April 24, 2013
Things are buzzing around here!
Native Gulf penstemons absolutely suck in the bees. I have them everywhere, including the cat cove; not by my design, but by theirs. Like all parents, plants point their progeny in the right direction.
I don’t mind if they crowd the path for now. I’ll cut them back after the parents launch their seeds to the big wide world. It does take a while for the seeds to brown up, so hang on to your patience.
Sometimes I lose my beloved ground-hugging native Calylophus berlandieri that so well favors the hues of penstemons and winecups in spring, and rock roses (Pavonia lasiopetala) through summer. Recently, I added these: Calylophus drummondii var. berlandieri.
On a fence bed, winecups soothe Macho Mocha mangave in its recent snail attack.
Pink evening primrose is an opportunist who moved right into the path we laid last year. They’re overwhelming the frogfruit underneath, but it’s holding its own.
To the right in the bed, Texas blue grass (Poa arachnifera) leans over from its shady spot underneath the mountain laurel to chat with hotspot edge plant blackfoot daisy.
Hunkering in the shadier spots on the other side, columbine and widow’s tears (Commelina erecta) unite.
Another tough native to add to your list is Engelmann’s daisy, Daphne’s Pick of the Week.
Although it wants sun, it can handle a shade break. Its spring-to-frost flowers feed many beneficial insects. Cutting it back now and then encourages more blooms, but do allow some flowers to go to seed for small birds that will swoop in.
Natives join the not-so-native for me. Jenny Stocker’s garden is my dream of the compatible blend. Oh, recently we taped it again, this time in HD, coming your way in early 2014.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s annual Gardens on Tour is the super duper way to pick up design and native plant combinations to try at home. This week, Tom joins Andrea DeLong-Amaya from the Wildflower Center for a sneak preview.
From gardens big and small and plants for sun, shade, rocks or clay, you’ll get lots of ideas on May 11. Find out how to go on tour.
Here’s a closer look at one of the gardens on tour, where Laura and Andrew Stewart restored native plants and wildlife within biking distance of downtown. Native plant designer David Mahler united with Miró Rivera Architects to tie together house and land.
Although native plants are very tough, this week Daphne answers, “Why are highway wildflowers sparse in some areas this spring?” Drought. At home, we can water the seeds that germinate in fall and winter.
Earlier this year, we answered Jean Warner’s question about caring for her bluebonnet rosettes. She took our advice to give them a little water now and then. Look what happened!
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda