April 7, 2016
Texture, Food, Flower Designs
No lack of bees in my busy garden! All kinds are moving fast to hit every flower in the purple parade.
Nobody missed the spuria irises, either, including bees, wasps and some kind of fly.
These tall ones multiply so fast that I have them all over the place.
Unlike the spurias that die back in summer, Louisiana irises are evergreen. These pass-alongs from a dear friend long ago always remind me of his kind lessons when I ventured into shovel-land.
Folks from the Texas Pollinator Powwow told me that bumblebees and hummingbirds are considered to be the primary pollinators of native Louisiana irises.
As a novice, I quickly realized that I calmed a hurly-burly effect with strong forms in mix and match foliar colors.
This week, Mike Lung from Mike Lung Wholesale Nursery joins Tom with Texas tough evergreens to structure things up.
Butterfly iris (Dietes) including bicolor, works well in many soils, substituting for succulents if you can’t grow them.
Dietes iridioides, like all of them, grow in sun or shade, making it easy to unite diverse lighting situations.
Walter’s viburnum, for shade to sun, is a dwarf viburnum to 3-4’ that pops fragrant bee-loving flowers in spring. If you’re tired of dwarf yaupon holly, this one takes hard pruning if you want a low hedge.
‘Black Knight’ buddleja adds that silvery gusto and butterfly-adored flowers. Of course, in hard winters, it will freeze back, but return.
From clumping bamboo to sedge, Mike’s got lots more, so watch now!
Daphne’s Plant of the Week, native Rusty blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum rufidulum), isn’t evergreen, but that’s okay. A great screen for part shade to sun, it wows us with flaming fall color.
Its leathery dark green leaves emerge soft and pale in spring, later topped with flowers geared to feed bees and butterflies. Birds nab fall’s fruits.
Note: it does tend to thicket, so you’ll have lots of them in a few years.
So, is lichen on trees a problem? In Cedar Creek, Stacy Wilson notes that her oaks and mesquites are dropping limbs covered with lichen.
Daphne reports that lichens do not feed on trees and are only growing on dead bark, not live tissue. But they do indicate a lack of sunlight. Plus, years of extended drought contribute to stress, including loss of limbs. Get Daphne’s complete answer.
Just because you’re cramped for room doesn’t mean you can’t grow fresh food and herbs in containers.
John’s got yummy tips this week, including how to make a tiny support for climbers, like Malabar spinach, a summer delight in salads and recipes.
Viewer Picture goes to Michelle Mitchell for her dad Bob Laughlin’s tip for the earliest tomatoes on the block. For a head start, Bob plants his tomato seedlings in one gallon nursery pots that he then sinks into large containers outdoors. If a major freeze comes his way, he can literally pull the pots and store them in his shed until the freezing weather passes.
On tour, when we visited garden designer Lisa LaPaso and Cavin Weber last May, an umbrella came in handy on that sometimes-rainy Saturday.
In a standard Avery Ranch backyard, Lisa’s packed in flowers for wildlife habitat, herbs, fragrance, fruit trees, grapes, raspberries, blackberries and grapes.
Lisa turned lifeless soil into water thrifty abundance.
She breaks up the rectangular yard with nooks. Evergreen fragrant star jasmine graces a meditation spot.
A corner viewing post offers choice of seating, including a “Flintstone” bench from one of rock hound Cavin’s forays.
Inspired by her mother Carol Maize, Lisa artfully renders unifying colors.
Quickly, lively diverse wildlife claimed this habitat.
Even this tiny bench from leftover stones houses secretive critters.
Her father, renowned Jim LaPaso, contributed kinetic sculptures.
A wraparound pea gravel path leads to a corridor garden that Lisa describes as “being a big hug.”
Lisa worked with the Avery Ranch HOA (along with Bob Beyer) to reduce lawn requirements. She and Cavin dressed up one spot in the “new” front yard with one of his lucky rock finds.
Meet the whole family, including sons Cavin and Zachary!
Watch the whole story now!
And thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda