Gardening made easy with new iBook + Hutto garden fun

January 16th, 2014 Posted in Late spring flowers, annuals, books, crafts, early spring flowers, garden art, garden structure, lawn replace, perennials, rain water collection, vegetables

I rather like the restful stage in my dormant winter garden. Here’s a view of the den path from the patio.

Linda's den garden in winter no lawn
Let’s distract our finger on the eager pruning trigger with early-birds like Matchstick bromeliad (Aechmea gamosepala) that leads off my winter pop-up color parade. The flower bit the dust in our freeze event, but the plant’s just fine.

Matchstick bromeliad Aechmea gamosepala Central Texas Gardener
To pep up dormant spots, what about Daphne’s Plant of the Week, ornamental kale?

Purple ornamental kale austin texas garden
It’s not too late to plant these annuals. They’re even edible, though I’ve never tried. If you’re going for food, “regular” kale is pretty, too. In sun or light shade, and superb in containers, Daphne reminds us that they’re waterwise and rarely need the hose if we get a little rain.

crinkly ornamental kale austin texas garden
With recent flash-freeze temps, many plants—like JJ Weber’s purple heart (Setcreasea pallida)—look a little fried.

purple heart frozen austin texas photo by JJ Weber
No need to tidy up yet. Those dead leaves (as on other plants) blanket the live roots in case of future polar events. Until mid-February or so, JJ can keep on winning Lone Star Emmy awards for KLRU programs like SXSW Flashback.

Then, simply cut off the dead leaves. Pulling too hard can uproot the whole plant!  In that case, just tuck the root back into the ground.

Designer Ginger Hudson’s iBook, A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens, includes a fabulous interactive chapter on how to prune dormant plants.

Ginger Hudson's A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens

Ginger Hudson's A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens

Ginger joins Tom for a tour of her detailed step-by-step guide that covers the ground in every season from tools to design and maintenance. This is the book of my dreams!

Ginger Hudson and Tom Spencer Central Texas Gardener

A quick click takes you to close-up details, including pruning, moving plants, and symptoms of unhappy plants (and why).

Ginger Hudson's A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens

Ginger Hudson's A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens

Ginger Hudson's A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens

Ginger Hudson's A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens

Now, raise your hands if you’ve ever ripped them up tying up a thorny rose with twine.  I’m certainly nimble-challenged when wearing rose gloves. Daphne spares the Band-Aids with multitasking hair clips!

hair clips to tie up vines Daphne Richards Central Texas Gardener

For heftier plants, she uses zip ties. Get her tips on using them, twine, and re-usable hair clips.

It’s time to start summer seeds indoors . John Dromgoole has your tips for success with light, heat, and watering.

Start seeds indoors John Dromgoole Central Texas Gardener

On tour, head to Hutto where Donna and Mike Fowler join their kids Luke and Emily in a creative family co-op of art, wildlife plants, destination gardens and hippos, of course!

Donna and Mike Fowler Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

Donna and Mike Fowler Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

Hutto hippo Donna and Mike Fowler garden Central Texas Gardener

Donna supervises the vegetable garden from her Alice in Wonderland chair that Mike built from junipers he cleared.

Alice in Wonderland garden chair in Hutto

They banished lawn with destination gardens where Donna styles up with waterwise plants for wildlife.

fire pit Donna and Mike Fowler Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

glass dry creek bed Donna and Mike Fowler Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

Zen rock sculpture Donna and Mike Fowler Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

In every spot, they tuck in hand-made art from recycled foundlings, dubbed “yart” by Mike. Here’s his clever hose guard design: rebar topped with recycled dishes. Donna fancied them up as her personal “garden club!”

Cute hose guard design with old glassware

In the vegetable garden, son Luke–fellow producer on an innovative video series in the works, Treehouse Tribe– gave it the ultimate destination with his tipi that reflects their Native American roots.

garden tipi by Luke Fowler Hutto Texas

It’s worth a trip to Hutto to munch down on fabulous home-made recipes at the Texan Cafe!

Texan Cafe Hutto Texas

Take the whole tour right now!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda

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