Fragrance, flavor + fun with gourds

April 14th, 2011 Posted in Late spring flowers, bees, cat cove, chickens, garden design, native plants, patio, roses

Since my roses are trouble-free, I’m on aromatic overload without worrying that soon I’ll be under work overload.

Marie Pavie rose

If I dally about dead heading my Marie Pavie rose framing the patio, doesn’t matter much. Blackspot never blackens my on-going view, either.

On the cat cove arbor, equally self-reliant New Dawn and Buff Beauty are taking up where Lady Banks left off. Here’s fragrant BB.

Buff Beauty rose
Beyond, blackfoot daisy joins purple winecups, rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) and oregano that creeps between the flagstones.  The oregano loves when I nip it and strip its leaves for the kitchen, since that keeps it lush.

Blackfoot daisy, winecup, rock rose and oregano
In my early garden days, I dedicated one spot for herbs. But that’s like putting all your favorite plants in the same spot. Each herb has its specifics to be happy. Now, I include them sited to their preference, (sun or shade, moist or dry), and mingle their diverse forms and textures among the perennials. There’s feathery southernwood in part sun and fuzzy lemon balm in shade.  Silver-leafed society garlic wants sun and good drainage, so I paired my new ones against cat cove winecups. In any garden spot, when other fragrant plants are out of bloom, you can grab an herbal handful to whiff or plop into drinks or dinner.

Since herbs are so easy to grow, even for the first-time gardener, this week on CTG, Tom meets with Amanda Moon from It’s About Thyme.  Wow, she has such great new insight and ideas!  I’d never even considered pairing Swiss chard with red-veined sorrel, but now I must try it! 

Also, check out It’s About Thyme for all their fabulous free workshops.

* April 17: Success with olive trees
* May 1:  Ponds and water features: a beginner’s guide
* May 15: Incorporating edibles in the garden (even blueberries!)

Then, go out of your gourd with Trisha’s tips on growing gourds.

Gourds with Trisha Shirey

This is the ultimate DIY fun: flowers, shading vines and cool stuff you can make.  Trisha brought along some of the gourds she’s painted and decorated, but I added my beloved apple gourd and little pears I got at the Texas Gourd Society show a few years ago. Here’s good news: this fall, their show is in Fredericksburg Oct. 14-16. I’ve already marked my calendar because I want one of the gorgeous lamps!  And I sure hope they have the popcorn bowls this year–too beautiful!

You’ll also go crazy on this week’s garden tour to Elm Mott! Against acres of wide open fields, energetic Cathy Hejl created a series of cozy family destinations, one weekend and evening at a time. Behind every artistic project, she had a good reason, too.

Cathy Hejl garden

She has it all: flowers, chickens, ducks, vegetables, a pond and water fountains, wonderful walkways and entryways: all done with her own two hands. When I met her, she said “No more projects.”  Then, recently, she told me about three more that have my head spinning! I dearly thank Waco Master Gardener Judy Tye for connecting us to such inspiration.

Cathy goes for tough plants that don’t need a lot of babying. I know she’d approve my gold bearded iris blooming near a Salvia lyrata in the crape bed. As long as you don’t drown them and divide them every few years, they top the list as no-care plants.

Yellow-gold bearded iris
Here’s Salvia lyrata, a native perennial groundcover that flowers in spring, just as tough and enduring.

Salvia lyrata
And to keep the gold and lavender theme in the crape bed:

Lavender bearded iris

Gold columbine

Daphne answers Liz Clark’s question, one I often get: Why didn’t my possumhaw holly produce berries? Does it need a pollinator?  Unless Liz got a male plant at the nursery, her female will be pollinated by other hollies in the neighborhood. It may just be too young to produce “offspring.” Let’s hope she gets flowers soon!

Don’t forget: send us your question or a plant picture from your garden to feature on Central Texas Gardener!  What is your favorite plant and why would you recommend it to fellow gardeners as Plant of the Week?  Send ‘em on to
Until next week, Linda

  1. 14 Responses to “Fragrance, flavor + fun with gourds”

  2. By Jenny on Apr 15, 2011

    Your roses are simply stunning. I once had a Marie Pavie but it died when my watering system failed during a vacation. It seemed quite happy in a pot. What is so strange is that of all the little towns in Texas, and there are hundreds, Elm Mott is one we know. When we drive up to Dallas we come off at Elm Mott and join I35 after hillsborough. It makes for a change of scene. Those iris blooms that Cathy has are beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the garden.


    Linda reply on April 17th, 2011 1:21 pm:

    Hi, Jenny! I just love Elm Mott. Wish I could live there. And such luscious soil, too.


  3. By Annie in Austin on Apr 16, 2011

    Gold and lavender is one of my favorite themes, too! I haven’t tried gourds but they could be fun.
    Your roses and perennials look beautiful, Linda and thanks for telling us what herbs like… think my variegated society garlic needs to take a ride on a garden fork.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


    Linda reply on April 17th, 2011 1:20 pm:

    Yep, I need to find a spot to try them. Too fun! I haven’t had luck with the variegated society garlic before, but I simply had to try ONE more time.


  4. By Dee/reddirtramblings on Apr 17, 2011

    Ah, the prettiness of it all. Love your purple and gold bed. My high school colors were royal purple and gold. We were Knights after all, and whoever thought of that combo was very smart as they play so well off of each other. Love all those roses my friend, and really enjoyed the latest episode. When will you come to Oklahoma?~~Dee


    Linda reply on April 17th, 2011 1:20 pm:

    Great high school colors! And need to plan more of this next year. Oklahoma, one of these days! Must see your garden.


  5. By Judith Tye on Apr 17, 2011

    Thanks so much for the mention, but it’s I who thank you for coming to Waco! Cathy hopes you’ll stop by when you’re through here some time and see what she’s done this year. Wish I could harness some of her energy! And yours!
    Take care,


    Linda reply on April 18th, 2011 3:22 pm:

    I wish you two would light rail some of your energy down here!


  6. By Cindy, MCOK on Apr 17, 2011

    I’ve had a real problem with thrips on some of the roses this year. Your picture of Buff Beauty makes me even angrier at those teeninesy critters: my poor BB blooms are stunted and edged in brown. It’s almost enough to make me resort to chemicals … instead I’ll go searching for possible organic remedies.


    Linda reply on April 18th, 2011 3:21 pm:

    I think that’s what’s getting my New Dawn on the other side and probably some BBs now. Hard to get pictures in the past two or three days.


  7. By Kathleen Scott on Apr 19, 2011

    What beautiful images! Someday I’ll move away from deer country and I’ll have roses. Thanks for putting a name to the yellow irises. I have passalongs from Mom that look like yours, the heritage makes them a treasure. And I have purple tiger irises that look like yours too, passalongs from my niece’s neighbor. Beautiful connections.

    I have too many favorite plants but Dwarf Barbados Cherry is a winner–tiny flowers for tiny butterflies and multiple crops of red berries for the birds. Evergreen in warm winters. Easy care.


    Linda reply on April 20th, 2011 5:44 pm:

    Kathleen, sounds like you and I need to do some iris swapping one of these days. Passalongs from your mom are a real treasure and I would love to have one.


  8. By Kathleen Scott on Apr 19, 2011

    PS I appreciate your plants of the week and so do my neighbors when we share one of your profiles as our garden club plant of the month (with attribution, of course).


    Linda reply on April 20th, 2011 5:43 pm:

    You are just so cool! Thank you! I love all your plants!


Post a Comment