Sunday, September 27, 2015

Graveling the Path

We've graveled another "branch" of the path!   This is the part starting from the arbor and heading east.  It's the straightest path in the garden, which is a little bit boring, but considering the shape of the space, there weren't many alternatives.  Forcing a curve in such a small space would've felt odd and uncomfortable, I think.  Besides, when the plantings fill in (and once the short segment of fence is in place and the flower beds are extended further east), it should look better.

Gravel Path Progress

It looks kind of strange right now because it stops so abruptly.  Eventually, there should be a fence and gate roughly were it ends.  (There will be a less structured stepping-stone path on the other side of the gate to provide a route to the front lawn.)

Gravel Path Progress

A few of the edging stones need to be nudged this way or that, but it's mostly finished.

Next up will be putting some sort of edging around the bald cypress in front of the garage (which you can just see in the upper right-hand corner of the photo below).  Then we can finish spreading gravel on the last bit of the parking area.  There's also one more short length of pathway to gravel.  It looks like Mt. Gravel will hold out just fine, but it is greatly diminished from its initial proportions.

Gravel Path Progress

- - - - - - -

A few other garden photos before I go?

The Mexican petunia has picked up the pace in flowering.

Mexican Petunia

Mexican Petunia

Mexican Petunia

The swamp daisy (or sunflower... or muck sunflower) seems to be settling into its new home.  It looks less droopy and depressed than before.

Swamp Daisy/Sunflower

The banana shrub has a scattering of blooms.  They smell so sweetly of bananas!

This shrub/tree always suffers from scale.  I tried spraying it with diluted dish soap once or twice last summer, but I don't think it made much difference.  Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are often recommended, and I've even seen someone online who treats banana shrubs with a spray of leftover coffee.  There's also at least one systemic product that you apply to the ground, where it is taken up through the plant's roots, but that sounds just a little scary/potentially unhealthy to me-- and it's probably not a cheap treatment, either.

The plant seems to muddle along fairly well as things stand... But I might try something different, next spring/summer.  I'd love to get rid of at least some of the scale-- and the wasps and dirt daubers that flock to the tree because they're attracted by the scale's sweet secretions.  During a certain part of the season, you can't walk close to the tree without raising a cloud of flying insects.  (Yuck.)

Banana Shrub

The loropetalum has a few fall flowers, as well as a sprinkling of gorgeous red leaves.  (We don't get much fall-tinted foliage, this far south, so we notice and appreciate the little we do have.)

Loropetalum / Chinese Fringe Flower

Some of the buds on the Confederate rose are swelling up very promisingly...  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Confederate Rose (In Bud)

Every now and then the pink climbing rose (that may or may not be 'Lavender Lassie') gives us another few flowers.  I moved in closer to admire the next cluster of buds and spied a green lynx spider.  Looking again, I saw that she was guarding a tan egg sac.  (I looked it up online to confirm, and yes, that's what the egg sacs look like, and the mother does tend to stand guard over them.)

Green Lynx Spider w/ Egg Sac

The hummingbird sage is still dotted with scarlet.  It's been long-blooming, this year.  This is the first year since it has started to really get established, so maybe this is what we can look forward to every year.

Vinca and Hummingbird Sage

And for the last photo, we'll use three of these Encore azaleas to replace some of the dwarf yaupon hollies (if that's what they are) in the foundation planting along the front of the house.  The azaleas are waiting on the covered patio, in the meantime, and are now putting on their "encore" show.

The flowers of 'Autumn Sunburst' are salmony-tinged pink (described by marketing almost exclusively as "coral"-- but I think coral is a more intense, slightly more orangey color than this) with an irregular petal edging of white.

'Autumn Sunburst' Encore Azalea

We're expecting some rain over the next couple of days.  We still need it, so the plants and I are watching the sky, waiting for the first few drops.