6′ wonder, freeze comebacks, Bonnie’s Greenhouse

May 20th, 2010 Posted in Nurseries, Tom Peace plants

I took the measuring tape to this one. 6 feet!

Angelica pachycarpa

It’s Angelica pachycarpa, once a tiny little thing. In recent years, it’s bloomed, attracting all kinds of insects.

Angelica pachycarpa flower

It fills a space under the Chinese pistache from late fall until June or so, when it sneaks back underground, leaving a naked gap underneath. But it’s such a showstopper all winter that I don’t mind. By this year, the upcoming plumbagos may be ready to fling their branches over its temporary graveyard. It suffered just a tad when we hit 10º, but obviously not much. I cut off the damaged leaves and it just kept on growing.

Soon, we’ll also say goodbye to our larkspurs. I plan to collect seeds of this double that seeded itself in the grass from last year’s crop.

Double pink larkspur

My lazy way to do this is to pull them out and upturn them in a 5-gallon bucket (every gardener needs a big ole’ bucket!). When the bottom is covered in seeds, I toss the ick into the compost pile and scoop out the seeds.  When I’ve got a few special ones, I just cut off the heads and dump them into plastic containers. Oh yea, label your baggie/bottle/jar with the date, too. Countless times, I haven’t done it because “I’ll remember what that seed is.” Sure, Linda, sure.

To my great surprise, the Asiatic lily, Lilium ‘Linda’ returned in the crape bed. Every single one!

Lilium 'Linda'

This was one of my experiments from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs last year. How could I resist this color and a plant with my name? They made it through drought and a shift from 100º to 10º. Guess it really is a “Linda.”

Of course, so did the Salvia guaranitica and my daylilies of no name.

Salvia guarantica and yellow daylilySalvia guarantica and yellow daylily

Salvia guaranitica Austin Texas

Salvia guaranitica Austin Texas

Another freeze survivor was the Salvia microphylla ‘La Trinidad Pink’.

Salvia microphylla 'La Trinidad Pink'

I got it from Schumacher’s Hill Country Gardens last November, so it hadn’t even grown past its root ball. It remained evergreen all winter. Mine’s in morning sun, afternoon shade.

My Tawny daylily picks up the orange theme in the den bed.  Remember, this weekend is the Austin Daylily Show & Sale and home garden tour.

Tawny daylily

This week on CTG, get more ideas for color, herb, and succulent combinations in containers or beds. Tom meets with Sandra Killough from Bonnie’s Greenhouse in Waco. Started in 1981 by Bonnie Murphy, she made a reputation for stalwart old roses and daylilies, many of them hard to find at the time. A few years ago, long-time employee Sandra bought Bonnie’s to continue its reputation for hardy “old-fashioned” plants that are the new fashion: durable plants. Get her CTG list.

She brought along Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus), one that I really like in a pot. You can grow it in the ground, but it’s not cold hardy. Last year, it grew like a fiend on my front porch. This year, I moved it another pot for the patio. I like to include it in pasta dishes, but I also like its refreshing color and scent. It’s done well for me with shade and a few hours of sun.

Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus)

This week, Daphne answers a viewer question: do sprinkler heads water trees well enough? Her featured plant is chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata), a native perennial.

chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata)

Mosquito season is upon us! Get John Dromgoole’s tips to fend off the little suckers.

On tour, we repeat our visit to Laura Joseph’s outstanding garden, where she’s framed her historic house with ferns, staghorn ferns, native plants, and incredible botanical discoveries. She’s also famed for her purple martin houses, where the neighborhood helps care for one of the largest local populations around.

This week’s viewer pictures come from Hella. She documents her Agave americana when it decided to speed to the sky!

Agave americana about to bloom Austin Texas

A few weeks later:

Agave americana bloom stalk Austin Texas

Until next week, Linda

  1. 11 Responses to “6′ wonder, freeze comebacks, Bonnie’s Greenhouse”

  2. By Linda on May 20, 2010

    I’m planning to collect larkspur seeds soon, too. I collected them last May, and ended up with many to share with others! I do have a seed-collection question: this is the first year I’ve planted Nigella in my back patio garden. They bloomed beautifully, and now I LOVE the look of the seedpods–just sort of float on the foliage, with no weight at all. Do I wait for them to dry completely on the plant, or if I wait too long will they “pop” and spread their own seeds?


    Linda reply on May 20th, 2010 4:28 pm:

    I don’t know if they suddenly pop. Will ask MSS from Zanthan. One way to protect seeds that are about ready to pop is to put a bag or tie a net or something over them to catch them. They do need to completely dry on the plant.


    Linda reply on May 20th, 2010 5:14 pm:

    From MSS @ Zanthan Gardens: she confirms they are easier to contain than poppies or larkspurs. Wait until seedheads turn brown. But watch every day. When nice & brown, cut off.


  3. By Judith Tye on May 20, 2010

    Love that Linda lily! I must get me one of those….for several reasons. And that Cuban oregano is a favorite of mine.
    Great show!


  4. By Robin at Getting Grounded on May 20, 2010

    oh, that double pink larkspur!!!!! I hope you get a lot of them started next year so you’ll have seed to pass on (yes, I’m dropping a big ol’ hint here). It’s stunning!


  5. By Jenny on May 22, 2010

    Angelica! I seem to remember that my grandma used the stems in her confectionary business. Your surprise return of ‘linda’ I wonder if you have to be called Linda to have this happen. That old bucket comes in handy for a lot of seed gathering. Especially poppies. I don’t want to be over run next year. My bucket is full of bluebonnet seeds right now. Don’t want to be over run next year. Are you getting the picuture. I am glad we will get to hear more about the chocolate daisy. I have been gardening under a cloud of chocolate for ages but can I get this one to seed. No! Everything else but not that and I do want more. It doesn’t keep me from eating chocolate.


  6. By Cheryl on May 25, 2010

    Cuban Oregano…my favorite thing to do with it is to stuff it in white fish (any white fish) with butter, onion and garlic and poach it in Chardonnay…yum! I’ve never had it in pasta, so that’s next on my list! Thanks Linda!


    Linda reply on May 25th, 2010 3:11 pm:

    Oh, that sounds delicious! Will try it!


  7. By Kathleen Scott on May 26, 2010

    I always enjoy your posts, so much to choose from. You’re right about the usefulness of buckets. We have a never-ending supply because our kitty litter comes in 40 lb plastic buckets. And we have 3 cats… When the garage gets crowded, I take a stack to the master gardeners.

    I grew Cuban Oregano in my south Florida garden. It was one of the few things the marsh rabbits didn’t like to eat.

    Thanks for the John Dromgoole mosquito info! I’m distributing a copy (with klru’s web address) at our neighborhood next garden club meeting.


    Linda reply on May 27th, 2010 3:59 pm:

    Yes, those kitty litter buckets come in handy! And thanks a million for passing along the word about John’s mosquitoes. Best to you, Linda


  8. By Cindy, MCOK on May 29, 2010

    I’m cracking up over the “I’ll remember what that seed is” remark. How many times have I done that myself, I wonder … maybe we should have a contest, LOL.

    This spring I am working on my obsessive seed saving tendencies and NOT allowing myself to save as many. We’ll see how that goes!


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