Perfect Weather

The past four days have just been glorious! A cool front came through on Saturday giving us highs in the lower 80s and 50s at night and no humidity. This is a rare occurrence and I believe the weatherman said this hasn't happened in forty years. I've been enjoying it to the hilt and got quite a lot of garden work accomplished. After spending Saturday morning doing some major pruning, we drove to Huntsville with some friends and visited Bridge Street Town Centre and it was so nice to be able to walk around outside without breaking out in a sweat.

On Sunday, I started working on the front lawn renovation that I wrote about earlier. I have decided to use mondo grass (two different types, the dwarf and the slightly larger one) to blanket large areas and do gravel walkways around those areas. I might also do some areas with pachysandra and possibly asiatic jasmine (although I'm not sure if that plant likes shade).

One depressing aspect of this job is how expensive it will be. The small area that I planted on Sunday (you can see it in the photo above) cost around $80 (four flats of 10 pots). I even divided the plants to make them go farther and it still looks like a tiny area was covered. This may end up being a long-term project!

I'm psyched about the project though and can't wait to do more work on Wednesday morning. I'm hoping to incorporate a small water feature somewhere along the pathways.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, that being the weather. The heat and humidity will gradually return by the end of the week. There is a silver lining - we have more rain predicted for Thursday and we are getting sprinkles today as I write this. The cool temperatures have been fantastic. Michael and I were talking about how it has affected our moods and how wonderful it would be to live in a climate where the temperatures are mild during the summer. I told him we should seriously consider looking at property in the Pacific Northwest!


  1. The weather has been so wonderful! You are right...cooler temps definitely make me happier. I LOVE fall, the cool crisp air....sigh!!! I can only imagine that ya'll must have a wonderful fall in North Alabama, we don't get much of one here! We go from hot to in between.

  2. Atlanta's had the great weather, as well. It felt just like the weather in New Hampshire and Maine from a couple of weeks ago. But, alas, I can feel the stickiness returning to ATL already...The mondo lawn should be beautiful! I admire your patience and perseverence! (With the humidity coming back, this might be a good job for November......)

  3. I haven't been back to Huntsville in 20 years. I'll bet I wouldn't recognize it.

    We've had unseasonably cool and wet weather here too. I could live with this--if the temps never got over 70-degrees I would be perfectly content.

  4. It is difficult to be cranky when you have perfect weather Phillip. I too am lovin' this weather. You gotta get out there and soak it up as much as you can.

    Your lawn renovation, or removal, looks like you have made the first step. That is always the most difficult part. Watch those end of season sales for the mondo. It is amazing how you think you have enough to cover a large area and when you get it planted it isn't so much after all. A little disappointing. At least you have a start.

  5. We've had the rainiest, coolest July in 118 years, Phillip.

    Chicago summers can be just as bad as those in Alabama , but we've been lucky this year.

    Ground covers sold in those tiny pots are expensive and you can usually only find the most popular in the flats of 48 that are more economical.

    Good luck with your project.

  6. Your grass makeover sounds like a good plan.

    Our weather has been all over the place here lately. Strange Southern summer, isn't it?


  7. Top down weather here too! Sounds like a great project.

  8. So exciting you got a reprieve from the humidity. And, yes, large areas are hard to plant and a bit overwhelming to maintain. (My garden is large, my house is small!)

  9. I can't wait to see the finished project, Phillip. I'm sure it will be gorgeous, you always do such a good job.--Randy

  10. Great idea with the mondo grass, but it's a tedious job, isn't it? Late last summer I planted dwarf mondo grass around my patio and between the concrete pavers. The sprigs were TINY, maybe 4 leaves each, and I despaired that they'd ever grow into each other. (I planted them 5-6" apart.) This summer not only have the sprigs tripled in size, they are producing "babies" nearby. I hope in a couple more years they'll be a nice mat.

  11. Dirt Princess, we have nice autumns, it is one of my favorite times of the year.

    Tim, patience will be required, that is for sure.

    Marnie, did you live in Huntsville?

    Lisa, I am hoping to find some on sale, that would be great!

  12. C.C., that is encouraging. I keep reading that it is so slow to spread and I'm hoping that won't be the case.

  13. That is looking great, I love seeing mondo grass planted like that. The Japanese garden here uses it a lot, and it always looks so nice.
    Seattle has been hot and dry this summer, although I'm sure a lot cooler than Alabama. We haven't had more than a sprinkling of rain since mid May.

  14. The cooler temperatures have been absolutely wonderful. I have often wondered how people can live south of NC -- there's as much heat and humidity here as I can stand!

    Have you looked at Classy Groundcovers? It's a mail order company with a very good reputation.

  15. Confederate jasmine loves sun, loves shade, loves anywhere in between. My big 10' tall live oak stump covered with vines finally fell over when we released some of the vines last week. It was in full sun. It climbs everything in shade as well.

    A marvelous ground cover that will compete with anything, I'm very fond of it.

  16. Sweet Bay, I'll be sure and check out that link. I'm not familiar with them.

    NellJean, I love Confederate Jasmine. I have some near my patio.

  17. Our weather was lovely, too, for a change. I think the mondo grass will be a good solution for that area. It looks like there is a lot of work ahead for you, but the end result will be worth it.

    Always Growing

  18. I think your grasses will really 'pull' the area together. It sounds a good plan. I so know what you mean about expense. many a time I made plans only to realise a small mortgage may be necesary to achieve them.

    Like the banana by the way. Is it musa basjoo? I grow one too.

  19. Rob, that is musa basjoo. I've had it for several years now. It is the first banana I've found to be hardy in this area.

  20. Forty years is a long time between perfect days, Phillip - sure hope the next interval is much shorter!

    Mondo grass is very beautiful and it has such a gracious, elegant look that it should be perfect in your beautiful garden.

    But please think hard before you put in the Asiatic jasmine/Trachelospermum asiaticum. It's used a lot in Austin, and where concrete and stone contain it can have a solid formal look. But when set loose near other plants or along a fence, it sends out long runners in every direction, strangling everything & needing lots of grooming and edging. It will grow in shade and it will laugh at Roundup.

    If that saying about the last creatures on earth being cockroaches dancing under the trumpet vine is true, I'd expect Asiatic jasmine to be climbing up the vine.

    Sorry about the rant, but 5 years of personal experience with Asiatic jasmine have made me hate it!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  21. Annie, thanks for the info about asiatic jasmine. I had decided against it anyway after reading that it needed a lot of sun to do well. I don't need another invasive, that's for sure!

  22. Phillip, I know I left a comment here! No matter! It was a glorious bit of weather and I loved it! The cost may be why people plant thugs...they grow so fast, but the mondo grass will look wonderful. Have a sweet weekend. gail

  23. Good luck with the lawn renovation project! I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    Lovely pic with the banana and echinacea together. I planted a banana just a few weeks ago and it has 2 babies already! I didn't know it would happen so fast but am hoping to have a banana forest before long!

  24. Well it figures the south gets wonderful weather when I go out of town! I think the mondo grass will look great. Yes, it really can be expensive though! Asiatic jasmine should tolerate shade well. I had it and English ivy in our very shady backyard at our last house. It can sometimes get out of bounds though, so you may have trimming to do. Good luck with the work!

  25. You don't have to move out West to get a cool summer. We live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of
    N. Carolina and the average temp over the whole
    summer is 72 degrees.

  26. Love your website but you don't need to move to the Pacific Northwest to get cool summer temperatures. We live in North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the average summer temp is in the 70's.
    Come join us.


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