For Gardeners, By Gardeners: TCMG Tour 2015

Rain saves the day! 72 hours after precious drops finally fell, oxblood lilies exploded everywhere. I’m glad that I divided bulbs one year to pepper under plumbago. oxblood lilies blue plumbago Central Texas Gardener
Conversely, extended drought over the years has toppled trees and hardy native plants. But in 2014, when Lynda Holm consulted us about her native flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata), she feared that it was a victim of Fusarium wilt.
flameleaf sumac drought Central Texas Gardener
Daphne checked with Dr. Kevin Ong of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab at Texas A&M, who confirmed her diagnosis that drought was the problem.

To remedy, Daphne encouraged Lynda to water it deeply and add more mulch around the root zone. And bingo! Recently, Lynda sent us an update with her back-in-game sumac. Find out more from Daphne.
young flameleaf sumac Central Texas Gardener
We’re all looking for shade plants! What about bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis), Daphne’s pick this week? This cold-hardy perennial is prized for its leafy texture, so its late spring flowers are a lovely bonus.
bear's breeches flowers Central Texas Gardener
Travis County Master Gardener Kirk Walden shares his secret: a woodlands edge spot of morning sun and afternoon shade. It’s perfect for columbines, too, here with his bear’s breeches.
bear's breeches mountain laurel Central Texas Gardener
In the vegetable garden, October is a great time to plant onion seeds (plant sets in January and February). Trisha explains how to pick the best variety for bulbing onions, like White Bermuda, White and Yellow Granex, Southern Belle, and popular 1015Y Super Sweet. The 1015Y refers to October 15th which is when they’re planted in the Rio Grande valley.
growing onions Central Texas Gardener
Check out evergreen bunching onions, too. They don’t form a bulb; simply dig up what you want as “green onions” and replant the rest for lots more. Get Trisha’s details for planting, fertilizing and harvesting onions.
evergreen bunching onions Central Texas Gardener
This week’s Viewer Picture goes to Angela Carver for her lovely shot of the gardens at Krause Springs in Spicewood. Famed for its refreshing clear water, dip into its other wonders.
krause springs angela carver web
Since Texas weather is tougher than herding cats, the Travis County Master Gardeners are here to help! Wendy Buck joins Tom to preview this year’s fantastic tour on October 17, dubbed “For Gardeners By Gardeners.”
Tom Spencer and Wendy Buck Central Texas Gardener
On October 17, meet hands-on gardeners in person to answer your questions. Each garden reflects a distinctive style where you’ll discover ideas to take home. Divided into themes, here’s “Flashy Natives,” garden to Lois Pesz.
Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2015 - Lois Pesz garden
Shady Natives: Sue Nazar.
Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2015 - Sue Nazar's garden
Thanks to Lori Daul, garden designer, Master Gardener, and blogger at The Garden of Good and Evil, for photographing these gardens!

Death-Defying Natives: Gregory Thomas.
Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2015 - Gregory Thomas garden
Cottage Natives: Martha King and Beverly Lester.
Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2015 - Martha King garden
Oh Deer!: Pam Penick
Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2015 - Pam Penick garden
Be sure to stop by the Travis County Extension Office, too, to meet Daphne and Augie and get first-hand advice from Master Gardeners who test plants and techniques to make things easier for you.
Travis County Texas A&M AgriLife demonstration garden Central Texas Gardener
Tour proceeds support the Travis County Master Gardeners’ community endeavors. Get tour details and read more about each garden.

Watch right now!

On our video tour, CTG headed to “Sunbathing Natives,” Valerie and Master Gardener Kirk Walden’s garden.
Valerie and Kirk Walden Central Texas Gardener
When they bought their razed property overlooking Lake Austin, it looked like this.
Austin lakeview garden before renovation Central Texas Gardener
Before Kirk dug in, he consulted Annie Gillespie and Rachael Beavers from Botanical Concerns for architectural structure and berms for captivating views from many perspectives. Note that the smaller limestone pool is patterned after the one at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
garden view to Lake Austin Central Texas Gardener
Kirk tells us: “That then feeds into the pool and the berm allows it to look like a natural fall. You’ll see not only does the water come down into the pond it also comes from the side into the pond as if it were coming from limestone rock.”
Hill Country lakeview garden Central Texas Gardener
natural looking pool Hill Country garden Central Texas Gardener
Garden art limestone pond Central Texas Gardener
Terraced beds and berms partner texture, color, and wildlife habitat without obstructing the lake view.
Hill Country garden berms and terraces Central Texas Gardener
Hill Country garden patio berms Central Texas Gardener
Hill Country garden texture Central Texas Gardener
Hill Country garden textures Central Texas Gardeners
Botanical Concerns chose deer fencing that practically disappears against the seasonally changing perennials to attract wildlife all year.
low profile deer fence for native plants Central Texas Gardener
Along the house, raised beds allowed them to go without railings that would have obstructed the view. From one end to the next, it gravitates from sun to shade, so they matched textures, color and forms along the way with different light-needs plants.
Raised bed along porch Central Texas Gardener
They installed low-water use Palisades zoysia since energetic dogs Cooper and Belle Haven need lots of family run time. We nabbed a superb high-in-air catch on tape!
palisades zoysia dog frisbee field Central Texas Gardener
Valerie, an artist, helped paint the garden’s vision. Now, their renewed wildlife habitat inspires her art.
Valerie Walden art studio Central Texas Gardener
Valerie Walden painting mockingbird in flight Central Texas Gardener
Her artistic eye saw potential in a beam that didn’t work out. Rather than haul it off, she installed it as a tribute to the 360 bridge.
360 garden art Central Texas Gardener
Overall, their first challenge was redirecting the hillside’s flooding waters via the berms and dry creek beds. Starting in front, Botanical Concerns diversified and channeled runoff to the back for slow dispersal.
pathway stones dry creek bed main walkway Central Texas Gardener
Walkway drainage control Central Texas Gardener
pathway stones connect to dry creek Central Texas Gardener
walkway stones to dry creek bed Central Texas Gardener
dry creek bed back of garden Central Texas Gardener
Curbside, a terrace prevents erosion and trickles water down through its layers.
curb terrace slow rainwater Central Texas Gardener
Since deer roam the unfenced front yard, layers of least-preferred munchies at the front porch include
Caesalpinia gilliesii, pink skullcap, and silver ponyfoot.
front bed dichondra bird of paradise Central Texas Gardener

And here’s Kirk Walden’s plant list!

Well, there’s so much more! Let’s just watch it all right now.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda