A little native, a little not + Wildflower Center Gardens on Tour

April 28th, 2011 Posted in Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Late spring flowers, garden design, native plants, philosophy, wildflowers

Look what the Easter bunny brought!

White rain lily
According to Scott Ogden’s book, Southern Bulbs for the South, this could be Zephyranthes drummondii (formerly Cooperia pedunculata). I’ve planted many rain lilies over the years, with such erratic success that I lose track. This one popped up out of “nowhere”; its wide gray green leaves were hidden by spiderworts on their way to summer vacation. It’s fragrant, with 2.5″ flowers.

Native White Avens (Geum canadense) is starting to go to seed after blooming for several weeks.

White Avens (Geum) flower
I love it for its low growing foliage in shade that gets bursts of sun.

White Avens (geum)
My garden is not all native. My life is not “one thing” or another, either.  Some days I go for an “earthy” outfit. Others, I’m in the mood for tailored or feminine. (Always, my nails are grubby).

As I wander the garden, I remember the people, places or botanical discoveries that have influenced me. It’s a combination of wild and tame, ideas and emotions.  Experiments and satisfaction.  The garden reveals me far more than any diary.

I’ll always remember the gardener who turned me onto my native Penstemon cobaea.

Penstemon cobaea
And after drooling over Heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata) in several gardens, I just had to give it a spin.

Heartleaf skullcap with Pink skullcap
It’s just now starting to flower near the Pink skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutesscens), native to Mexico, but perfectly happy in east Austin.

Pink skullcap, Scutellaria suffrutesscens

One influence on my garden comes through garden tours, like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Gardens on Tour. This week on CTG, Tom meets with LBJWC Director of Horticulture, Andrea DeLong-Amaya, to preview this year’s May 7 tour. They’ve got a diverse line-up to tickle your garden aesthetic, ideas on your project list, or tips for solutions.  It’s also a blast just to hang out with other gardeners and swap notes! And this year, it’s a great chance to see what made it through drought and extended freeze.

Ridgecrest garden, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Gardens on Tour

West Monroe, LBJWC Gardens on Tour

Tait Moring garden, LBJWC Gardens on Tour

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Gardens on Tour

Our video tour is to one of the gardens designed by Glee Ingram, where she started by removing invasive plants on a ski-slope site, and then restored the native habitat to bring back diverse wildlife.

Stratford garden, LBJWC garden tour
Of course, your ticket for the day includes the Wildflower Center itself. You can get wristbands at each site, purchase in advance at various nurseries, or buy online.

This week, Daphne answers Lori Linder’s great question about her Cereus peruvianus that had a little “accident” going outside after winter. Been there, done that!

Cereus peruvianus propagation
Anyway, Lori’s got two plants now!  All she needs to do is let the broken part dry out and replant it. Some of us call this “pruning!”

Thank Lori and her husband Tony for the super fast re-build of CTG’s set and its fabulous update, including great new plant stands/coffee tables made from the old set.  Lori & Tony are superb set designers and furniture builders all over the place, not just for TV and films, but for real situations, who jumped in to help out CTG at the last minute when we moved from one studio to another.

Right this minute, I’m getting so many questions about fire ants and grub worms. Chinch bugs are coming up soon.So, this week, John Dromgoole has a few organic tips to send these pests on their way.

John Dromgoole

Heads up for an event this Sunday, May 1! The Coalition of Austin Community Gardens and Sustainable Food Center invites you to the Austin Community Garden tour to visit public spaces around town and get tips on growing your own vegetables.

Until next week, Linda

  1. 6 Responses to “A little native, a little not + Wildflower Center Gardens on Tour”

  2. By Pam/Digging on Apr 28, 2011

    I just saw a white rain lily in my garden yesterday too. Where’s the rain though?


    Linda reply on April 29th, 2011 3:33 pm:

    I know! Maybe they’re an indication of something happy to come (like Sunday maybe?!)


  3. By Cat on May 1, 2011

    Me too. A couple were blooming in the greenbelt where there is no irrigation at all. I pray we get some rain today.

    Linda, I loved what you said about the garden revealing more than a diary every would…amen! My nails are always grubby too.


    Linda reply on May 2nd, 2011 3:46 pm:

    I wish my visual diary was as beautiful as yours.


  4. By Shirley Dehmer on May 2, 2011

    I have a few “free” plants that look a tiny bit like a marigold but grows taller and has a slightly different texture to the leaves. I suspect it is a weed but have allowed several of them to grow – just to see if they bloom. Several times in the past seven years I’ve been here I have had really great plants to come up on their own. One year it was Johnny Jump Ups that bloomed their little heads off. One year it was a small petunia looking little thing that also bloomed and bloomed. The petals had inward shaped scallops with little points where the scallops began. Does that make sense? The flowers were a pretty pink color. I wished all of them would come back every year but they haven’t. This year I have at least thirty little basil plants that have come up on their own and I am delighted.


    Linda reply on May 3rd, 2011 4:52 pm:

    Shirley, wow, you do have a green thumb! Wish my basils will seed out. It’ll be fun to see what your mystery plant turns into. I love surprises like that.


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