Tag Archives | plants

I love the delicate shapeliness of myrtle.

Meet the new rock garden

Our most recent project has been in the making for quite a while. (Everything around here takes several years to complete . . . ) Here it is, the rock garden. A mound of rock rubble from around the ranch, filled in with soil, topped with gravel, and accented with large stones. Finally, in late […]

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kangaroo paws | DancingRedRanch.com

Summer in Sydney

Just as the cold change moves into the Hill Country, I receive these photos from Andy, my Sydney neighbhor. I hope they cheer you up as they have me!

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certified wildlife habitat | DancingRedRanch.com

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?)

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grevillea 'superb' | DancingRedRanch.com


Andy, my sweet neighbor in Sydney, sent along this photo from our front garden. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a Grevillea “Superb,” a low, spreading evergreen shrub with deeply divided foliage bearing large, salmon-colored flowers all year long. Grevilleas are native to Australia, and this hybrid is a cross between a Queensland native, Grevillea banksii, which […]

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primula | DancingRedRanch.com

Sydney: a more congenial garden climate

Even on my best days, patience is not my strong suit. You can imagine how I’m feeling in mid-October with the temperatures still in the mid- to upper-90s. Between the heat and the squirrels, I’m inches from just blowing up the garden to be done with it. To distract myself, I think back to the […]

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magnolia 2 | DancingRedRanch.com

In praise of magnolias

Who knew? I always thought of magnolias (if I ever thought of them) as the over-dressed girls of the tree world. But spring has come early to Sydney this year, and we’ve experienced all three magnolia trees in all their glory. I’m in love — truly, madly, deeply. Like the redbud I know well from […]

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french lavender | DancingRedRanch.com

Longing for lavender

We received a wonderfully warm welcome here in Sydney. Up to the high 60s and lovely, caressing winter sun. We’ve begun the semi-annual work of weeding and grooming and planting and pruning, and even added an espalier of lemon trees against the now-grandly renovated shed wall. But I’m worried about the lavenders back at Dancing […]

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corymbia | DancingRedRanch.com

Meanwhile, back in Sydney . . .

We are struggling to find spring here in Austin, but in our Sydney garden, the baby flowering gums (Corymbia ficifolio “Summer Red,” a eucalypt grafted onto a hardy rootstock) are feeling their full glory! Our dear, sweet neighbor Andy sent this photo this morning. Perfect timing. After two days laid low with the stomach flu, […]

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lavender | DancingRedRanch.com

Death & destruction in the lavender field

It started out with such joy and adventure! After seeing a lavender hillside at McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma, California, we decided we wanted a sublime bit of heaven for ourselves. But our lavender field hasn’t been a pretty sight for several years now. Stricken by what we suspected was lavender blight, we stopped pruning for […]

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opium poppies | DancingRedRanch.com

Return of the poppies

I feel like a war bride breathlessly rushing across to the well-house garden. “You’re back! You’re back!” There, in the tall terracotta pot most recently planted with thryallis (galphimia glauca), surrounded by an admiring throng of bicolor iris (dietes bicolor), is a thicket of opium poppies (papaver somniferum). I had so loved the opium poppies […]

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