The Daily Muse

Thoughts from an Austin Garden  -- May 2008


Last update: May 26


May flowers! Curcuma 'Aussie Plume.'


May 6 - morning


Greetings! I have been so busy preparing for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Garden Tour this weekend that I almost forgot to invite you! Our garden will be included in this wonderful event and we hope to see you. In the meantime you can see our garden as featured on the "Central Texas Gardener" by watching the the You Tube clip below. See you Saturday!




May 11 - evening


Visitors in the garden.


Well, we made it! Yesterday, we had over 750 visitors to our garden courtesy of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Garden Tour. It was a lovely crowd - filled with knowledgeable, friendly, and curious folks. If you were among our visitors, thanks for coming! It was so much fun visiting with everyone. If you weren't able to make it - here are a few pictures from our special day...


Our tawny dalilies cooperated as did our purple coneflowers. Here are some folks checking out the coneflowers.



Purple coneflowers.



The "cat porch" was a big hit and our pride enjoyed the attention!



Our water lilies were also putting on a show.



At times we had up to 60 people in the garden.



Close-up of the tawny daylilies with coreopsis.



After the tour an intense storm brought us golf ball sized hail (and larger!) Thankfully, no real damage was done.



This morning it was cool and delightful. Here is a picture through our allee. The plant in the foreground is a Texas persimmon that I am training as a "bonsai in the ground."



Looking out from our hidden room at the back of the garden.



Everyone asked about this Desert Willow cultivar - it is called "Brandy."



Our blue glass mulch was also a big hit.



Palm shadows.



Salvia guaranitica.




The long view from Possumhaw Hollow.



A little closer.




Water lilies.



Potted succulents.



The shade under the allee was most welcome in yesterday's heat.


May 21 - evening


Hybrid daylily in the morning light.


Well, it certainly feels like summer here in Austin. The heat has been brutal for the past few days. I am waiting for it to cool down a little before I go outside and do some watering so I thought I'd share a few new pictures. The image above was taken yesterday morning before I rushed off to work. It is a hybrid daylily that  is called "Ming Porcelain." I first planted these in my former garden 21 years ago - apparently they travel well! I love day lilies because they remind me of what we used to call "Tiger lilies" when I was a kid. The tiger lilies I remember grew along the roadsides and in the woods where I grew up in New York. We always thought they were very special - probably because they were so large and showy. They may have been a native species, perhaps the "Michigan Lily" which is now an endangered species in New York.


Someone wrote this morning suggesting that I offer a reflection on environmental stewardship... however, I am afraid that I am a bit too exhausted to provide much inspiration tonight. Besides, why should we limit our stewardship to the "environment?" Although I am an imperfect steward of my own life - if asked, I'd say that we need to be good stewards of every thing and every moment that crosses our paths. I do not believe in the kind of stewardship that was allegedly entrusted to us from God - you know the story - "He" gave us dominion over the earth and we are supposed to be good care takers of "His" creation. Instead, I believe in a stewardship that sees the possibility of "doing" God (or good) in the present moment. A lot of Christian and Jewish theologians believe that God actually depends on us to do good, that "He" can only act through us. In fact, I have grown to believe that God depends on us for "His" very existence. So, by all means, be a good steward of the earth, and of your own body, of your mind, and your soul. Be a good friend, stop for a moment and let your partner, husband, wife, parents and / or children know that you love them. Do something unseen and unheralded for them or a stranger - perhaps even an enemy. Garden gently. Scratch your cat behind the ears. Yeah, be a good steward. Good night dear friends.



From my sister - a splendid encounter with new life! Awesome!



A bird's nest of purloined silver pony foot that I found on the floor of my garden.



Ming Porcelain.


May 26 - afternoon


Agapanthus backed by daylilies.


A quiet and hot Memorial Day. A few showers passed by this morning breaking the intense heat for a few moments. Now, the sun is out and it is getting very steamy. Here are a few pictures to celebrate the transition from spring into summer...



Prickly pear bloom.



The long view across the back of the garden with daylilies.



We are still enjoying Hank Waddell's sculpture - "Tree Bones."



'Diana' Rose of Sharon.



One of hte last of the tawny daylilies.



Heart leaf skullcap and crinum leaves.


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