More superstar plants, citrus & tomato tips, Gazania

It’s simply remarkable. Plant tough plants and they dance back, thumbing their flowers at extreme drought and freeze. My Lady Banks rose doesn’t even get water from me.

Lady Banks rose rose Lady Banks Lady Banks rose with spiderwort gigantea

I’m a sucker for spiraea, especially when it hides the corner of the shed, with our lady beyond hiding the fence.  Soon the climbing Cecile Brunner roses against the shed doors will add sweet pink to the picture.

Spiraea with Lady Banks rose Spiraea buds and blooms

My Mutabilis shrub rose does a great job hiding the chain link fence on Amelia’s side. It’s been years since I’ve fertilized it. It’s thrifty on water, too.

Apricot mutabilis rose with bee

I’ve heard that species tulip, Tulipa saxatilis, naturalizes, and I sure hope that’s so. These are my first, planted at Thanksgiving.

Tulip saxatilis (Tulipa saxatilis)

Wider shot so you can see the foliage. Fall-blooming asters on steroids in the background.

Tulip saxatilis bud and foliage

Clusiana tulip ‘Tinka’ definitely naturalizes, here with returning spring starflowers and oxalis. Freeze & drought immune ‘Butterpat’ and ‘Country Girl’ mums surround them.

Clusiana tulip 'Tinka' with spring starflower and oxalis

On great returns:  This week my ‘Mr. Mac’ Satsuma orange blossomed. Since I know you want to jump into the citrus game, too, this week on CTG, Tom meets with Merrideth Jiles from The Great Outdoors on cold-hardy citrus for your containers or the garden. Merrideth also explains how to fertilize and when to prune them.

Trisha’s got tomato tips for you! Some of you may have lost early plantings to the weather. She explains how to tell if they’re damaged beyond production, and how to plant and protect them in our still risky weather and wind. Also, she sets us straight on determinate and indeterminate varieties and which is better for containers. Get her tomato tips, including cutworm protection, on our website.

Next to questions about freeze damage, #2 is about weeds. Boy howdy, are they happy!

weeds henbit dandelion winter grass
So, Daphne explains how to break the cycle. It’s now or never. Every seed that sets means weeds, the sequel, for years to come. And please, buy a lottery ticket or shred your dollars before you buy a weed & feed product!  Dig ’em or mow ’em. Apply corn gluten in September as a natural pre-emergent.

Her plant of the week is Gazania rigens. I couldn’t resist two to put in pots on each side of the patio. I selected this one, Bicton Orange, for its silvery foliage.  They attract butterflies, so I decided to do that instead of my usual zinnias for butterflies close up.

Gazania rigens Bicton Orange

On tour, visit Randy Case’s incredible makeover. Last fall on the the Master Gardener tour, I was astounded how he turned around a typical lawn with foundation plants into this amazing garden. I knew you all would want to see this one, but I wasn’t sure how to cram it into our packed fall taping schedule. Two days later, I got a drought cancellation. I picked up the phone and called Randy. “Can we come tape tomorrow?”

Since these are intense gardening days, you can always watch CTG online after a comfy Epsom salts bath!

Until next week, Linda