Design basics, Sharing Nature’s Garden on tour

Last week a couple of gardeners commented that their crinums had never bloomed. Take heart!  These guys can be as slow as mountain laurels and Mexican plums. In fact, it was so long before this crinum bloomed that I’d forgotten what it was.

Pink crinum

In 2002, I got it at Zilker Garden Festival (March 27 & 28 this year) with a bunch of other small-sized bulbs. I loved the foliage, but never saw a bloom until last summer. But once they’re established, you can count on flowers every year. It’s worth the wait! These are plants for the long-term.

This week, Daphne has encouraging words for the Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) that may not look too great right now. She advises to make sure you get this species, since it is hardy to the teens.

Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

And, even when it doesn’t freeze back, she recommends cutting it down every year to encourage lush foliage and more flowers. Since I got a sneak preview, I clipped mine last weekend.

Also, I did some refreshing clean up, made plant lists, and roamed around looking at everything. I came up with a few ideas, but I sure wish I could just start over!

I know lots of gardeners feel the same way at times. So, this week on CTG, designer Ginger Hudson joins Tom to help wrangle our perspective with a few concepts and a fresh eye.  She illustrates some common issues and how to approach them.

before picture

Later this spring, check her blog for details to get her book: A Handbook to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens

Ginger also teaches garden design classes at the Austin Museum of Art where you can make a site plan yourself to start your first garden or renovate an old one.

She’s also teaching at the Wildflower Center’s Go Native U this spring for ideas to design with native plants.

On tour, see how Diana Kirby of Sharing Nature’s Garden took a shovel to the yard that came with her house to give it her garden style.

I love her blog that puts us shoulder to shoulder with her as she tackles new challenges, from ornamentals to vegetables, and front yard deer.

How could I resist a chance to share her philosophy with CTG? Along with her fervent love of plants, Diana wants to create a place of refreshment, fun, and discovery for her family and friends, which includes the wildlife she wants to invite over, too.

Diana Kirby garden

Since it’s not too late to start tomatoes from seed (though get on it soon), John Dromgoole shows us how. For those transplants you’re aching to plant, just be ready with rowcover or plastic, like this. A frost can damage them for good, and later, you’ll wonder why they’re not producing. Check out our Events calendar for Sunshine Community Garden’s fabulous vegetable & flower sale on March 6 and the Master Gardeners’ free vegetable gardening workshop on March 13.

Protective cover vegetable plants

Until next week, Linda