This is mighty fine gumbo, but what I’m talking about is dirt.

The good old Texas dirt in my area is called gumbo, which is mainly made up of clay. While I was thinking about making this post I was unlucky enough to have a water line break but lucky enough to have some big strong men dig up the yard which gave me a chance to get a good photo of our gumbo dirt. I could easily form a ball out of that pile of gumbo. There is no fine soil to slip through my fingers.

In elementary school, my kids learned that clay came from the ground, so we dug some up and the kids made pottery which has been in the garage for 20 years.

The clay in the gumbo holds water and is sticky when wet. That is a plus until it drys out and gets hard. I had a happy accident and found that some plants that thrive in the native soil. When I moved to my current property, I brought many plants and had to find a temporary place for them while my landscaping was being installed. There was a clearing in the back corner of the woods where I planted all my gingers with the intent to move them later. As it turned out they were perfectly happy there thriving and reproducing for twenty-plus years.

The rest of my plants live in raised beds filled with garden soil.

To end with a funny story, I once put my husband in charge of planting a new rose bush. He is not a gardener and I’m not sure why I did that. He carefully read the planting instructions, which said to dig a hole bigger than the pot and fill it with water for a perc test. Needless to say, he constructed a well that took days to drain as the clay retained all the water. No more perc tests for this garden.