Monday, October 10, 2011

The Alphabet Returns (S, T, U)

The alphabet decided to abandon August and skip September.   I can't say I blame it; I was pretty much AWOL in August and got sidetracked in September, too.     I was more into numbers than letters this summer anyway, as I watched the mercury and the total number of 100-degree days continue to rise and break records.

But I digress.   So where were we when the alphabet left off?

Oh,yes, "R" is for Rocks 

I just have to show you one more rock to give you an idea of how much...

...I (heart) rocks

I found this rock at the edge of my dry creek bed the other day.
It now has a special place in my... heart :-)

Okay....moving on.

is for Sedum

I have several varieties of sedum.   I don't know the name of this one, but it is evergreen and gets a tiny pinkish/white star-shaped bloom on it in the spring.   It works great in the garden as well as containers.

This one shall remain nameless, as well.
I got it from a little pinch off a plant at a garden tour I attended (yes, I got permission!)  I have never seen it bloom.  It goes dormant in winter, but returns without fail in the spring.

One place I grow sedum is in the plant pockets
of a large strawberry pot I have.
I grow tomatoes in the top of the pot.

Below is 'Autumn Joy' Sedum during its better days.

I wish I could say it was my joy this autumn, but it is not.
These pictures were taken earlier this summer,
but since then it has flopped over and croaked :-(
I will spare you pictures of the carnage.

This is 'Autumn Joy' in another spot in my garden that is holding its own...for now.   I have issues growing this plant.   If I can keep any of it alive, next spring I am going to try a recommendation from a local horticulturist:

"In the spring or early summer, 
cut them back to about half when they are 8 inches tall.  
This cutback will make them fuller for their fall season." 

I am considering putting it in a container
to give it the ideal drainage conditions it requires.

Here's a new addition...'Autumn Fire'  
So far so good on this one (fingers crossed)

The one above is Sedum kamtschaticum (say that fast three times!)
I got this as a division off a plant from a friend.
It gets a small yellow bloom on it in the spring.   

This is Sedum reflexum (a/k/a Sedum rupestre)
This evergreen sedum has a small yellow bloom in the spring, as well.

This is a new sedum that I planted by my pond among the moss rock.
It is called Stonecrop 'John Creech.' 
I have yet to see it bloom, but the plant tag shows a tiny pink bloom.

Did you know that Stonecrop is the common name for Sedum?
There are around 400 species in this plant family!
Click here for more information.

is for...

This little guy (or gal) wanders through my garden from time to time.  

is for Umbrella Grass
Cyperus alternifolius
It has gotten huge this year, so next spring it will be due for a
reduction in size.

Speaking of umbrellas, I actually got the opportunity to use one yesterday!!

I took a stroll through my garden in the -- wait for it -- 


The sweetest four-letter word our parched Texas soil has ever heard :-)

Click here to view previous posts in the Alphabet Garden Series

Until next time...

Toni :-)

P.S.  Do you put your heart into your garden?



  1. The local horticulturist gives good advice....cut those tall sedums back before July 4!

  2. Lovely post...I MUST find some of that 'Umbrella Grass', it's amazing!

  3. Love your rock and the turtle! And that strawberry pot is fabulous! But I've not seen umbrella grass before. It looks like a houseplant - just bigger and better!

  4. So glad you had rain. And we here in PA cringe at the word after weeks of rain and massive flooding. Your Umbrella Grass is spectacular!

  5. The umbrella grass really is cool. Great on the rain for you guys too. We have had our share the past few week.

  6. Hey...another heart. I remember your sky heart. :-) And AMEN about the rain! We got enough to make our rivers flow again (the ones I've been using as a path because they were so dry...I guess not technically a "rivers," but more a creek). And everything feels fresher and cooler. Loving it!

  7. Toni, nice tour. Most all of my sedums struggled this summer, probably to much sun. I pruned my autumn joy early only to have some dogs flatten them. My pass those along.

  8. I'm so glad you gave that beautiful heart rock a forever home!!! I had heard of the name 'sedum' before, and I knew I had seen them, but it wasn't until you said 'stonecrop' that I realized we have some here too!!!

    I love the umbrella grass - and it's beautiful surroundings.

    I'm so glad Texas is finally getting some rain, but it's hard to say congrats when we are already well into the rainy season, after coming off one of the wettest winters on record last winter, and looking forward to more of the same this year. We've already had weeks of the wet stuff. Sigh.

  9. You have quite a variety of succulents. My succulents in my strawberry pot didn't do so great....I think they just dried up too quickly. Yours looks great and full. I heart rocks, too.

  10. Great photos. I love heart rocks too.

  11. Toni, I heart the heart rock! Love it. The sedums are amazing too. With Autumn Joy, I usually step a shovel in the ground very close to the stems of the plant all the way around as a sort of root pruning which keeps them upright for me through the summer. But of course, our summers are so much different than your summers, lol.

    Oh, to have a turtle to visit my gardens would be fun, we've had people bring them to us, but they don't stay. Love the umbrella grass, too!

  12. I'm so glad it rained!!! Hooray!! The umbrella grass is so cool! Sedum wants the sharpest drainage available or it flops like Gumby. If I were a turtle, I'd live in your garden, too!! :o)

  13. Hi Toni.... thanks for visiting my site... wow 23 japanese maples... it must be heaven. I guess I'm up to 16 and have room for more. There is talk of 70" of snow and colder than normal this winter... Once the fall color is past, I'll really bundle the maples up and hope they make it through... can't do that indefinitely but I think doing so for the first few years has value. Thanks for inquiring about my choulder... very slow with lots of scar tissue... biggest pain area is where they removed part of the clavicle... the therapist expects I'll get back to full range with it. Enjoy your fall after the summer you dealt with... Larry

  14. Oh my gosh ... that Umbrella Grass is spectacular! What a cool shape!