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Old 06-23-2010, 08:38 AM   #41
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How is the quality of the soil down there?
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:46 AM   #42
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How is the quality of the soil down there?
Well it must be pretty good, since we are building on former farmland and all they need down here is irrigation. The soil is earth as far as we could possibly dig, which is not surprising since we are in an alluvial plain. I watched them auger the two holes for the trees in the lawn, and it looked like pretty nice friable stuff underneath.

I think the pH is pretty neutral as well. A wide variety of plants do well here and antique roses seem to thrive. Quite a difference from Austin with pH 11 water and strong lime soil.

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Old 06-23-2010, 10:54 AM   #43
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Very cool Audrey. I really like the underground watering system. Nice job on the layout and planning, and execution.

I recently did a landscaping project around our pool, but it was not nearly as planned out as yours. DW and I had some beers, walked around, talked about it, then drew some crude pictures. We made some mistakes, like planting the palms too early so a frost got them a little (they are not dead, but not thriving either). Also, I think it's just too dang hot here in South Texas for the Gardenias, Tea Plants and Camelias I planted on the left side. They are currently wilting in our 2 week 95 plus degee heat spell. The Magnolia trees seem to be doing well, and the Crepe Mytles are thriving as we suspected. They are also going to prove to be a mistake, however, as the mature ones on the other side off the pool are dropping their flowers and staining the deck now. I didn't know they stained.
I did all the work myself over a few weeks, and it damn near killed me, but in the end I was pretty pleased. I also laid all the grass, and it is currently crying for water but still alive.

Before picture. Natchez Crepe Myrtles planted, Magnolia ready.


After. Not a real good pic with the camera phone. Put up the spiffy umbrellas to get a little shade from the 100 Texas heat index.



Closeup showing wilting Gardenias in front, Tea Plant, then Camelias. Magnolia tree seems to be making it and the Japanese Blueberry trees on each side of the Magnolia are doing well.



This shows the middle section, and I'm noticing it looks a little jumbled up with the palms under the Crepe Myrtles. The Creps will grow taller and I can trim them up, but the palms were a mistake I think. If they continue to struggle I think I will replace them with Bottlebrush, with those great red flowers. The plants next to the deck are a kind of Iris, and the plants behind the palms are Knockout Roses. We needed lots of cover to sheild us from the road behind the picket fence, so that's one reason it looks kind of thick. That pink Crepe Myrtle in the back is super old, and this is the first time it has bloomed like this. I love those CM trees, except for the ones over the deck that are staining.



Right section showing the cool little Rosemary cones I use for cooking, and I love the smell when you brush by them. Behind them is the Red Hibiscus that is loving the heat. Behind that is the other Magnolia that bloomed all May and is doing well.



This is the fountain section of the patio that I actually built myself. It is lined by Bottlebrush, and these are going to grow to about 6 feet or so and give me some more screen from the rest of the hood. Notice our yard is kind of open to say the least, so I wanted some screen. I love these Bottlebrush plants with the huge gaudy blooms and they will from a thick hedge giving some shade eventually to the fountain area as well.


Here are the Crepe Myrtles that are causing me problems as the south wind blows the blooms all over the deck, and then the humidity (or pool water or sprinkler) causes them to stain. These suckers are blooming like crazy this year, as are the other CM in the yard.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:06 AM   #44
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Audrey, your design and layout is FANTASTIC!!! Looking forward to a photo or two when all the stuff is grown in and flowering........
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:26 AM   #45
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Cardude, thanks for sharing your pictures as well. The pool and the landscaping look so inviting! I'll be there at 5 with rum punch!
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #46
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Car dude , Nice job !
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:26 PM   #47
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Great looking garden. We have been having a banner year for crepe myrtles as well. I have never seen them bloom so profusely.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:03 PM   #48
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This is the only place I have ever seen that waters grass from underneath. Given the semi-arid environment and the # days of sunshine a year, this is just such a brilliant approach (well, if you insist on a grass lawn, that is).
... and as long as no one decides someday that sod needs aerating...

I've seen underground soaker irrigation systems supplied by gray water, but those were buried at least a foot under the vegetation.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:26 AM   #49
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yes the ebony is a beautiful tree and has even better wood... had a friend who used to find the old dead ones and make rolling pins from them, you will like the huisache as well but a bit of caution as the bees love it too and produce a wonderful huisache honey.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:05 PM   #50
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I recently did a landscaping project around our pool.
I love what you did around your pool! I especially like all the umbrellas - needed, no? And the sitting areas. Looks like a wonderful place to relax.

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:09 PM   #51
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yes the ebony is a beautiful tree and has even better wood... had a friend who used to find the old dead ones and make rolling pins from them, you will like the huisache as well but a bit of caution as the bees love it too and produce a wonderful huisache honey.
Yes, I know the huisache is a major bee attractor. Apparently it's blossoms "sweet acacia" are a major perfume ingredient.

Wow - that's cool about the ebony rolling pens. I would love to have one of those!

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:12 PM   #52
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Audrey, for those not familiar with the tree, you might want to tell folks how "huisache" is pronounced.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:25 PM   #53
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Audrey, for those not familiar with the tree, you might want to tell folks how "huisache" is pronounced.
wee-SAH-che

Is that good enough?

I suspect it is not a name of Spanish origin, as the spelling is pretty exotic for Spanish. It is probably from some Mexican Indian language.

Yep - just looked it up and it is of Nahautl origin (language of the Aztecs) and means "many thorns" - good one! NPIN: Acacia farnesiana (Huisache)

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:39 PM   #54
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wee-SAH-che

Is that good enough?
muy buena
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:32 AM   #55
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Great Job! We added a potted hibiscus to our deck and it attracts bees, hummingbirds, butterflies. You could put one in a container on your patio. I'm going to bring mine in for the winter to see if it will be a perennial here in Illinois. i would think hibiscus would thrive in Texas - just water it a lot,
Very nice desert yard. Its going to be lovely.

I have a beautiful winter hardy hibiscus with 10" blooms in red and white. No need to coddle a tropical one.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:12 AM   #56
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The grass arrived finally on Thursday - thank goodness! Now we just have to keep it going until the some rain hopefully arrives next week.

When the truck with 8 grass palettes arrived at noon, a call went out, and every last grounds maintenance person arrived on the scene to help with putting it down. I think there were at least 8 people working together.



Ahhh - finally no more bare dirt!





We closed on the house on Friday.

I'll definitely posts some photos in late fall when some of the flowering plants should be a lot bigger and covered with butterflies.

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