3 seasons at once; SA Garden Conservancy tour preview

October 7th, 2010 Posted in Insects, fall plants, garden design, native plants, water features

Looks like fall is zooming in.

Bee heading for salvia guaranitica

Sorry, just had to say that, I really did.  Spring blooming salvias are back at it. And summer isn’t ready to give up yet, either. Check out this surprise on the crape myrtle. Not sure that’s ever happened before.

 crape myrtle surprise September flower

Underneath, a few bouncing bets (Saponaria officinalis) bloomed. They’re usually pretty skimpy for me. Until I find the right setting, I’ll take what I can get.

bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis)

Generally, the toads hop into the fountain basin at night and take off when we come out for coffee. Recently, they’re in all day or by early evening.

Toad in fountain basin

Greg took that picture. For his birthday this week, I got him a tripod to go with “his” camera, the little point & shoot he got me for MY birthday in August. If you’re married, you understand this well. I figured if he was going to be unofficial CTG staff to record video and take pictures, I should give him some gear.

This rather looks like havoc.

Plumbago scandens with Conoclinium coelestinum

Native Plumbago scandens, Conoclinium/Eupatorium coelestinum, cosmos. The thing falling over in back is Hymenocallis ‘Sulphur Queen’. When it freezes back, I’ll cut it off and hope it flies right next year. To the right is firebush (Hamelia patens).

Conoclinium coelestinum

I got the C. coelestinum after I saw its shrub-type habit in a garden. Maybe I need to prune it earlier in the season, because mine is floppy.

Conoclinium coelestinum close-up flower

In any case, like the C. greggii, and now the betony-leaf version in front, it kind of takes over.  Every year I struggle with the dilemma: do I want clean structure or mayhem? When the butterflies descend on them in a few weeks, I’ll go for mayhem.

Now, is this the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen?

Fasciated mountain laurel stem

Ava Hayes sent in a picture last spring. Daphne went out & nabbed a picture, since this is so unusual.  Her office got flooded the next day, drowning her computer, too, hence the delay. This mountain laurel growth is fasciated.

It’s a genetic mutation that develops when the round growing point, the apical meristem, becomes distorted and crescent shaped.  Find out more from Daphne this week.

This week on CTG, Tom meets with Joann Neal to preview the San Antonio Garden Conservancy Open Days tour on October 23.

San Antonio Garden Conservancy tour Tom Harris photo

You’ll meet some charming gardeners and exquisite gardens, including our featured video, designed by Tony Villarreal with the hands-on gardeners.

San Antonio Garden Conservancy tour

See how they created viewpoints for close-up connections and wide vistas. You’ll also love the naturalistic dry creek bed that solved a flooding nightmare. Like all the gardens, they have so many wonderful design and plant ideas for you to adapt.

If you’ve seen Gail & Don Clowe’s phenomenal Southwestern succulent/Japanese/orchid garden on CTG, this is your chance to meet them in person, since their garden is one on this tour!

To make sure you’ve got the best pumpkin on the block this Halloween, Trisha’s got some really fun ideas to decorate your Jack-o-lantern with cuttings from the garden.

Until next week, Linda

  1. 11 Responses to “3 seasons at once; SA Garden Conservancy tour preview”

  2. By Pam/Digging on Oct 7, 2010

    My sister-in-law had a mountain laurel that was fasciated all over. It WAS the weirdest-looking thing.

    I would dearly love to make it to Open Days San Antonio, but with Austin’s tour the weekend before, it would be hard to do both. And now you’re tempting me with more images…

    I saw a crepe myrtle in full, summery bloom today and thought how odd it seemed in the midst of our fall-blooming gardens. I think I’m ready for them to stop flowering and turn golden for fall. But Central Texas gardening has taught me that summer is always with us, no matter what season it officially is.


    Linda reply on October 7th, 2010 7:03 pm:

    Wow, where is your sister-in-law? I’d never seen this before at all.

    Yes, I know: so many events happening in October.

    The crape is totally bizarre. And you are so right: we get fall at 7 a.m. and summer by 3.


  3. By Carol on Oct 7, 2010

    Your fall flowers look like summertime to me, that is if I lived where we could grow some of those flowers. I actually tried a crape myrtle that was supposed to be hardy. It is more like a shrub here, but that is neither here nor there since it didn’t survive the winter.


    Linda reply on October 8th, 2010 3:52 pm:

    Well, I look at your lovely plants and know that I can but admire them from afar. That’s been my best lesson in gardening: enjoy what you can’t have. Your blog makes it possible for me to enjoy all of yours that would wither and rot in my garden.

    I LOVE your last line. Now I’ve got to work hard not to “steal” it.


  4. By Jo Dwyer on Oct 8, 2010

    The photo with the bee is fantastic! A happy accident, or were you waiting for a bee to buzz in and tell you it was ready for its close-up?


    Linda reply on October 8th, 2010 3:50 pm:

    That was a darned happy accident. I hung around, trying to get on in focus, but he/she didn’t want to cooperate. Your chickens are better trained for the camera.


  5. By Tom on Oct 8, 2010

    You know I love “y’alls” pictures and pull many for my collection. We benefitted greatly this year from your idea of the peaceful patio — like the two pictured. We made a few changes and it has really made a difference — thanks for verbalizing. I suppose the ideal patio for me is peaceful with a touch of charm and a bit of whimsy.


    Linda reply on October 8th, 2010 3:49 pm:

    Tom, that is so sweet! Your garden is far more beautiful than mine will ever be.


  6. By Kathleen Scott on Oct 8, 2010

    I love all those Conoclinium/eupatorium (what’s up with that–plants with split personality?)–they really bring in the butterflies. Someday I’m going to develop the moral courage to prune more and mine won’t overrun the rest of the beds. I’ve got the same issue with Texas Betony and no heart to trim until the hummingbirds are all departed.

    Speaking of hummingbirds, we’re still seeing a daily dribble of ruby-throated, a little later than last year. I like seeing how weather affects life.

    We used CTG’s Beautyberry for our garden club Plant of the Month last night and will post it on our website. I’m grateful.


    Linda reply on October 8th, 2010 3:49 pm:

    You are so great! Yes, I hate to prune anything until our friends are on their way. Looks like my hummers have already gone to your garden; they’re sadly missed. Yahoo for your garden club! Have you given me your website yet so I can put it on CTG’s?


  7. By Pam/Digging on Oct 14, 2010

    Sister-in-law with the fasciated mountain laurel lives in Circle C. She actually had a couple that did that every year. Very bizarre looking. I’ll have to ask her if they still do it.


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