May 16, 2013
Superstars, outside and for your Indoor Plant Decor
There’s a lot to be said for summer annuals.
I’ve always adored globe amaranths, but this ‘Fireworks’ in Lucinda Hutson’s garden sparked a new love affair. Beyond, Duranta pops in some wowza color, too.
Here’s why Daphne makes globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) her Pick of the Week: It’s a Texas Superstar, which means it’s been tested around the state for worthiness in our gardens. You can find them in many colors and sizes, even for containers.
They bloom all summer, standing up to searing heat and drought, as in Daphne’s own trials with new varieties in the infamous 2011 torture. But did you know they attract butterflies, too? They’re so prolific that you can spare a few as long-lasting cut flowers that dry like a dream. Wonderful in a wreath!
Recently, on a mini vacation, I fulfilled a dream to visit Texas Superstar’s Brent Pemberton at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.
I’ll have more about Superstar in a later post. For now, it was a thrill to stroll the greenhouses where trial seeds and plugs start out.
Isn’t this Calliope geranium a gem? I can’t wait to see if it makes Superstar status!
Once they’re ready, they head to the fields for the ultimate test of endurance and performance.
My garden is a perpetual test ground. One superstar for me is bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa), a grass that surprised me this spring with its first delicate seed heads.
Gulf penstemon found its own test grounds in a bed of Texas sedge (Carex texensis). Both rate **** for me.
Salvia microphylla ‘La Trinidad Pink’ survives the test of just not quite enough sun. A little floppy sometimes, it’s doing fine in morning sun. It could stand to have a gardener that prunes it more often, you know?
But, I’ll admit: I’m so not adventurous indoors. That’s about to change, thanks to Indoor Plant Décor, authored by friends Jenny Peterson and Kylee Baumle.
Kylee was holding down Ohio, so Jenny joins Tom to pep up your house and office to take the humdrum out of houseplants with THE design style book that connects to your muse, budget and imagination.
In their book, Kylee and Jenny include plant lists and DIY tips in friendly style that prompts “oh, I didn’t know this/I’ve got to try THAT” on every page. Every stunning chapter plugs a new spin into your imagination and creativity, inside.
Back outside, are you seeing this on your trees or other plants?
Before you freak out about horrendous disease or insects, Daphne has the answer: our bizarre late frost. In full disclosure, Daphne puts herself on the line. To pump up her young Monterrey oak, she admits that she fertilized a little too early. Hey, raise your hands if you’ve done that too!
Normally, it would have been okay that her tree responded by putting out new leaves. EXCEPT. In her microclimate, it got cold enough to damage the new growth. Get her complete answer on how to tell the difference in temporary freeze damage or something evil. By the way, her tree recovered just fine, and so will yours.
So, have you just about had it with flies, fleas, fire ants, and plum curculios? John Dromgoole explains how to tackle them naturally underground with beneficial nematodes.
On tour, visit the diverse gardens at Mueller, the ultimate “testing ground” in its restoration of wildlife habitat over former runways and parking lots.
Thanks for stopping by! Until next week, reach for the stars, indoors and out. Linda