A garden is the best alternative therapy.

The cup of Life is full and runneth over.  The Spirit of creation abounds at every level, constructing – in no small way – the world you see, the air you breathe, the soil beneath your feet, the beating of your heart.

You are intimately bound up in Creation, eternally connected to the unfolding of Life Itself, just as a new leaf extends in the embrace of the sun and sends its roots deep into the soil.   Look at the natural world around you.  There is no death, only change.  Spirit, like matter, is neither created nor destroyed.  It merely changes form.  There is peace in the whisperings of Spirit.  Quiet your soul and listen well.   The wellspring of Life cascades through you.  You are Its expression.

What started as a hobby has turned into a full-time fascination.  I enjoy looking at my plants on a daily basis, tending to them, assisting them in their growth.  Day-to-day, it’s difficult to notice the big changes, although I catch little details in photographs.  When I look back on pics taken months or even just weeks ago, I am amazed at how much they have grown.  I look forward with great anticipation to the coming months when many of these plants should be much larger and producing lots of flowers.

Take the Texas Lantana.  I bought them in small 1/2 gallon pots and planted them in mid-March.  Now they’ve established themselves and are beginning to spread out and bloom.  This variety can grow to be 4′ x 4′, so I should have a very large mound of lantana with two plants side by side.

Texas Lantana

The two Purple Moss Verbena plants were purchased in a similar size pot and transplanted at the same time as the lantana.  They have grown incredibly and delight the butterflies with their numerous purple blooms.   These plants should each get a couple feet tall and wide.

Purple moss verbena

The Fall Aster was purchased last year in a small 4″ pot.  I transplanted it, but it didn’t do much last fall but put out two or three blooms.  Over the winter, I cut it entirely back.  Then it started to produce more leaves as you see below.  I transplanted it again with the others in March and now it is three times as large and covered with flowers.  Shhh, don’t tell it that it is late Spring…

Fall aster

An amazingly fast grower, the Indigo Spires salvia is a truly gorgeous addition to the garden.  I bought in two plants in 1/2 gallon containers and transplanted with the others.  In just two months it has grown incredibly and is covered with those beautiful indigo spires.   These can get pretty large at 4′ x 4′.

Indigo spires salvia

The Trailing Lantana, like the others, was purchased in 1/2 gallon container and transplanted in March.  It has really begun to spread out now, and after a few weeks of not blooming, has really turned on the flowers the past week.  It should spread out 3-4′ in diameter.

Trailing lantana

And the wildflower bed is just a sea of yellow right now thanks to the Coreopsis and Mexican Hats.  Below you can see the beginning stages of the wildflower bed followed by a close-up of a section of Coreopsis and a long-view of the bed as of yesterday.   The dark coreopsis is the first I’ve seen in the bed, but may be the first of many more.

The Straight Eight cucumber vines are really starting to take off.  I’ve had to tie them a few times in the past couple of weeks as they stretch up.  I’ve included a close-up of the end of the cucumber vine, as well as one of a cucumber flower.

And, remember my landscaping project?  I installed some flagstones and planted some Mother of Thyme and Yellow Thyme between the stones.  They are filling in nicely, though I really think the Yellow Thyme is doing what I want it to.  The Mother of Thyme is growing taller than I expected.  The first image below is right after transplanting the thyme, followed by pictures taken yesterday.  They should start flowering in mid-summer.

The mammoth sunflowers have sprung up, growing inches everyday.  I can’t wait to see those dinner-sized plates of yellow happiness!  The flowers are forming already and soon will start unfolding!

Mammoth sunflowers in the morning shade

And, finally, the herb garden.  The first picture below was taken September of last year.  Eight months later, the garden scarcely has a bare spot.

September 9, 2009

What’s growing up in your garden?


Comments on: "Look How They’ve Grown" (6)

  1. Every thing looks great, Joseph. I especially love the dark Coreopsis–what a stunner. I have a lot of the yellow Coreopsis that has been attacked by a metallic silver looking beetle. It has been mowed down to the ground! The closest thing I have been able to find through online info is the Tobacco Beetle, but I am not convinced that is what it is. Love that Lantana! To me, it is one of those backbone plants in the garden that works hard with no pampering. Your herbs are looking great! My thyme has not done well for me this year. I think I am getting too much shade and the water level has been to high. I don’t have good drainage in my garden with all the clay and rock our place sits on.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Thank you, Jenny. You’re always one of the first to comment, and I appreciate you reading.

      How big are the beetles? Are they really tiny? If they’re larger, some varieties of June Beetles can be metallic looking, though usually more green or gold and not silver. Do they have an elongated head or snout? Did they attack the leaves or bring them down at the base/roots?

      I think you’re probably right about the thyme. It prefers drier conditions. The clay and rock here in Central Texas is a big issue. That’s why I decided just to do raised beds and ship my dirt in. The things I have planted directly in the ground have done alright, but I notice that there is a tendency for them to well up with water and take awhile to drain completely. I read that i should have loosened up the sides of the holes that I dug. Otherwise, the act of shoveling dirt out of the hole sort of seals the walls of the hole by making them too smooth for moisture to penetrate … I didn’t know that before, but it makes sense.

      • Gardening is such a rewarding hobby and I’m glad you are finding it so. Love your herb bed. That burgundy coreopsis is a stunner. I would love some seeds from it. I’m sure you know that every seed of coreopsis, that falls on the ground, germinates, so you should have plenty to spare. I have had the same small black beetles on my coreopsis this year. I went round knocking them off into a container and disposed of them. We are seeing bugs this year that we have never seen before and in huge numbers.

      • roundrockgarden said:

        I’m not sure how to go about collecting the seeds, but I’ll check into it. I would be happy to save you some, if I can figure it out. 🙂 There are several more burgundy flowers today that have opened up. Looks like that color is the next wave … You know, I’ve seen many bugs, too. I’ve had some yellow aphids, spider mites, worms, cucumber beetles, and a few others. All the rain last fall and early spring set the stage for all the critters to come out!

  2. What are you putting in that soil of yours? 🙂

    Fall asters sure do change their appearance at every stage. Mine are not blooming, yet. My blue indigo spires is wilting a lot. I water it a couple of times a day. I did have a rock close to it and was wondering if the root system is not growing to uphold the plant….who knows??? Is yours in a sunny location? Your garden is growing fast. Wonderful, well written beginning.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Lots of compost and bat guano mostly!

      I’m glad that you liked the blog, Amy. Those are the types of things that come through my mind while meditating in the garden.

      I have no idea what I did for the indigo spires to take off like they have. They are planted in a spot that gets full sun most of the day, though they are right next to a fence so that provides some dappled light especially for parts of the plants that are nearest the fence. I actually haven’t watered them in probably a week, so maybe yours has wet feet? I also have a couple of inches of mulch around it …

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