What’s new and different in this table setting are the Venetian goblets, the Mottahedeh porcelain, and the silver mint julep cups. I ordered my goblets while on vacation in Venice, and they are by far my favorite. But unfortunately, after eleven years of use, I only have a few left. I am currently trying to reconnect with the Murano shop where I purchased them and my chandelier, but their website has disappeared.
Pink Preference Autumn Sage (Salvia greggi ‘Pink Preference’). Remember this bald patch? It had become obvious that the Texas betony was not going to thrive, and my landscape architect Michael Parkey started to think about what would be a good replacement. We had also hoped to do the switch in the autumn, but timing wasn’t on our side. Last week he called me with his choice, and in trying to locate this cultivar, I discovered that it’s hard to come by. It’s one of the more vigorous autumn sages and with its complimentary coloring was the perfect replacement. Nicholson-Hardie was able to find one grower located near Oklahoma, who had gallon pots of which I needed nine. But since Nichoson-Hardie would have no shipments from this grower until the fall and there was a chance they might sell out before then, the grower suggested that he could bring them with him in a few days when he came to Dallas for an Arboretum event.
After picking them up, planting needed to happen ASAP. Waiting for September was not an option, because plants have a better chance of surviving our summers planted in the ground. They might look anemic right now, but next summer they should be about two feet wide by three feet tall. I forgot to mention that Autumn Sage is another native Texan that will attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
A newly bracketed focal point. These two cast stone benches arrived Friday, but I had to wait for the weather to clear up before I could photograph them. If the brick and decomposed granite appear unusually saturated color wise, that’s because they are saturated from days and days of badly needed rain.
I did a tremendous amount of research before choosing this pair. The strict criteria of depth and length determined by the brick terrace’s shape and size, and the height determined by the central pot drastically limited my choices. And then, of course, there was the overall design to worry about. Do you know what kind of designs there were plenty of? Foo foo. Lots and lots of frilly overwrought foo foo. Bleh! The best choices were found through Campania International, and since they are strictly wholesale, Nicholson-Hardie had them ordered and delivered to me. The Pansy Bench was the only choice that had the right dimensions and clean lines. Unfortunately there’s a wee bit of flower frippery on the pedestal supports that will hopefully become less noticeable as the concrete ages.
What to put in my greenhouse has always been a dilemma. I learned quickly that even with shade fabric, air vents, and a swamp cooler, the inside temperature could never be cool enough to allow most plants to survive during Dallas’ summers. This beautiful greenhouse was functional only for sheltering my summer container plants during our three months of winter and useless during the remaining nine. What a waste.
Now that the backyard’s landscaping has been completed, without plants on its shelves, the greenhouse looks like a storage bin. I’ve decided to collect interesting succulents and whatnots that won’t fry during our summer months. Eventually it will become an extension of my garden.
My first greenhouse whatnot. This oddity, which I purchased from Nicholson-Hardie where the manager admitted not knowing much about this organism and what to expect, has no name and is the creation of a local succulent grower. It looks a bit lonely now, so if any of my local friends have suggestions on where to purchase unusual succulents, please let me know.
Summer annuals for the front shade garden. Most of what’s on my list are now available at the local nurseries, and I wasted no time in snapping them up. Waiting for absolutely every thing to be available before buying is a big mistake in my opinion. The longer plants sit around the nursery crammed in their original shipping flats, the more scraggy and picked over they become. For the most part I buy complete flats, because there’s usually a discount once you exceed a minimum quantity. And I don’t search out the cheapest deal in order to save a few dollars. Those deals may or may not exist in nurseries that take considerable time and gas to get to. That’s crazy and just not worth it. So most of my annuals are found at Nicholson-Hardie, and a few are found at Jackson Home & Garden. I prefer to buy from nurseries who stock plants produced by local growers. When a plant has been cultivated in your hometown’s soil and climate, there’s a better chance of success.