Navigating new “plantforms”

March 11th, 2011 Posted in bulbs

Like computer problems, the more glitches you get, the more you learn.  Ditto for gardening: every disaster teaches something new, especially when weather sends us an error message on the new “plantform”  that we can’t resist. Well, we wouldn’t be gardeners if we just settled for current “media!”  Though I’ll always settle for my beloved Narcissus Erlicheer that returns, drought or hard freeze.

Narcissus Erlicheer

And  native Mexican plum with its heady fragrance and flowers every early spring.

Mexican plum flowers
I do tend to lose all the fruits every year. I’ve learned that I need to water it in summer and fall.  Operator error.

Bu I get a kick out of new software,  like my Arum italicum that I planted a few years ago. It has been a reliable cool weather comeback in the shady spot under the island bed mountain laurel.

Arum italicum

When it fades in the heat, Drimiopsis maculata (African hosta) comes in. I feared they wouldn’t return after the hard freeze, but they’re tougher than I thought. Wonderful color and texture in that shady spot we all need to deal with.

Drimiopsis maculata
To my surprise, my hyacinths, Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Sky Jacket’, return every spring. I only have a few, but guess I’ll insert some more next year for a bolder message. Oh, do I say “next year” too often?!

Hyacinth 'Sky Jacket'

I can always count on Narcissus Falconet, when others didn’t withstand my bulb upgrade for long.

Narcissus Falconet

And Dutch iris.

Blue Dutch iris

Dutch iris were my starter bulbs when I didn’t have a lot of cash. Although I’ve lost some over the years, I still have the first ones I ever planted as a brand new gardener.

I only have two of the ‘Scotty’s Surprise’ oxalis, discovered by Scott Ogden. Their yellow flowers will soon bring a wonderful Linda surprise. This year, I’ll try to divide them.

Oxalis Scotty's Surprise
If you have pathways, they really do need native Golden groundsel (Packera obovata).

Golden groundsel (Packera obovata)

Golden groundsel, Packera obovata

Some plants are still thinking about things. Let them think a little, and I bet you’ll be surprised.

Don’t take the shovel to them just yet!  With the weather swings right now, the plants are hunkering for safety.  Unlike us, they’re not unpacking shorts just yet.

One of my “recovered” softwares is the Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’, a dear passalong from Pam Penick. It looks horrible in this picture from a few weeks ago, but already, I see leaves from one and  pups from another.  Nature’s “external backup.”

Frost bitten Mangave Macho Mocha

Until next week, Linda

  1. 12 Responses to “Navigating new “plantforms””

  2. By Jenny on Mar 11, 2011

    Oooh. Lots of lovely blooms in your garden. Most of them I don’t have and wouldn’t mind having so glad to learn about them. So sorry for your mangave. I still have my two in pots so I kept them protected. One has a pup –yeah! The dutch iris is a beauty.


    Linda reply on March 11th, 2011 5:25 pm:

    Well, I’d love to have all the beautiful flowers in your garden!


  3. By Christine Reid on Mar 13, 2011

    Linda, the wildflower documentary, “Seeds of History” was just wonderful. Beautiful photography, great information and inspiring words. Thank you!


    Linda reply on March 13th, 2011 3:13 pm:

    Thank you, Christine!


  4. By Hella Wagner on Mar 14, 2011

    I was glued to the TV for the wildflower documentary! Thank you for producing such a wonderful program!
    By the way – do you remember “The Monster”? Well, is is gone now – space for something else.
    Thanks again!


    Linda reply on March 14th, 2011 5:07 pm:

    Hi, Hella, thank you! I think of you every time I pass one of the monster agaves that got freeze-bitten. It’s not an amateur job for getting them out! But at least you documented the monster in its glory!


  5. By Kathleen Scott on Mar 14, 2011

    Beautiful post. I love the hope of spring.

    You’re up at Hill Country Mysteries today, a post about Wildflowers-Seeds of History.


    Linda reply on March 14th, 2011 5:06 pm:

    Oh, wow, I’ll check that out right now! Thank you.


  6. By Tina Poe on Mar 15, 2011

    I love seeing plants pull through, how exciting to have your Macho Mocha back!


    Linda reply on March 16th, 2011 3:45 pm:

    That’s the best part of a crazy year like this. . .seeing who did make it back!


  7. By Caroline on Mar 16, 2011

    Another Erlicheer fan! I just planted them in fall and I’m already in love; wish I had room (and cash) for an entire river of them. I’m going to look for Arum italicum and Drimiopsis maculata for the shady side of my house, and I have a path in dire need of golden groundsel. Thanks for the super upgrade ideas!


    Linda reply on March 17th, 2011 3:37 pm:

    I saw the Erlicheer on your blog! Yes, I just get a few more every year; wish I could have a river, too. But eventually we will because we can divide them after a couple of years. I can give you some Drimiopsis divisions for sure! The Wildflower Center sale will have the golden groundsel but NG may get them too. And maybe Barton Springs. I got my Arums at Brent & Becky’s bulbs online.


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