Warm up cool weather gardens

November 1st, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

It’ll be weeks before there’s any yellow leaf-peeping in my garden. We have to peep fast, since the whole show lasts about 5 hours from leaf turn to drop. ‘Butterpat’ mums alert us that the time is coming, though.

'Butterpat' chrysanthemum
I just love these mums! I got them a few years ago at The Natural Gardener from the plants that designer and grower Tom Peace brings every year, starting about now. Check out his book, Sunbelt Gardening-Success in Hot-Weather Climates, packed with superb design and plant ideas.

This week on CTG, we repeat our tour of his springtime garden in Lockhart.

Tom Peace kalanchoe and violas
He layers structural evergreens via palms, agaves, yuccas, and shrubs with explosions of layered color. Since it’s just about time to plant our cool weather color, I hope this gives you some new ideas!

Even though it’s fall (when it’s not being summer), it’s time to think about winter and early spring. On CTG this week, Tom meets with Kim and Mark Gaddy from Gaddy’s Feed, Hardware and Garden in Pflugerville for plants to warm you up on hot chocolate days.

orange viola

Stop into Gaddy’s and you may meet three generations: Mark’s parents, who started it all, Mark & Kim, and their son and daughter. They always have time to answer your questions and solve your design puzzles. Gaddy’s has lots of natives for winter interest, too, like possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua).

And if you want some naturalizing spring bulbs, it’s time to nab them.

Narcissus 'Gigantic Star'

I always plant mine on Thanksgiving weekend. One that both Tom Peace and designer Patrick Kirwin turned me onto was Freesia laxa, one that naturalizes for us, and comes in white, too.

Freesia laxa
This week on CTG, William Glenn selects a few good naturalizing bulbs, like Narcissus Erlicheer, and shows us how to get them off to a good start.

Narcissus Erlicheer
As we head into winter, now is not a good time to prune fruit trees. But when Gail Allen sent us her photo of a precarious peach tree, this week Daphne explains how to safely prune it now.

wayward peach tree prune in fall
Until next week, Linda

  1. 8 Responses to “Warm up cool weather gardens”

  2. By Kathleen Scott on Nov 4, 2010

    Beautiful mums!

    Thanks for the nursery citation. I’ve been thinking of adding another possumhaw holly, although it takes a long time for them to settle into our rocky hills. The vision of berries just won’t quit.


    Linda reply on November 5th, 2010 2:32 pm:

    Oh yes, that possumhaw is great! I wish I’d known about it before I got a little over-crowded with large plants. I have to get my “berry” fix from the yaupons, but the possumhaw is truly a winter sight!


  3. By Pam/Digging on Nov 5, 2010

    I LOVE that butterpat mum. So sweet. What do you pair it with?


    Linda reply on November 5th, 2010 2:31 pm:

    Pam, if you have spot for them, I’ll be glad to divide some for you. I have them with asters, Country Girl mums, the dicliptera suberecta, dayliles. You know, my cottage garden mess! They get morning sun and afternoon shade with another blast of afternoon sun. Really hardy tough plants. They do flop over if you don’t cut them in summer (and I was negligent this year). They also make very long-lasting cut flowers.


  4. By Hella Wagner on Nov 8, 2010

    Is the Possumhaw Holly a really slow grower? Mine is about 5 years old and only 4 ft tall with a one-inch-diameter trunk.

    It is a good berry producer though but I have to look fast to see the red berries – the birds get to them in now time.

    I’ll just look at the green ones………


    Linda reply on November 8th, 2010 4:21 pm:

    Hella, they are slow but that may be a little slow. Where is it planted? Yes, the birds nab those berries fast!


  5. By Hella Wagner on Nov 9, 2010

    the possumhaw is in full sun, excellent drainage and gets compost twice a year.
    I have noticed though that some of the plants others consider prolific, don’t do so well at my place, i.e. I can’t grow mint for the life of me.


    Linda reply on November 9th, 2010 3:21 pm:

    Hi, Hella! I’ll check it out. And don’t feel bad; I can’t grow mint in the ground either!


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