Real Plants, Virtual Garden Connections

LIVE SCREENING AND Q&A! Join us April 23 at 3 p.m. for a live screening of Susan Snyder and Mark Hathway’s first garden from scratch and type in your real questions in a virtual conversation with them! Register now to get auto notification. Hope to “see” you there!

My garden’s always working from home! I discovered spring-blooming annual Orlaya grandiflora on a visit with Pamela and Frank Arnosky, pioneers in locally-grown cut flowers at the Arnosky Family Farms in Blanco.

Rather than cutting my few to bring indoors, I leave these rotund little bouquets for pollinators. Next fall, I’ll plant lots of them to steal a few for the house.

Since it’s too late to plant spring bloomers, the Arnosky’s famous Blue Barn is still open for self-serve fresh bouquets to satisfy that need right now for Texas-style flowers.

Buttonhole-sized blooms from climbing ‘Cecile Brunner’ rose fill a small vase for working from home aromatherapy.

Soft pink climber ‘New Dawn’ is just as fragrant. I don’t pamper either of these. I rarely fertilize, but I do dose with compost every year.

Quarter-sized flowers on native heartleaf rosemallow (Hibiscus martianus) aren’t good for cutting. Their rosy glow and soft heart-shaped leaves do charm up a container, where mine resides in morning sun. I tried one in the ground and it didn’t return after a hard freeze its first year.

Native yaupon holly sports the tiniest flowers. We might miss them, but the bees never do!

Half-inch white flowers attract butterflies to native white avens (Geum canadense) on strawberry-like leaves in part shade. Woodland plants in nature, in my garden they get some morning or afternoon sun, depending on their spot.

I got a few at a Wildflower Center sale a few years ago as a hardy groundcover for shade. Now they’ve seeded out to form an evergreen base under taller plants. They’re huge now after the rains, but will hunker down once the heat’s back on and the waterworks turn off.

Swoon-worthy Byzantine gladiolus claims the flamboyant crown this week. A few pass-along corms years ago have multiplied to assure magenta magnificence every April, defying drenches, drought, and hard freezes.

Our asters are zooming thanks to recent rain. To prevent leggy, splaying plants, we can prune until late June. See how I pruned mine back in a working from home CTG where our new adopted cat Sunshine insisted on a cameo!

AND, I’d love to show off your virtual garden videos and pictures! What are you (and your kids/grandkids) doing outside? Send them on to me at

We’re all hankering to get to our local nurseries right now! Many are shuttered for now, so check your favorite for online ordering and curb side pickup. I’m sure there are more or more to come, so give me a heads up!
Barton Springs Nursery
The Natural Gardener
Lone Star Nursery
Solstice Outdoors
Tillery Street Plant Company
East Austin Succulents
Wimberley Gardens (limited hours + curbside)
Monarch Watch Milkweed (enter zip code to order flats of native milkweed)
Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery

And local designer Leah Churner, who’s been on CTG many times, has started a plant delivery service. She picks up plants and supplies from wholesalers and delivers them curbside.

Since incorrect information propagates faster than stink bugs, Jeff Ferris and John Hart Asher squash a few untruths to spare you wasted time.

If your orchids are blooming like mine are, get tips for good orchid health with Lucy Newton and Sheryl Hawkins.

With all the spring trimming, are you getting into composting? Travis County Master Gardener Sheryl Williams breaks it down with the best composting DIY ever!

Austin PBS, KLRU-TV remains committed to providing safe, educational entertainment for the whole family and gardeners like you! We’re able to provide this valuable service because of your support. Make a gift today to keep us growing! Many,many thanks! Linda