More superstar plants, citrus & tomato tips, Gazania

April 1st, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

It’s simply remarkable. Plant tough plants and they dance back, thumbing their flowers at extreme drought and freeze. My Lady Banks rose doesn’t even get water from me.

Lady Banks rose

rose Lady Banks

Lady Banks rose with spiderwort gigantea

I’m a sucker for spiraea, especially when it hides the corner of the shed, with our lady beyond hiding the fence.  Soon the climbing Cecile Brunner roses against the shed doors will add sweet pink to the picture.

Spiraea with Lady Banks rose

Spiraea buds and blooms

My Mutabilis shrub rose does a great job hiding the chain link fence on Amelia’s side. It’s been years since I’ve fertilized it. It’s thrifty on water, too.

Apricot mutabilis rose with bee

I’ve heard that species tulip, Tulipa saxatilis, naturalizes, and I sure hope that’s so. These are my first, planted at Thanksgiving.

Tulip saxatilis (Tulipa saxatilis)

Wider shot so you can see the foliage. Fall-blooming asters on steroids in the background.

Tulip saxatilis bud and foliage

Clusiana tulip ‘Tinka’ definitely naturalizes, here with returning spring starflowers and oxalis. Freeze & drought immune ‘Butterpat’ and ‘Country Girl’ mums surround them.

Clusiana tulip 'Tinka' with spring starflower and oxalis

On great returns:  This week my ‘Mr. Mac’ Satsuma orange blossomed. Since I know you want to jump into the citrus game, too, this week on CTG, Tom meets with Merrideth Jiles from The Great Outdoors on cold-hardy citrus for your containers or the garden. Merrideth also explains how to fertilize and when to prune them.

Trisha’s got tomato tips for you! Some of you may have lost early plantings to the weather. She explains how to tell if they’re damaged beyond production, and how to plant and protect them in our still risky weather and wind. Also, she sets us straight on determinate and indeterminate varieties and which is better for containers. Get her tomato tips, including cutworm protection, on our website.

Next to questions about freeze damage, #2 is about weeds. Boy howdy, are they happy!

weeds henbit dandelion winter grass
So, Daphne explains how to break the cycle. It’s now or never. Every seed that sets means weeds, the sequel, for years to come. And please, buy a lottery ticket or shred your dollars before you buy a weed & feed product!  Dig ‘em or mow ‘em. Apply corn gluten in September as a natural pre-emergent.

Her plant of the week is Gazania rigens. I couldn’t resist two to put in pots on each side of the patio. I selected this one, Bicton Orange, for its silvery foliage.  They attract butterflies, so I decided to do that instead of my usual zinnias for butterflies close up.

Gazania rigens Bicton Orange

On tour, visit Randy Case’s incredible makeover. Last fall on the the Master Gardener tour, I was astounded how he turned around a typical lawn with foundation plants into this amazing garden. I knew you all would want to see this one, but I wasn’t sure how to cram it into our packed fall taping schedule. Two days later, I got a drought cancellation. I picked up the phone and called Randy. “Can we come tape tomorrow?”

Since these are intense gardening days, you can always watch CTG online after a comfy Epsom salts bath!

Until next week, Linda

  1. 14 Responses to “More superstar plants, citrus & tomato tips, Gazania”

  2. By Bob Beyer on Apr 1, 2010

    Hi Linda,

    I add my endorsement to Gazania rigens as an excellent and colorful ground cover plant for our area. Mine survived below 20 and came back strong this spring. The silver foliage and yellow blooms are a striking combo. I recommend this plant to every gardener.

    On the subject of Citrus, I had a variegated satsuma planted last spring survive this winter without any damage! Hope it was more than just luck! Meiwa kumquat also came through unscathed. The variegated calamondin dropped leaves but is coming back strong, so there are indeed many citrus that we can grow in Austin, even down to 20 degrees.

    Weeds – OMG, I photographed 24 different weeds in my yard this year and ID’d all but 3 of them. With the warm weather grasses suffering from our hard freeze, weeds have taken over their place! Aaaargh.


  3. By Amy/GoAway, I'm Gardening! on Apr 1, 2010

    Wow, I think you sold me on the Lady Banks rose! Today, I have one bloom on my knockout rose. Gotta love those easy to care for roses!
    Also, those are really pretty white blooms on the spiraea. Enjoyed your post!


  4. By Jenny on Apr 1, 2010

    What a pretty combination Tinka and Oxalis and you will love the Gazania rigens. I had two clumps for years then this last winter happened. I bought some more but paid a pretty penny. I am truly amazed at how the Lady coped with the winter. More floriferous than ever.


  5. By Pam/Digging on Apr 2, 2010

    That is a stunning Lady Banks rose, Linda. And I look forward to seeing Randy’s garden on CTG. It was wonderful to see it on tour last year.


  6. By Linda Phillips on Apr 2, 2010

    That Lady Banks rose is just gorgeous. I don’t think I can work one in here. Not enough room or sun, in the fenced area, and outside the fence…deer. Now, I do have room for clusianas. Another plant on my list.

    Looking forward to seeing Randy’s make over. We were quite impressed with it on tour, last fall. I hope the winter didn’t ruin it.


  7. By Iris/Society Garlic, Austin on Apr 2, 2010

    While your Lady Banks show is certainly breathtaking, the Tulipa saxatilis is super cool! Looking forward to tomorrow’s CTG.


  8. By Kathleen Scott on Apr 4, 2010

    What an extravagant Lady Banks! I’ve been seeing them around New Braunfels. Reminds me of my mother’s stories about her mother’s Lady Banks in San Marcos seventy years ago. I bet that rose is still going.

    I can tell you’re not subject to deer. You have so many lovely, luscious plants in your garden.

    Thanks for the satsuma care info. Just in time for spring renewal.


  9. By Dirty Girl Gardening on Apr 6, 2010

    That climbing rose is really fabulous… such a great yellow color.


  10. By mss @ Zanthan Gardens on Apr 10, 2010

    I don’t think I like any shade of yellow flower more than that of Lady Banks roses. It’s just the perfect, soft buttery yellow. I’ve been driving around Austin thrilled to the bone at the wonderful display they’ve provided this year.


  11. By Joanne Jones on Apr 25, 2010

    I love that Gazania is a perennial in Texas! I only discovered it this year and it was love at first sight. And to discover it is heat and drought tolerant as well as a perennial in our zones? This is my flower of the year!


  12. By Brigitte on Apr 3, 2012

    We just planted some Lady Banks. Can’t wait for them to look like yours! How long have you been growing them?


    Linda reply on April 3rd, 2012 3:22 pm:

    Hi, Brigitte! It takes a few years but they grow fast! Mine has been in for about 15 years. But I have another one that was totally shaded by overgrown stuff, not watered, nothing. I just cleared that area and started to renovate it. In one month, it’s filling out completely. You will absolutely love yours! Don’t be afraid to shape it slightly as it grows. You can shape any time really, but in the fall I usually leave it alone so it can set lots of buds.


  13. By Debbie on May 5, 2012

    Oh how my heart fluttered when I saw your Lady Banks! My mother had one in her front yard that we enjoyed for many, many years. She has since passed away, and I’ve yet to see one in person since. I had actually forgotten the name of the rose, and it had been bugging me for weeks. Driving home from shopping today, ‘Lady Banks’ just came to mind. I immediately started a web search & am so happy to see the ‘real thing’. Her Lady Banks was the talk of the neighborhood. And your right – so little care is required. I am hoping I can find one in my area (Florida), and get it started! Thanks for sharing!


    Linda reply on May 6th, 2012 2:09 pm:

    Thanks for writing and sharing this wonderful story, Debbie! It makes my heart sing. If your local nurseries don’t have one, you can order it online from The Antique Rose Emporium.
    Start your own wonderful memories! Linda


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