Drought-tough grasses & sedges & more

September 17th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Rain drops!

flame acanthus (Anisacanthus wrightii)

Falling on my plants.

Hamelia patens

Not so many drops in east Austin as elsewhere last week, but I’m not returning my 1-1/2″.

Even that rejuvenated the garden and brought out the first Lycoris radiata!  Its background is my young bamboo muhly.

Lycoris radiata (spider lily) against bamboo muhly

Still, we all know better than to rest on our slightly-moistened laurels (especially the ones with pointy leaves. . .like my drought-tough bay laurel).

Bay laurel leaf

So, this week on CTG, Mae Sanchez from Barton Springs Nursery and Tom get together to pick out some drought-tough ornamental grasses and sedges. Mae’s list (which will be on CTG’s website) includes choices for sun and shade. My shovel has gotten a few ideas already.

In my garden, I also rely on garlic chives for tough-as-nails accents to other leaf forms.

Garlic chives

I got mine years ago when a gardener plucked a handful out of the ground for me. They get a mixture of sun and shade. They’re edible, too, but I like them for their mostly evergreen foliage. When the flowers appear, I know we’re getting close to a handshake with fall.

Garlic chive flowers

Herbalist Ellen Zimmermann devotes her garden to plants that fulfill medicinal and culinary needs (and that support wildlife). You’ll meet her this week on our spring visit to her garden. Since we’re on the brink of planting again, I think you’ll get a few ideas to start this fall to pop some eyes come spring.

On our visit, I saw that she had the bizarre thistle that had sprung up in my garden.

Milk thistle

Ellen confirmed it as milk thistle.  Some of you may consider it a weed, but take a look at Ellen’s side of its beneficial story.

And, get Ellen’s list of beneficial, multi-tasking native herbs for your garden.

Meet Ellen in person, along with other members of the Austin Herb Society at HerbFest, a potpourri of plants, information, herbal products, and crafts.

Oct. 10   9 a.m.  – 1 p.m.
Sunset Valley Farmers Market

Until next week, Linda

  1. 4 Responses to “Drought-tough grasses & sedges & more”

  2. By joan Shrader on Sep 17, 2009

    Loved seeing all the “rain Lilies” this week. I’m not sure of their “real” name, but would like to get some. My mother and grandmother had them in their flower beds.

    Thanks for all the great pictures and info. Joan


  3. By pat carroll schultz on Sep 18, 2009

    Hi Linda! I just love to read the newsletter, and so much applies to our area here in Seguin. Your photos are awesome, and as an amateur artist I’d love to have your permission to use some as reference material for my paintings. You are a photographic artist.


  4. By Kathleen Scott on Sep 20, 2009

    Love your blog, particularly the emphasis on habitat plantings. Thanks for a program on drought-tolerant grasses and sedges.


  5. By mss @ Zanthan Gardens on Sep 29, 2009

    I’m so envious of your blooming Lycoris radiata.

    I have tons of red spider lily bulbs in my yard but they rarely flower. They come up every year. Some I’ve divided and moved them to different spots to see if they like it sunnier or in different soil. Still nothing. I see them everywhere else. There’s no getting rid of them either…every little bit of left behind bulb will eventually sprout, even if they don’t flower.


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