September 17, 2015
For Gardeners, By Gardeners: TCMG Tour 2015
Rain saves the day! 72 hours after precious drops finally fell, oxblood lilies exploded everywhere. I’m glad that I divided bulbs one year to pepper under plumbago.
Conversely, extended drought over the years has toppled trees and hardy native plants. But in 2014, when Lynda Holm consulted us about her native flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata), she feared that it was a victim of Fusarium wilt.
Daphne checked with Dr. Kevin Ong of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab at Texas A&M, who confirmed her diagnosis that drought was the problem.
To remedy, Daphne encouraged Lynda to water it deeply and add more mulch around the root zone. And bingo! Recently, Lynda sent us an update with her back-in-game sumac. Find out more from Daphne.
We’re all looking for shade plants! What about bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis), Daphne’s pick this week? This cold-hardy perennial is prized for its leafy texture, so its late spring flowers are a lovely bonus.
Travis County Master Gardener Kirk Walden shares his secret: a woodlands edge spot of morning sun and afternoon shade. It’s perfect for columbines, too, here with his bear’s breeches.
In the vegetable garden, October is a great time to plant onion seeds (plant sets in January and February). Trisha explains how to pick the best variety for bulbing onions, like White Bermuda, White and Yellow Granex, Southern Belle, and popular 1015Y Super Sweet. The 1015Y refers to October 15th which is when they’re planted in the Rio Grande valley.
Check out evergreen bunching onions, too. They don’t form a bulb; simply dig up what you want as “green onions” and replant the rest for lots more. Get Trisha’s details for planting, fertilizing and harvesting onions.
This week’s Viewer Picture goes to Angela Carver for her lovely shot of the gardens at Krause Springs in Spicewood. Famed for its refreshing clear water, dip into its other wonders.
Since Texas weather is tougher than herding cats, the Travis County Master Gardeners are here to help! Wendy Buck joins Tom to preview this year’s fantastic tour on October 17, dubbed “For Gardeners By Gardeners.”
On October 17, meet hands-on gardeners in person to answer your questions. Each garden reflects a distinctive style where you’ll discover ideas to take home. Divided into themes, here’s “Flashy Natives,” garden to Lois Pesz.
Shady Natives: Sue Nazar.
Thanks to Lori Daul, garden designer, Master Gardener, and blogger at The Garden of Good and Evil, for photographing these gardens!
Death-Defying Natives: Gregory Thomas.
Cottage Natives: Martha King and Beverly Lester.
Oh Deer!: Pam Penick
Be sure to stop by the Travis County Extension Office, too, to meet Daphne and Augie and get first-hand advice from Master Gardeners who test plants and techniques to make things easier for you.
Tour proceeds support the Travis County Master Gardeners’ community endeavors. Get tour details and read more about each garden.
On our video tour, CTG headed to “Sunbathing Natives,” Valerie and Master Gardener Kirk Walden’s garden.
When they bought their razed property overlooking Lake Austin, it looked like this.
Before Kirk dug in, he consulted Annie Gillespie and Rachael Beavers from Botanical Concerns for architectural structure and berms for captivating views from many perspectives. Note that the smaller limestone pool is patterned after the one at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Kirk tells us: “That then feeds into the pool and the berm allows it to look like a natural fall. You’ll see not only does the water come down into the pond it also comes from the side into the pond as if it were coming from limestone rock.”
Terraced beds and berms partner texture, color, and wildlife habitat without obstructing the lake view.
Botanical Concerns chose deer fencing that practically disappears against the seasonally changing perennials to attract wildlife all year.
Along the house, raised beds allowed them to go without railings that would have obstructed the view. From one end to the next, it gravitates from sun to shade, so they matched textures, color and forms along the way with different light-needs plants.
They installed low-water use Palisades zoysia since energetic dogs Cooper and Belle Haven need lots of family run time. We nabbed a superb high-in-air catch on tape!
Valerie, an artist, helped paint the garden’s vision. Now, their renewed wildlife habitat inspires her art.
Her artistic eye saw potential in a beam that didn’t work out. Rather than haul it off, she installed it as a tribute to the 360 bridge.
Overall, their first challenge was redirecting the hillside’s flooding waters via the berms and dry creek beds. Starting in front, Botanical Concerns diversified and channeled runoff to the back for slow dispersal.
Curbside, a terrace prevents erosion and trickles water down through its layers.
Since deer roam the unfenced front yard, layers of least-preferred munchies at the front porch include
Caesalpinia gilliesii, pink skullcap, and silver ponyfoot.
Well, there’s so much more! Let’s just watch it all right now.
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda