May 14, 2015
Annual, Perennial Wildlife Raves
What a color! I’ve had 7 years of good luck with my experiment, ‘Linda,’ an Asiatic lily I couldn’t resist for its intensity and as I’ve discovered, tenacity.
Until I find a spot for a retama (Parkinsonia aculeata), I’m glad my neighbor did. And so are the bees! Photo bombing on the right is Texas olive, Cordia boissieri.
Down the block, native Gaura lindheimeri is blooming up a storm on a hot curb strip. Bees, butterflies and moths can’t resist this deer-resistant perennial.
We get spoiled in spring, but waves of color won’t bypass us in summer with heat-loving annuals. This week, John Thomas from Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg picks a few easy ones to start from seed.
He explains how to succession plant for wildlife raves until frost. For big, bold and bees, go for sunflowers. Birds will appreciate the easy pickings when things get skimpy in August.
Don’t freak out if lots of caterpillars join the party, too. They’ll turn into beautiful Bordered Patch butterflies. Just keep planting those seeds every few weeks to make up for any loss, like on Mammoth Grey Stripe.
John also tells us how to prune native, fall-blooming Maximilian sunflower for maximum impact.
Wildseed Farms is just as pretty to visit in summer as it is in spring. You’re sure to run into lots of butterflies on all their varieties of zinnias.
Butterflies and bees go for cosmos, such cheerful sun-lovers.
When we bought our house, I was broke and clueless about gardening. To brighten up the blank yard, an inexpensive packet of cosmos seeds did the trick. I was so amazed that I kept on going. . .
Now, there are so many irresistible colors of cosmos, but Tetra Versailles Red has won my heart!
Daphne sets a vertical stage with perennial, deer-resistant Queen’s Wreath vine (Antigonon leptopus), also called coral vine.
Drought-tough in full sun once established, its summer through fall flowers guarantee lots of bee and butterfly attention.
alt=”Bees on Queen’s Wreath vine Central Texas Gardener ” />Nancy Smith poses Question of the Week: “Can we pound a nail into a tree to hang a container plant or feeder?” YES, Daphne tells us: no harm to a mature tree. “My” squirrel politely posed for this example.
Food for us: Ivy Lara from Dripping Springs Garlic Queens joins Trisha Shirey to show how to harvest and dry your homegrown garlic. DSGQ Jana Kaura in the middle for post-taping picture.
Find out when and why Ivy and Jana cut their scapes to stir fry or pickle and get their favorite ways to dry their harvests.
Inspired to grow your own garlic next fall? Here’s Trisha and Ivy’s past segment on varieties and planting tips.
On tour in San Antonio, I was thrilled to meet Rambling Wren blogger Stephanie Lanier and her husband Todd!
Their story is one I totally appreciate. When they bought her charming childhood home, the 1973 lawn and foundation shrub style wasn’t what Stephanie wanted now. One bed at a time, they scooped out grass for more interactive plants.
After getting to know where sun hit every hour in their mostly shady garden, they nourished the untended soil with lots of compost. In shade, Stephanie blended colorful and interesting foliage with pollinator draws that don’t need much sun, like purple oxalis and bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis).
Along with new additions like heartleaf skullcap, Stephanie cultivates her grandmother’s crinum lilies, residents for 30 years. “It’s a nice connection between my past and my present and when I look at those plants they remind me of them,” she says.
In a spot of sun, she found the perfect spot for bee-loving bottlebrush.
That’s what she and Todd are going for: wildlife. There wasn’t much to be found when they started their makeover. The transformation didn’t take long!
Rather than banish prolific oak leaves to curbside pickup, Todd cultivates them as cooling, nutritious mulch. An extra bonus is watching the birds poke through them looking for worms!
Another big project was digging out an old shed foundation for the kitchen garden. Stephanie and Todd love to cook, so freshly harvested organic herbs and vegetables were on their list.
Since they have lots of noms for wildlife, they do reserve the strawberries for the house with a hardware cloth cage.
Now, meet them for yourself!
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda
- annual seeds
- annuals for bees
- annuals for butterflies
- Central Texas
- coral vine
- Daphne Richards
- Deer Resistant Plants
- Dripping Springs Garlic Queens
- Drought Resistant Plants
- drying garlic
- fall-blooming vines
- Garden Design
- Garden Makeover
- harvesting garlic
- lawn reduce
- Lawn Replacement
- lose lawn for wildlife
- native perennials
- okay pound nail into tree
- places to go in Texas
- Queen's Wreath vine
- Rambling Wren
- San Antonio gardens
- vines for wildlife
- Wildlife Plants and Habitat
- Wildseed Farms