Where It All Starts + Texas Quilt Museum Garden

Wow, what a storm! I got more rain in 2 days than in 5 months. Certainly reminds us to trim limbs out of power lines and remove defunct, troubled trees that even Sunday’s winds felled around town.

Arizona ash split by wind

Also around town, native Datura wrightii is bee busy. And yes, every part is poisonous to us, so don’t stick it in your mouth. Or any plant that’s not confirmed edible!

Bee on Datura wrightii

I spotted this Indigofera kirlowii in a garden we taped last week.

indigofera kirlowii Central Texas Gardener

It’s been on my list, so I’m thrilled with her report: no problems in her dappled shade. It drops leaves after a freeze but comes back on the branches. She’s even planted it in a neighbor’s garden that gets overhead and western sun where it’s successful, though with paler foliage. She notes that it does like looser soil.

On CTG, we meet all kinds of gardeners. One thing they have in common: respect for their soil.

lucinda hutson garden on Central Texas Gardener

Successful gardeners acknowledge “the soil that brung them,” but nourish the liveliness underground for good performance on top.

Oasis garden Central Texas Gardener Jenny Stocker garden Central Texas Gardener Sidewalk garden Temple Texas Hutto patio garden

Vegetable gardens need extra help, of course, especially in raised beds. Life-renewing compost is essential.

Circle vegetable bed with art sculpture Front garden vegetable gardens stone beds

George Altgelt at Geo Growers has taught me a lot about soil. This week, he joins Tom for the underground secrets to garden health, especially when hot dry days return.

Tom Spencer & George Altgelt Geo Growers Central Texas Gardener

Lavender is very picky about soil. They are all so lovely and very drought tough, yet many end up in the compost pile. Trisha improves our success factor with tips on soil and water.

how to grow lavender Trisha Shirey Central Texas Gardener

It depends on variety, too. She gives us the pros and cons on English, English hybrids, French and Spanish. One French that works for us is Lavandula dentata ‘Goodwin Creek.’ Trisha notes that it’s not as frost hardy for us, but its dark purple blooms are long-lasting and prolific.

lavendar goodwin creek

Spanish lavenders have the showiest blooms, are winter hardy and more tolerant of our heat and humidity. They’re not good for culinary use, but great for bees. And their spicy scent and lush foliage pay their way in the garden and in the house.

Spanish lavender flowers

In Temple, Master Gardener Mary Lew Quesinberry affirms that hers made it through hard freezes just fine, though she also loves ‘Provence’.

For sure, different varieties on any plant can be confusing, along with our downfall if we pick the wrong one. For Betty and David DeVolder, they planted a field of native Indian paintbrush.

Indian paintbrush field photo by Betty and David DeVolder

But then yellows and whites showed up! Daphne explains what happened: a recessive trait showed up, just like bluebonnets that come up in maroon or white.

Varieties certainly made a difference for designer Mitzi VanSant when she created the Grandmother’s Flower Garden at the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange.

Grandmother's Flower Garden at Texas Quilt Museum

The project started when cousins Karey Brensenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, founders of the International Quilt Festival in Houston, renovated two historic buildings for an ever-changing gallery of contemporary and historic quilts.

Texas Quilt Museum Texas Quilt Museum

Since quilting a quilt and a garden are so alike, they wanted a garden in the empty spot next door. Mitzi designed a fragrant four square garden with drought tough perennials and annual color to reflect waterwise plants from the 1880s to 1930.

Mitzi VanSant four square fragrant garden design Cemetery gate design by Mitzi VanSant at Texas Quilt Museum Texas Quilt Museum garden by Mitzi VanSant

Austin artist Duana Gill designed the intricate mural.

Duana Gill mural at Texas Quilt Museum

Most exciting: they’ve received their North American Butterfly Association certification and soon expect certification as aMonarch butterfly Waystation. To celebrate, until the end of June, they’re featuring Butterflies and Their Beautiful Kin and A Flutter of Butterfly Quilts!

Be sure to have lunch at Bistro 108 for home-made noms!

bistro 108 la grange restaurant

Take the tour now!

Thanks for stopping by! Next week, meet the Beatles. Oh, wait, I mean, BEETLES. Linda