March Madness

Patience is the gardener’s best ally. Such is the case when—at last—my few Iris nada passalongs exploded into a colony of fans.
Iris nada naturalizing Central Texas Gardener
Mainly I’m attracted to their evergreen structural power on Blackland prairie soil. Once the trees leaf out, they’re content in morning sun/afternoon shade. Actually, they’ll scald if given too much sun.
sunburn on Iris nada Central Texas Gardener
I hit the big time jackpot this year with butterfly-like flowers flaunting every stem.
Iris nada Central Texas Gardener
Gladiolus tristus arises on long, slender stems that suddenly erupt into soft, elegant flowers. I’ll cut it back when it browns up, hoping for a third year in 2017.
gladiolus tristus Central Texas Gardener
It’s unbelievable, but I lost a few native spiderworts this year. Luckily, I got a good enough crop for the bees.
bee on spiderwort Central Texas Gardener
Normally, spiderworts are among the earliest late-winter bloomers. In this crazy year, they weren’t so alone!
bee on spiderwort leaf Central Texas Gardener
Looks like I may have lost a few long reliable Dutch iris, too. These guys arrived weeks early, so there’s still hope.
dutch iris Central Texas Gardener
I totally lucked into this placement against Mexican honeysuckle. I figured the iris would fill the blank spot when the Mexican honeysuckle was freeze-dormant. Instead, this.
dutch iris mexican honeysuckle CTG
Fluffy, gentle little Narcissus ‘Abba’ hunkers down among all the March madness.
Narcissus abba Central Texas Gardener
Freesia laxa is still blooming its heart out against Billbergia x ‘Rubra’ and baby blue eyes about to pop.
freesia laxa billbergia baby blue eyes Central Texas Gardener
Even my firecracker fern (Russelia equisetiformis) didn’t freeze back this winter. Already, they’re spouting tubular blooms for any hummingbirds or butterflies hanging out.
firecracker fern Central Texas Gardener
Find out more about firecracker fern.

And I can’t resist one more picture of native golden groundsel (Packera obovata) against the Billbergia in another bed.
golden groundsel and billbergia Central Texas Gardener
I’m almost finished with pruning, but saved this eyelash salvia (Salvia blepharophylla) for last. I hated to lose that luscious purple but wanted to encourage new growth while there’s still a chance of rain.
salvia blepharophylla purple winter leaves Central Texas Gardener
On the road, I spotted this bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa) at designer Casey Boyter’s.
bamboo muhly Central Texas Gardener
I’ll be pruning dead or rambunctious canes out of mine soon. Find out more about bamboo muhly and all our Plants of the Week.

At The Natural Gardener last year, here’s an inexpensive way to beef up those tomato cages with T-posts and bamboo.
tomato stake with T-post and bamboo Central Texas Gardener
In case you missed it, this week we repeat our fabulous Water-Saving Gardens show!
interview Pam Penick Water Saving Guide
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda