden 2 | DancingRedRanch.com

I added cannas at the back of the bed in October, to stand alongside the crinums and bicolor iris. I love seeing the beautiful stonework through their leaves.

cottage garden 3 | DancingRedRanch.com

Last year’s foxgloves were such a success that I planted another. I could only find one to buy. I’ll have to wait until the spring to see whether any reseeded themselves.

cottage garden 4 | DancingRedRanch.com

I’ve been taken by hollyhocks in all those English gardens I visit, so I just planted Alcea rosea ‘Chater’s Double.’ We’ll see. In the meantime, I have seedlings in the kitchen window, the seeds having been provided as a “parting gift” after touring Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu home. Also: Gregg’s mistflower, crinums, purple oxalis.

cottage garden 5 | DancingRedRanch.com

Two dwarf yaupon separate the narrow and wide parts of the “cottage garden.” The back row: cannas, crinums, and bicolor iris. Middle row: Forsythia sage, flax, Philippine violet, Gregg’s mistflower, myrtle. Front: oxalis, prostrate germander, dwarf Mexican petunias, salvia greggii. Seeds and bulbs for spring blossoms: larkspur, poppies, anemones, and byzantium gladiolas (autumn). (I loved these slim, vibrant gladiolas when I saw them at the Antiques Rose Emporium last year, and made a note to buy and plant some this fall.)

cottage garden 6 | DancingRedRanch.com

The bicolor iris were given a shear, because they were flopping over everything in front of them. This Phillipine violet is my third try. In the past, it’s died in freezes. Crossed fingers for this one, which even blossomed a bit this year. In front: myrtle, which proved itself bullet-proof out at the ranch. A lovely, glossy leaf in a starburst form. Behind, a new fig ivy that’s just about to hike its legs up the fence.

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2 Responses to My tiny cottage garden

  1. Ann Yakimovicz November 22, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Hmmm, here’s where a bit of plant taxonomy might be useful. I think larkspurs are Delphinium and hollyhocks are Alcea, which would make them different plants.

    • Dancing Red Ranch November 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      LOL! I still haven’t gotten it right…. I spend so much time editing the photos that I rush through the text. I’m lazy about the proper plant names. Thanks for setting the story straight. I’ll correct it on the post….

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