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The left fence border


Houston left fence border Nov 2017 Houston left fence border Nov 2017

Along most of the length of the fence between our home and the neighbors to our left runs our unimaginatively named left fence border. The border completes (or starts, depending on your point of view) the line of garden that separates our ugly bermudagrass lawn from the functional fence that hems us in. The line separating the border from the yard swerves around a bit, giving the plantable area a maximum depth of about seven feet at the point where we planted our Texas persimmon, and down to about three feet at the narrowest. I'm sure that line will change through the years, as my plant lust gets the better of me and I need more space. But for now, there's plenty of room. Virginia pine

The border will eventually be defined primarily by its trees. We planted several, all still fairly small. Way on the left, in the lawn well beyond the actual border even, is a Virginia pine that we purchased as a winter house plant. It should do OK here, so I gave it a home outside when it had served its purpose indoors. It is quite small, and does not seem inclined to grow very fast, which is fine by me – its mature size is almost certainly too large for the space it's in. Exbucklandia populnea

Next in line to the right, in the lawn area just outside of the border, is an Exbucklandia populnea, an Asian tree we bought on a whim as a small specimen, enchanted by its duck's-foot leaves. It too will grow too large for its allotted space (we didn't realize its mature size until we returned home from the nursery). I'll deal with that as it comes. Hercules club

Continuing along the line, there's a Hercules club, a thorny native with wildlife benefits, and also a sizeable tree at maturity; followed by a showy senna (also a butterfly benefactor). Texas persimmon

The middle of the border is reserved for the Texas persimmon, a small tree that I admired when visiting Mercer Arboretum in Houston and tracked down at a local native nursery. It should eventually produce fruit, but again is probably of more value to wildlife than to human palates. huisache

Further to the right follows a huisache, a ferny-leaved small acacia tree that should give us yellow puffballs to admire in early spring. fig tree The border is rounded out by two fig trees in the back corner that were among the earliest plantings in our brand-new garden. The Celeste and Brown Turkey varieties haven't given us much fruit to snack on yet, but this is their year of getting established; we're counting on a better harvest next year.

In between all these trees and shrubs is a small assortment of herbaceous plants – several salvias, a blue butterfly clerodendrum, and a few miscelleneous plants I'm growing on from cuttings. It should achieve a bit more of a full look by mid-2018.

Currently growing in our left fence border

Acacia farnesiana (huisache; sweet acacia)
Anthyllis vulneraria var. coccinea (kidney vetch; woundwort)
Asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed; bloodflower)
Calliandra emarginata (dwarf red powderpuff)
Coreopsis lanceolata (lance-leaf tickseed)
Cuphea viscosissima (blue waxweed)
Desmanthus illinoensis (bundleflower; prairie mimosa)
Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon; black persimmon)
Ficus carica (fig)
Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jasmine, false jessamine)
Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebells)
Justicia spicigera (firecracker plant, Mexican honeysuckle)
Leucophyllum frutescens 'Greado' (Texas sage; cenizo)
Liriope muscari (lilyturf)
Malvaviscus x 'Big Momma' (Turk's cap; wax mallow)
Odontonema strictum (firespike)
Oxalis brasiliensis (Brazilian oxalis)
Polianthes tuberosa (tuberose)
Rotheca myricoides (blue butterfly)
Ruellia simplex 'Mayan White' (Mexican petunia)
Salvia coccinea (scarlet sage)
Salvia involucrata (rosebud salvia)
Salvia macrophylla (bigleaf sage)
Salvia uliginosa (bog sage)
Senecio mandraliscae (blue chalk sticks)
Senna splendida (showy senna; golden wonder)
Vigna vexillata (wild mung bean; wild cow pea; zombi pea)
Watsonia borbonica 'Bedazzled' and 'Cherry Splash' (bugle lily)
Zanthoxylum clava-herculis (Hercules club; southern prickly ash)

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Last modified: November 21, 2017
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