May 09, 2022

Early May is giving me end-of-May vibes this year — that is to say, near 100 degrees F and humid. You know…full-on Texas summer. And despite the blanket of Gulf humidity, we’re still not getting any real rain. Well, thankfully the plants don’t seem to mind yet. In fact, everything is blooming its heart out in my garden, including ‘Rooguchi’ clematis. This delicate-looking but very hardy vine with bell-shaped purple flowers twines up a wire I’ve wrapped around a tall pot.

A week ago, when I took this photo, my sole rose — ‘Peggy Martin’ aka the Katrina rose — was in full lipstick-pink bloom on the back fence. It’s faded now, but I enjoyed the spring show.

I’m also loving the lemony flower wands of several hesperaloes growing in the lower garden. Typically our native Hesperaloe parviflora (aka red yucca) has coral-red flowers. But the yellow “red yucca” is one of my favorite varieties. I have three that flower equally well in full sun and part-shade, growing amid cracks in the limestone bedrock.

One more view because it’s so pretty. Behind it, that’s purple heart (Tradescantia pallida) growing between the pool and a low rock wall.

Red yucca ‘Desert Dusk’ (Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Desert Dusk’) has also sent up a bloom stalk. Despite being grown against a south-facing wall in full sun, this cultivar never blooms as well for me as the yellow one. But I’m happy to see the flowers that do appear. Soap aloes (Aloe maculata) and lanceleaf blanketflower (Gaillardia aestivalis) are in full bloom beside it.

A transplanted yucca unexpectedly died in this spot this spring. I replaced it with annuals I picked up at The Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham: ‘Angel Wings’ senecio, ‘Fireworks’ gomphrena, and ‘Senorita Rosalita’ cleome. I don’t grow a lot of annuals, but it’s fun to occasionally experiment with heat lovers with a long flowering season. Will the gorgeous senecio hold up in our summer heat and humidity? There’s only one way to find out. Come on, ‘Angel Wings’. I’m rooting for you!

Another clematis climber, ‘Etoile Violette’, comes back every spring and pumps out these royal-purple flowers. Here they are on an overcast day.

And again on a sunny day.

‘Frazzle Dazzle’ is my favorite dyckia, and I grow it throughout the garden, usually in pots to show off that tribble-like foliage. In spring and usually again in summer and fall, ‘Frazzle Dazzle’ sends up adorable yellow bloom spikes that contrast with the pewter-gray foliage. Deer nip the flowers in the front garden, but in back they’re all mine.

I don’t know what possessed me to buy a 4-inch pot of variegated nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus ‘Alaska Mix’) last winter, but I did. And then had to carry it in and out for a couple of months until I was able to plant it in early March. I wasn’t sure if it would do anything, and as temperatures warmed I thought it might miss the cool-season window. But it started flowering about a month ago, and continues today.

Nasturtium fades away by June in Texas gardens, but I’ve enjoyed the cheery orange flowers and speckled leaves.

A couple of Texas spiny lizards basking on the patio edge caught my eye the other day. Usually they’re skittish, but these two just kept an upturned eye on me as I went about my business. We’re finally coming to an understanding.

Cacti have been trying to outdo every other plant with their extravagant flowers, like this flower-crown-wearing mammillaria cactus.

And this peanut cactus (Echinopsis chamaecereus), a passalong from Ragna in San Antonio. Stunning!

Out front in the island bed, the ‘Old Mexico’ prickly pear that was killed to the roots by the snowpocalypse is sloooowly coming back. From its “dinosaur bone” — the woody root structure visible at soil level where the plant used to stand — new upright pads are emerging.

Finally after 15 months, some real regrowth. The Beast lives!

In the backyard, paleleaf yucca (Y. pallida) is sending up a bloom spike.

Lemon-lime coloring

And purple coneflower is rampant in the circle garden around the potted whale’s tongue agave.

Pretty, but it sure gets thirsty every afternoon, wilting pitifully until morning revives it, even if I give it a drink every couple of days. I didn’t think purple coneflower was such a diva.

I can’t quite find the perfect flowering combo for this circular bed. I’ve tried tall verbena, ‘Fireworks’ gomphrena, and now purple coneflower. Everything gets too big and rank, overpowering the other plants in here like purple skullcap, society garlic, and purple sage. Hmm, maybe gopher plant would be the way to go.

The purple coneflower is a nice nod to the blackland prairie though.

And it sure is cheery.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. The 6th season kicks off in fall 2022.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Flowering vines, cacti, and hesperaloes in my garden appeared first on Digging.

Early May is giving me end-of-May vibes this year — it’s hot and dry — but everything is blooming its heart out anyway…. Read More
The post Flowering vines, cacti, and hesperaloes in my garden appeared first on Digging.Read MoreFeedzy

May 09, 2022

Early May is giving me end-of-May vibes this year — that is to say, near 100 degrees F and humid. You know…full-on Texas summer. And despite the blanket of Gulf humidity, we’re still not getting any real rain. Well, thankfully the plants don’t seem to mind yet. In fact, everything is blooming its heart out in my garden, including ‘Rooguchi’ clematis. This delicate-looking but very hardy vine with bell-shaped purple flowers twines up a wire I’ve wrapped around a tall pot.

A week ago, when I took this photo, my sole rose — ‘Peggy Martin’ aka the Katrina rose — was in full lipstick-pink bloom on the back fence. It’s faded now, but I enjoyed the spring show.

I’m also loving the lemony flower wands of several hesperaloes growing in the lower garden. Typically our native Hesperaloe parviflora (aka red yucca) has coral-red flowers. But the yellow “red yucca” is one of my favorite varieties. I have three that flower equally well in full sun and part-shade, growing amid cracks in the limestone bedrock.

One more view because it’s so pretty. Behind it, that’s purple heart (Tradescantia pallida) growing between the pool and a low rock wall.

Red yucca ‘Desert Dusk’ (Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Desert Dusk’) has also sent up a bloom stalk. Despite being grown against a south-facing wall in full sun, this cultivar never blooms as well for me as the yellow one. But I’m happy to see the flowers that do appear. Soap aloes (Aloe maculata) and lanceleaf blanketflower (Gaillardia aestivalis) are in full bloom beside it.

A transplanted yucca unexpectedly died in this spot this spring. I replaced it with annuals I picked up at The Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham: ‘Angel Wings’ senecio, ‘Fireworks’ gomphrena, and ‘Senorita Rosalita’ cleome. I don’t grow a lot of annuals, but it’s fun to occasionally experiment with heat lovers with a long flowering season. Will the gorgeous senecio hold up in our summer heat and humidity? There’s only one way to find out. Come on, ‘Angel Wings’. I’m rooting for you!

Another clematis climber, ‘Etoile Violette’, comes back every spring and pumps out these royal-purple flowers. Here they are on an overcast day.

And again on a sunny day.

‘Frazzle Dazzle’ is my favorite dyckia, and I grow it throughout the garden, usually in pots to show off that tribble-like foliage. In spring and usually again in summer and fall, ‘Frazzle Dazzle’ sends up adorable yellow bloom spikes that contrast with the pewter-gray foliage. Deer nip the flowers in the front garden, but in back they’re all mine.

I don’t know what possessed me to buy a 4-inch pot of variegated nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus ‘Alaska Mix’) last winter, but I did. And then had to carry it in and out for a couple of months until I was able to plant it in early March. I wasn’t sure if it would do anything, and as temperatures warmed I thought it might miss the cool-season window. But it started flowering about a month ago, and continues today.

Nasturtium fades away by June in Texas gardens, but I’ve enjoyed the cheery orange flowers and speckled leaves.

A couple of Texas spiny lizards basking on the patio edge caught my eye the other day. Usually they’re skittish, but these two just kept an upturned eye on me as I went about my business. We’re finally coming to an understanding.

Cacti have been trying to outdo every other plant with their extravagant flowers, like this flower-crown-wearing mammillaria cactus.

And this peanut cactus (Echinopsis chamaecereus), a passalong from Ragna in San Antonio. Stunning!

Out front in the island bed, the ‘Old Mexico’ prickly pear that was killed to the roots by the snowpocalypse is sloooowly coming back. From its “dinosaur bone” — the woody root structure visible at soil level where the plant used to stand — new upright pads are emerging.

Finally after 15 months, some real regrowth. The Beast lives!

In the backyard, paleleaf yucca (Y. pallida) is sending up a bloom spike.

Lemon-lime coloring

And purple coneflower is rampant in the circle garden around the potted whale’s tongue agave.

Pretty, but it sure gets thirsty every afternoon, wilting pitifully until morning revives it, even if I give it a drink every couple of days. I didn’t think purple coneflower was such a diva.

I can’t quite find the perfect flowering combo for this circular bed. I’ve tried tall verbena, ‘Fireworks’ gomphrena, and now purple coneflower. Everything gets too big and rank, overpowering the other plants in here like purple skullcap, society garlic, and purple sage. Hmm, maybe gopher plant would be the way to go.

The purple coneflower is a nice nod to the blackland prairie though.

And it sure is cheery.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. The 6th season kicks off in fall 2022.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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