Joan’s pink poppies, Peckerwood Garden, Yucca Do cold-hardy agaves & more

April 15th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

This week, I’m celebrating “Joan’s pink poppies,” a passalong from a very inspiring gardener fighting cancer that Vertie and I had the chance to meet.

pink poppies

Columbine and pink poppies

Another treasured passalong is bearded iris ‘Raspberry Frills’ from Trisha Shirey, with Dr. William Welch’s foundling rose, Maggie,  that I got from It’s a Jungle.

Iris Raspberry Frills and Maggie rose

Oh, check out Trisha’s blog at Lake Austin Spa Resort. It’s a team blog, with tips on gardening, exercise, and recipes. I’m drooling over the recipe for Shitake mushroom spring rolls.

This bearded iris has been around the block a few times.

Apricot iris with insect nymph

Years ago, I got it from the Iris Society of Austin (watch for their great September sale). I’ve divided and moved it to follow the sun as my garden changed.  The insect nymph?  Wizzie Brown, Texas AgriLife Entomologist, thinks it may be a katydid nymph.

In the cat cove, last year I built up mounds for blackfoot daisy. Only one made it, now joined by a new Pelargonium sidoides, one of my Tom Peace experiments from South Africa. The winecups are about to take over when the blue-eyed grass goes to seed.

Blackfoot daisy, Pelargonium sidoides, winecup, blue-eyed grass

My garden isn’t the tidiest in the world, but it’s my antithesis to the rest of my life, which is highly structured.  It’s also a chance to experiment, without impacting anyone but myself. Well, except for the wildlife.

Someone who has impacted the botanical world with his experiments is John G. Fairey of Peckerwood Garden. This week on CTG, we are most honored to have met with him and taped the gardens in late February. See how his vision and tireless energy brought us new garden vocabulary, like this Dioon edule.

Dioon edule Peckerwood Garden

As always, CTG’s director Ed Fuentes was behind the camera, focusing his incredible eye on discoveries to include our viewers in our experience.

Ed Fuentes, Central Texas Gardener, at Peckerwood Garden

For this intense shoot, we had the rare luxury of a second camera, with talented Derek Joyoprayitno.

Derek Joyoprayitno camera operator

Steve Maedl, the guy who can do anything, sets up our lighting for John’s interview.

Steve Maedl

Freelancers all, you’ll see their names on many credit rolls, and of course, on KLRU’s Austin City Limits.

One Peckerwood trick I must show you is how they shade new plants.

Plant shade cloth

This is essential when you move a plant in the heat, or start it as a tiny one in baking conditions. Beats my newspaper on a stick!

Peckerwood maintains but a small staff, and even they volunteer at Open Days and their other special events. I thank Connie Stegen, who helped organize this shoot. I also thank The Garden Conservancy for their support of this botanical treasure.

Yucca Do Nursery, started by John Fairey and Carl Schoenfeld, has moved off site to Giddings, but the mission remains the same: collecting, testing, and propagating unique and endangered plants. This week, Tom meets with Wade Roitsch about cold-hardy agaves, aloes and other Yucca Do favorites.

Watch online to see it all, get Daphne’s explanation on mountain laurels not blooming, John Dromgoole’s info on fertilizers, and Wade’s plant list.

Thanks to Bill Welch, John Fairey, Yucca Do, and all of you, we celebrate gardens of new discoveries, knowledge, and heritage to carry on botanical wonder and joy. CTG is so proud to be part of this avenue.

Finally, here’s a garden tour for you to gather some ideas. Launch 787 and Mosaic at Mueller hosts the 2010 Outdoor Living Tour: A Glimpse into Your Neighbor’s Backyard this Saturday, April 17. Looks fabulous!

Until next week, Linda

  1. 12 Responses to “Joan’s pink poppies, Peckerwood Garden, Yucca Do cold-hardy agaves & more”

  2. By Jenny on Apr 15, 2010

    The pink poppies in Joan’s garden are lovely. I wonder who started with these as everyone seems to be passing them along. Thanks for the heads up on the iris sale. I am just now starting with iris and think I may have that yellow one. I can see what I have been missing. Raspberry frills is beautiful. I will be looking out for the pelargonium. I think you bought this last year. Happy bloom day Linda.


    Linda reply on April 15th, 2010 7:20 pm:

    Hi, Jenny! These are in my garden, but from Joan. I’ll save some seeds for you, if you like. My goal is to spread Joan’s pink poppies everywhere!

    Sadly, my first pelargonium didn’t make it through drought or whatever. I’m trying again in a very well-drained situation. Will let you know. I bet they’d do beautifully in your garden.


  3. By Linda Phillips on Apr 15, 2010

    Wow, Linda. That photo, with the iris and rose, looks like a painting. Beautiful.
    You have a lot going on.

    Happy Bloomday….


    Linda reply on April 15th, 2010 7:23 pm:

    Oh, your comment makes me so happy! Happy Bloom Day to you too!


  4. By Diana on Apr 15, 2010

    I love the light coming through behind those poppies in the first shot. And they look beautiful next to the yellow Columbines, too. I can’t wait to see your interview and footage of Peckerwood. I was so sad we didn’t get to see Yucca Do when we went but they were in transition for the move or something.


    Linda reply on April 15th, 2010 7:22 pm:

    Yes, Yucca Do was in major transition but the plants are still glorious. Taping Peckerwood was an experience I’ll treasure forever. I’ve been there before, but this was something really memorable. Well,like taping your garden!


  5. By Lara Bennett on Apr 16, 2010

    I have been reading your blog for several months now and I love the pictures you post of your flowers. I would love to see a panorama of your yard!!! It must be riotous with color!!


  6. By Vertie on Apr 16, 2010

    Joan’s poppies look great! i just finished my post on her poppies. I’m looking forward to the Peckerwood piece.


  7. By Robin at Getting Grounded on Apr 16, 2010

    Linda, what a great, wild combo of blooms that fits your personality. I love it that you abandon structure and really let go, and your blooms are certainly playing right along. What fun your pictures are – it made me want to play in your garden.


  8. By mss @ Zanthan Gardens on Apr 17, 2010

    One of the first book of gardening essays I ever read was titled “A Patchwork Garden” because a garden is a patchwork of passalong plants that are not just beautiful in themselves but also in our memories of gardening friends who shared them. Your garden certainly illustrates this.

    I really enjoyed this week’s CTG tour of Peckerwood Gardens. I feel so fortunate to have visited it with some other Austin garden bloggers. What an inspirational place. And to start again after being devastated by a tornado. Thanks for the interview with John.


  9. By Kathleen Scott on Apr 20, 2010

    I love pass along plants, it’s like seeing friends in the garden. I have Mom’s yellow iris and her variegated-foliage daylillies (hidden from deer by rosemary). Makes me smile every time I look out the bedroom window.

    Your poppies are gorgeous, and even more for the yellow columbine.

    I’m off to check out your cold-hardy agave link.


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