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.
cottage bed pollinator garden Central Texas Gardener
Nobody missed the spuria irises, either, including bees, wasps and some kind of fly.
bee spuria iris Central Texas Gardener
These tall ones multiply so fast that I have them all over the place.
spuria iris Central Texas Gardener
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.
Lousiana iris CTG
Folks from the Texas Pollinator Powwow told me that bumblebees and hummingbirds are considered to be the primary pollinators of native Louisiana irises.
Louisiana iris CTG
As a novice, I quickly realized that I calmed a hurly-burly effect with strong forms in mix and match foliar colors.
spuria iris and artemisia Central Texas Gardener
This week, Mike Lung from Mike Lung Wholesale Nursery joins Tom with Texas tough evergreens to structure things up.
Mike Lung Central Texas Gardener
Butterfly iris (Dietes) including bicolor, works well in many soils, substituting for succulents if you can’t grow them.
butterfly iris Central Texas Gardener
Dietes iridioides, like all of them, grow in sun or shade, making it easy to unite diverse lighting situations.
Dietes iridioides flower Central Texas Gardener
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.
Walter's viburnum Central Texas Gardener
‘Black Knight’ buddleja adds that silvery gusto and butterfly-adored flowers. Of course, in hard winters, it will freeze back, but return.
'Black Knight' buddleja Central Texas Gardener
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.
Rusty blackhaw fall color Central Texas Gardener
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.
Rusty blackhaw viburnum spring leaves flower buds Central Texas Gardener
Rusty blackhaw viburnum flowers Central Texas Gardener
Note: it does tend to thicket, so you’ll have lots of them in a few years.
Rusty blackhaw viburnum fence screen Central Texas Gardener
So, is lichen on trees a problem? In Cedar Creek, Stacy Wilson notes that her oaks and mesquites are dropping limbs covered with lichen.
lichen on tree Central Texas Gardener
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.
container vegetable gardens Central Texas Gardener
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.
zip ties bamboo stake vegetable container Central Texas Gardener
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.
food and flower small garden Lisa LaPaso Central Texas Gardener
In a standard Avery Ranch backyard, Lisa’s packed in flowers for wildlife habitat, herbs, fragrance, fruit trees, grapes, raspberries, blackberries and grapes.
den window fruit herb design Central Texas Gardener
Lisa turned lifeless soil into water thrifty abundance.
path to patio Central Texas Gardener
pathway Lisa LaPaso food and fragrance garden Central Texas Gardener
dry creek design cute garden Central Texas Gardener
tractor garden art with datura, raspberry mint Central Texas Gardener
She breaks up the rectangular yard with nooks. Evergreen fragrant star jasmine graces a meditation spot.
star jasmine arbor secret room Central Texas Gardener
A corner viewing post offers choice of seating, including a “Flintstone” bench from one of rock hound Cavin’s forays.
bench nook in small space garden Central Texas Gardener
Inspired by her mother Carol Maize, Lisa artfully renders unifying colors.
patio view to food and flower garden Central Texas Gardener
colorful patio Lisa LaPaso design Central Texas Gardener
Quickly, lively diverse wildlife claimed this habitat.
Lisa LaPaso pond Central Texas Gardener
Even this tiny bench from leftover stones houses secretive critters.
bunny sculpture rock habitat wildlife Central Texas Gardener
Her father, renowned Jim LaPaso, contributed kinetic sculptures.
kinetic sculpture Jim LaPaso Central Texas Gardener
jerusalem sage and garden art Central Texas Gardener
A wraparound pea gravel path leads to a corridor garden that Lisa describes as “being a big hug.”
pathway designreduced lawn garden flowers and food Central Texas Gardenerfruit trees berries flowers small garden Central Texas Gardenergarden gate design Jim LaPaso Central Texas Gardenerside garden path Central Texas Gardener
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.
rock sculpture in reduced lawn front yard Central Texas Gardener
Meet the whole family, including sons Cavin and Zachary!
Lisa LaPaso Cavin Weber family Central Texas Gardener
Watch the whole story now!

And thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda