Going tubular; Garden Conservancy Austin tour

September 23rd, 2010 Posted in garden design, native plants

Along with diverse foliar and flower colors, textures, and heights, I like to mix up flower styles, too: disks, little cups, spidery, and tubular (for starters). Makes things pop out a bit. But it’s more than trying to be cool here. Each type of receptacle attracts its own set of feeders/pollinators, which improves wildlife diversity. Right now, we’re all about tubes, like the perennial flame acanthus (Anisacanthus wrightii).  It’s just waiting for the hummingbird to come back.

Flame acanthus (Anisacanthus wrightii)

Cooler days mean that the salvias are back in business, including the annual Salvia coccinea. This is ‘Nymph White.’

Salvia coccinea 'Nymph White'

And perennial Salvia microphylla ‘La Trinidad Pink’. This one didn’t even freeze to the ground last cold winter, like some of the other big-leafed salvias.

Salvia microphylla 'La Trinidad Pink'

The woody Salvia greggiis are getting ready to go to town.

Salvia greggii

Shrubby Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) always greets the autumnal equinox. These flowers have already faded from lavender to white.
Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora)

This one’s not tubular, but I had to share the surprise of diversity!   I came home to find some tiny darlings in the grass by the kiddie pool.  Tall narrow stem  like a rain lily.

rain lily tiny web

Well, duh, I knew there were oxalis that seeded over there, but there were no leaves.  And the flower is much larger and different than the flowers on the clumps of oxalis coming up everywhere. Plus, I’d never seen it spike like that. I hoped I had some rare thing, but Lauren & Scott Ogden and the Wildflower Center said it was probably the native Oxalis drummondii. Well, at least it’s a native! Mark your calendars for the Wildflower Center’s plant sale coming up Oct. 9 & 10 (advance shopping on Oct. 8 for members).

Diversity defines this year’s Garden Conservancy Open Days Austin tour. Coordinators Charlotte Warren and Laura Bohls did a terrific job selecting gardens big & small to tantalize your design & plant senses. This week on CTG, Tom meets with them to show you what’s in store on October 16.


Garden Conservancy Open Days Austin

Garden Conservancy Open Days Austin

Our featured video is an outstanding formal garden, tended by designer Scott Thurmon.

Don’t miss an update visit to landscape architect James David’s garden. He & Gary Peese made a lot of adjustments after last year’s no water restrictions. And Deborah Hornickel’s made some major changes to her exquisite small garden. And oh yea, since East Side Patch was featured on CTG this year, I know you’re dying to see it in person!

The tour is from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. $5 per garden or $25 for all. Buy tickets at each location or at several Austin nurseries. More info on CTG’s calendar.

Troubles with vinca? This week, Daphne answers viewer Michelle Masso’s question about what attacked her groundcover. You’ve probably seen the same thing on many plants, or leaves that are just completely folded over.

leaf rollers on vinca

Leaf rollers are at work here. Hey, when we attract wildlife, we take the temporary damage with the rewards.

Since we’re all heading to the nursery after reading this blog, don’t miss our Backyard Basics segment with first-time  CTG TV star William Glenn from The Natural Gardener!

William Glenn, The Natural Gardener

Here’s why: he explains how mycorrhizal fungi will jumpstart those plants and trees you’re itching to plant.

Until next week, Linda

  1. 7 Responses to “Going tubular; Garden Conservancy Austin tour”

  2. By Michele on Sep 23, 2010

    Literally counting the days until the tour!! Loved all your sweet pictures. Happy garden.


    Linda reply on September 23rd, 2010 5:30 pm:

    Yes, me too! Maybe I’ll get to meet you at Eastside Patch! I’ll be volunteering from 8 a.m. – 10!


  3. By Jenny on Sep 24, 2010

    I got really excited this year when I had that little pink oxalis appear in my garden. You have quite a selection of salvias. Must add to mine. See you at ESP. D and I take over at 10.


  4. By Katina on Sep 25, 2010

    OOO, fall plant sale. Thanks for reminding me!


  5. By Cindy, MCOK on Sep 26, 2010

    I was planning to be in Austin the 9th & 10th, so maybe I can make it to the Fall Plant Sale at LBJWC!


  6. By Kathleen Scott on Sep 28, 2010

    Shoot! We’re going to be out of town the weekend of the tour.

    I was tickled to see your oxalis flowers. We have it here, sprinkled around our front woodland. No care, the deer don’t eat them and they bring fall beauty. Some folks in these parts call them weeds but we’re happy to have them.


    Linda reply on September 28th, 2010 4:22 pm:

    Yes, I have a billion of them, thanks to a few my neighbor gave me a few years ago. But these are different, so interesting. Pooh on people calling them weeds!


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