Flameproof plants

Spring meets summer again! Angelica pachycarpa towers over the kiddie pool. I keep pruning off its bottom leaves as they give out, but we’ve got another week or so before the whole thing goes underground for now.

Angelica pachycarpa

With last week’s bit of rain, it was April again when the columbines I recently cut back reenergized.

Columbine Denver Gold Columbine Denver Gold

Tawny daylilies still demand attention.

Tawny daylily Central Texas Gardener

On the patio, I always have pots of Tom Peace’s old-fashioned petunias (I get them in spring from The Natural Gardener or re-seed from last year’s plants if I need to renew them). These petunias aren’t just all about looks: they pack a scent! Against them in another pot is my beloved find of the year, Gazania rigens ‘Bicton Orange’ from It’s About Thyme.

Old-fashioned petunia with Gazania rigens 'Bicton Orange'

The winecups responded to a trim, as well. Wish they’d stick around longer, since they’re perfect against warm-weather Diamond Frost euphorbias.

Winecup with euphoria Diamond Frost

But this week on CTG, see how Jimmy Turner tops Diamond Frost with this Euphorbia hybrid ‘White Manaus’. It’s the big one in back, with Diamond Frost in front.

Euphorbia White Manaus Dallas Arboretum

As Senior Director of Gardens at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Jimmy also tests plants to see if they’re worthy for us. His motto: “Trial by Flower. If we can’t kill it, no one can!” He tried hard to kill this Lobularia ‘Snow Princess’. It laughed and grew like crazy.

Lobularia Snow Princess Dallas Arboretum

And look at this jewel he couldn’t kill! Gaillardia pulchella ‘Razzle Dazzle’.

Gaillardia Razzle Dazzle Dallas Arboretum

That’s just a sample, so check out his complete list and details about each flame proof plant. You can also watch online, since you must experience his excitement and insight about each plant. I’ve met a lot of passionate gardeners, but if Jimmy’s energy could be corralled, we could light a few cities with it!

Oh, be sure to sign up for his enewsletter on his latest plant trials. And check out all the fun events for kids and families at the Dallas Arboretum for a fabulous staycation jaunt.

On tour, you really really can’t miss seeing Claire Golden’s San Antonio garden, if you haven’t seen it before. I think of her as a “grande dame” of gardens: gracious, fiery wit, and a glamorous garden she restored around her 1920s Mediterranean bungalow.

Curious about that black stuff on your plants? Daphne has the answer: caterpillar frass.

caterpillar frass

Get all her tips and plant of the week info.

John Dromgoole heads to the kitchen and medicine cabinet for inexpensive homemade fertilizers and fungicides. And yes, it’s a good idea to recycle the dregs of your sodas into the garden!  And I never knew that comfrey was one of the best fertilizers around! We’ll be doing more on this.

Viewer Jan wrote in that her favorite inexpensive homemade discovery is Epsom salt (Magnesium sulphate). “My family has told me about the use of Epsom salts on flowers, plants, veggies and lawns. I have been using it and it is a remarkable product to use. My flowers have never looked so nice. I planted a tree a few years ago and this year it has taken off since I pour 2 teaspoons to a gallon of water on it. Thanks for the tip, Jan!

I thank Charlotte Trussell for sending these great pictures. First, she’s got some katydids of a different color. Any clue about their identity?

Katydid San Antonio

Also, check out her variegated fritillary butterflies dining out on this recipe: hummingbird nectar (4 cups water with 1 cup sugar), fresh watermelon, and butterfly mash (over-ripe bananas, beer, and brown sugar mixed in a blender and allowed to ferment).

Variegated gulf fritillarys on home feeder

Until next week, Linda