currently in Austin


3 seasons at once; SA Garden Conservancy tour preview

Looks like fall is zooming in.

Bee heading for salvia guaranitica

Sorry, just had to say that, I really did.  Spring blooming salvias are back at it. And summer isn’t ready to give up yet, either. Check out this surprise on the crape myrtle. Not sure that’s ever happened before.

 crape myrtle surprise September flower

Underneath, a few bouncing bets (Saponaria officinalis) bloomed. They’re usually pretty skimpy for me. Until I find the right setting, I’ll take what I can get.

bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis)

Generally, the toads hop into the fountain basin at night and take off when we come out for coffee. Recently, they’re in all day or by early evening.

Toad in fountain basin

Greg took that picture. For his birthday this week, I got him a tripod to go with “his” camera, the little point & shoot he got me for MY birthday in August. If you’re married, you understand this well. I figured if he was going to be unofficial CTG staff to record video and take pictures, I should give him some gear.

This rather looks like havoc.

Plumbago scandens with Conoclinium coelestinum

Native Plumbago scandens, Conoclinium/Eupatorium coelestinum, cosmos. The thing falling over in back is Hymenocallis ‘Sulphur Queen’. When it freezes back, I’ll cut it off and hope it flies right next year. To the right is firebush (Hamelia patens).

Conoclinium coelestinum

I got the C. coelestinum after I saw its shrub-type habit in a garden. Maybe I need to prune it earlier in the season, because mine is floppy.

Conoclinium coelestinum close-up flower

In any case, like the C. greggii, and now the betony-leaf version in front, it kind of takes over.  Every year I struggle with the dilemma: do I want clean structure or mayhem? When the butterflies descend on them in a few weeks, I’ll go for mayhem.

Now, is this the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen?

Fasciated mountain laurel stem

Ava Hayes sent in a picture last spring. Daphne went out & nabbed a picture, since this is so unusual.  Her office got flooded the next day, drowning her computer, too, hence the delay. This mountain laurel growth is fasciated.

It’s a genetic mutation that develops when the round growing point, the apical meristem, becomes distorted and crescent shaped.  Find out more from Daphne this week.

This week on CTG, Tom meets with Joann Neal to preview the San Antonio Garden Conservancy Open Days tour on October 23.

San Antonio Garden Conservancy tour Tom Harris photo

You’ll meet some charming gardeners and exquisite gardens, including our featured video, designed by Tony Villarreal with the hands-on gardeners.

San Antonio Garden Conservancy tour

See how they created viewpoints for close-up connections and wide vistas. You’ll also love the naturalistic dry creek bed that solved a flooding nightmare. Like all the gardens, they have so many wonderful design and plant ideas for you to adapt.

If you’ve seen Gail & Don Clowe’s phenomenal Southwestern succulent/Japanese/orchid garden on CTG, this is your chance to meet them in person, since their garden is one on this tour!

To make sure you’ve got the best pumpkin on the block this Halloween, Trisha’s got some really fun ideas to decorate your Jack-o-lantern with cuttings from the garden.

Until next week, Linda