What’s Up? June.

The landscape is about as pretty as it gets around here. At our house the sidewalk garden gets a lot of admiring attention, but that’s because it’s what people see the most. In year three, this stretch just about takes care of itself.

But the sidewalk garden isn’t the only game on our little corner of suburbia. Elsewhere around the yard, things are popping.

One of the great things about wildflowers is, you just grab a handful of seeds from the woods when the blooms are over, empty your pockets back at the house, and there you are. Year after year.
Another great thing about wildflowers is that they can become very unruly, and I appreciate that sort of thing. Take vitex, for example. Some books say you shouldn’t even plant it. Some husbands says that too, when they want the whole side yard for playing fetch with your best gardening assistant.
World’s Best Gardening Assistant
But I wanted vitex outside the kitchen window so I could have a bit of a screen between myself and the sidewalk. You don’t want to have to think about putting a shirt on just to put dishes in the dishwasher without frightening passers-by, after all.
Yeah, well, so there’s my kitchen window.
I also planted a vitex out in this little corner accessible only to me. When we first bought the house it was an ashen ruin where a huge pine tree had just given up the ghost. I pictured a bench there right away. Isn’t that sweet?
Yeah, well, so there’s the vitex:
And there by the permanent sunflowers, is my bench.
But how can you argue with something that smells so sweet and somehow smells so purple, and that feeds so many honeybees? You can’t.
I’m going to be honest here. I’m not sure how the front patio flowers got started. The patio itself came about because there was a wooden porch in that spot, cleverly located so as to receive all possible moisture from the downspout by the front door. Apparently the people who built the porch had never heard of what happens to wood when it becomes repeatedly waterlogged in a warm climate.
So one day, and every homeowner knows about doing stuff like this, I just started pulling pieces off the darn thing. Had it hauled away. Threw down some paving stones and lovely pink decomposed granite and made a nice space for having a cool drink and listening to small peoples’ reports of the world when the afternoon sun is way over on the other side of the house.
Then these guys arrived.
Yeah, well, so there’s the patio.
At least I can report – and it is difficult to convey just how happy I am to report this – even our highly regimented piece of suburb heaven has its unruly spaces too. Not only the ones where venomous snakes grab hold of peoples’ thighs without the slightest warning, but also the ones that don’t get mowed until the wildflowers are done and gone to seed. Even if I can’t paint my house trim without express and highly specific permission, I can walk a block and see an enormous amount of this:
Keeping Austin unruly.

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