Author Archives: Unwit

Heavenly hell strip

Many hell strips in my old neighborhood are too steep to walk on anyway. These neighbors made theirs into a high-contrast medley of dark violet Louisiana iris and bright chartreuse lysimachia.

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The fairy house

I love pollinators, so I love the native asters that spring up everywhere I don’t rip them out. Plus, the asters are so graceful and airy I just cheer them on. They’re the last things to bloom, so the honeybees, … Continue reading

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Fall color

We got the well-watered summer and dryish fall we needed here in the Bluegrass area to yield the best fall foliage. I don’t usually think to plant oakleaf hydrangea for fall color, but this one of my neighbor’s (above) is … Continue reading

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Meet Dr. Huey

This picture demonstrates a prime reason you need to plant own-root roses: the blooms you see are NOT blooms of the Peace rose. They’re the blooms of its rootstock, Dr. Huey. The top of the grafted plant was most likely … Continue reading

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Some things never change: Mutabilis

And why change something that works 24/7/365, in all kinds of weather? The gardeners of Austin rely on Mutabilis, another single China rose, to look good with minimal care. Here is a dense six-foot hedge of it, blooming enthusiastically, January … Continue reading

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My guess is Martha Gonzalez. What’s yours?

The plant is a dense tangle of petite twigs. The blossoms are fire-engine red with some streaks of white. I associate these characteristics with China rose heritage. There was no detectable scent, and the abundant blue-green foliage is very tiny, … Continue reading

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Austin, Texas, January 2020

Down in Zone 8, in January, everything is brighter, milder, and cheerier. Yesterday, after some pretty deep midwinter malaise, to the level of existential crisis, the clouds cleared and the sun came through just as it was about to set. … Continue reading

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Cited for a code violation: A gardener’s badge of honor

You know you’ve REALLY succeeded as a gardener when you receive a citation that you’re violating local code ordinances. I’m not kidding. Think about it: Being cited for your plants’ thriving SO well that they’re enthusiastically spilling their abundance of … Continue reading


Here’s Clyde

I’m in the process of adopting a dog. He’s incredibly sweet and loves affection. He’s my personal trainer, getting me to walk farther and more often. He’s a goofball antidepressant and a good boy. Clyde came from Brooke Haven Bullies … Continue reading

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Midcentury moment

I find the “mid-century modern” aesthetic fairly vile; however, this concrete planter I’m using to keep the garden hose from trashing the ferns called for something striking, sculptural, weird. I found it yesterday: a Kniphofia, I believe, perennial known as … Continue reading

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