Palms, Shade Design, Spring Wow!

It’s “Amaryllis by Morning” in my garden with Johnson’s amaryllis (Hippeastrum x johnsonii), also called St. Joseph’s lily.
Johnson's amaryllis Central Texas Gardener
Flagging attention in another bed, as they do every spring: dazzling Byzantine gladiolus.
byzantine gladiolus Central Texas Gardener
I’ll get cosmos and Mexican sunflowers into the ground this weekend, since lightening scared me off last Sunday. This week, John Dromgoole shows off summertime annuals to feed bees and butterflies. Cosmos, like these pinks, are a great choice for kids, since they grow fast and are so pretty!pink cosmos Central Texas Gardener

And who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get a butterfly to land on you! On location a few days ago, this Variegated Fritillary really wanted to hang with our audio/lighting guy, Robert Avila.
Variegated Fritillary butterfly lands on hand Central Texas Gardener

To structure things up, this week Jeff Yarbrough from Leaf Landscape Supply (formerly Emerald Garden) joins Tom with a high five for palms in sun and shade.
Tom Spencer and Jeff Yarbrough Central Texas Gardener
In sun, multi-trunked Silver Mediterranean fan palm is dreamy.
silver mediterranean fan Central Texas Gardener
For my shady spots, I’m going for palm-like coontie (Zamia pumila). It’ll grow to about 3-4’ wide and tall. Here’s a shot in a shady garden we visited recently.
coontie for shade Central Texas Gardener
Watch now for Jeff’s sun and shade selections, big and small.

Everyone’s been asking: why has spring 2015 been so outstanding? redbud tree in bloom Central Texas Gardener title

children in Texas bluebonnets Central Texas Gardener children in Texas bluebonnets Central Texas Gardener winter ghaly bearded iris Central Texas Gardener Judy Garland rose by Winter Ghaly Central Texas Gardener

Dawn and Lance Ware spotted this gorgeous bluebonnet field in Burnet on their annual wildflower trek to celebrate their wedding anniversary. What a great tradition!Texas bluebonnet fields Cemtral Texas Gardener

Since one of our top questions is plants for shade,Daphne highlights Ligularia.For years, I steered clear of this one, figuring it needed too much water. After seeing it over and over in water thrifty gardens, I went for it last fall.ligularia shady front garden Central Texas Gardener

I love it so much that I’m snagging more. Chandler Ford’s one of the gardeners who got me on the ligularia bandwagon. Note that she and I share a subtle bunny theme!
ligularia shady patio Central Texas Gardener

There are numerous species, but at nurseries they all tend to be called “Ligularia.” In deep soil, it’s not a water hog, even with those bold leaves that really pop in shade. I adore this shady nook near Chandler’s patio: one I plan to imitate. Aztec grass, dianella, variegated iris, and sparker sedge set a very relaxing stage.ligularia sparkler sedge shady garden ideas Central Texas Gardener
On tour this week, Lynne Dobson is another who convinced me to cross the ligularia line. This spot in her features white dianella and two species of ligularia (bottom left and top right). The mystery middle plant didn’t make it through freeze.

Ligularia, Dianella in shady garden Central Texas Gardener

Lynne (and Chandler) hooked me into ming fern, too.

Ming fern shady garden Central Texas Gardener

On a tense slope in dappled shade, Lynne worked with landscape architect Bill Bauer to develop a serene gathering spot under embracing red oak trees.

Lynne Dobson's shady garden on a slope Central Texas Gardener Lynne Dobson's shady garden on a slope Central Texas Gardener

Against the muted leafy backdrop, Lynne pops things up with bright furniture.

Lynne Dobson's shady garden on a slope Central Texas Gardener Lynne Dobson's shady garden on a slope Central Texas Gardener

A succulent planter is but a symbol of Lynne’s philosophy: “To notice the tiny miracles that are there, and just to witness them and to embrace that.”

Succulent container table top accent Central Texas Gardener

Chinese fan palms, transplanted from her former garden, fan out to embrace the peace.

Chinese fan palm shady garden Central Texas Gardener

Where light hits through the canopy, structural agaves enrich the textural diversity.

Lynne Dobson's shady garden on a slope Central Texas Gardener

See Lynne’s story now!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda