Drought didn’t make it to my spring party

March 8th, 2012 Posted in drought, native plants, roses, shade plants

Ready or not, here I come with the pruners!  It’s safe now to prune evergreens, Texas sage (cenizo), thryallis, and shrimp plants like these.

Shrimp plant winter (c) Linda LehmusvirtaShrimp plant winter (c)Linda Lehmusvirta
I’ll cut them down to a foot or so to encourage fluffy growth.  Since the thryallis didn’t freeze completely, I’ll chop it back a few feet, and simply tip my cenizo.

Eventually, I’ll prune these Gomphrena ‘Grapes’ against the Swiss chard. I’ll wait a bit, since it’s quite unusual to see them blooming this time of year.

Swiss chard and Gomphrena grapes (c) Linda Lehmusvirta

It’s hard to focus, though, since I flit from one little (or big) discovery to the next. The first Freesia laxa showed up against soft leaf yucca (Yucca recurvifolia).

Freesia laxa with soft leaf yucca (c) Linda Lehmusvirta

First poppies!

Red poppy (c)Linda Lehmusvirta

They are HUGE. I’ve actually been pulling some out before they strangled everyone underneath.

Poppy with spiderworts (c)Linda Lehmusvirta

I’ve always wanted native perennial Widow’s tears (Commelina erecta). Not sure how I came by these, but now I’ve got their charm.

Widow's tears Commelina erecta (c) Linda Lehmusvirta

They do spread like nuts, so things are getting a tad covered there, too. It’s hard to pull things up, though, since it’s such a luxury to see such abundance.

Native spiderworts (Tradescantia gigantea) are in gear, too, here with candytuft (Iberis sempervirens), a non-native, but very drought tough in the right spot.

Spiderwort with candytuft (c) Linda Lehmusvirta
Spiraea may be an old-fashioned shrub, but despite the drought, I think this is the best performance yet.

Spiraea (c) Linda Lehmusvirta

Spiraea flowers (c) Linda Lehmusvirta

Climbing Cecile Brunner defied drought, too.

Cecile Brunner rose (c) Linda Lehmusvirta
The ultimate drought winner is Lady Banks rose, out of range for me to drag the hose, since I’m so lazy.

Lady Banks rose (c) Linda Lehmusvirta
Viewer picture of the week: Jeff Goodwin’s young redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Oklahoma’) that defied the drought, too! Of course, we all know that young trees need to be watered, and Jeff did a good job.

Oklahoma redbud (c) Jeff Goodwin
I sure hope that 2012 isn’t a repeat of the past two years, but if so, my garden is tougher than my spirit when the hot, dry days drag on and on. I tip my garden hat to them with respect, admiration, and fondness for new and old friends.

Until next week, Linda

  1. 12 Responses to “Drought didn’t make it to my spring party”

  2. By Mamaholt on Mar 8, 2012

    Oh, we hiked the Greenbelt today and the native flowers were putting on SUCH a show! I’ve never seen so many Widow’s Tears …had no idea what they were called…thanks!


    Linda reply on March 8th, 2012 8:50 pm:

    I first saw them at Zilker Botanical garden, paired with columbine, and was totally in love head over heels. I’ll save you seeds if you want some.


  3. By Tina on Mar 8, 2012

    Yes, it’s so good to have a lush spring–except for the weeds, of course. I love that Freesia laxa–such a beautiful color. My poppies are huge too. HUGE!


    Linda reply on March 8th, 2012 8:49 pm:

    Yes, is that weird or what? But I guess we get huge weeds and poppies at the same time. Youch, my back already breaks for the weeding this weekend!


  4. By Linda/patchowrk on Mar 8, 2012

    Wow! You have a lot more going on there, than we do here in Wimberley Valley.

    Looks like it’s going to be a good spring.


    Linda reply on March 8th, 2012 8:48 pm:

    Hi, Linda! I bet you’ll be blasting out flowers soon! You’ve got such a great place!


  5. By Ally on Mar 10, 2012

    I’m still waiting on my poppies. The plants look fabulous and there are lots of them. A good show is on the way. After all this rain, I bet things are just gonna explode with color even more.


    Linda reply on March 10th, 2012 3:17 pm:

    Oh, you know it! What a wonderful spring!


  6. By Annie in Austin on Mar 12, 2012

    Hi Linda,
    Over the years I’ve noticed the timing for the shrubs & perennials in our widely separated Austin gardens is not too different… Spiraea, Lady Banks Rose & Texas Redbud are blooming here now. But the annuals from seed, even though planted in fall, always seem so to sprout later in my garden, Larkspur is under 1-ft in height and the poppy plants are only 4″ tall. Those glorious red poppies like you! They really like you!


    Linda reply on March 12th, 2012 4:04 pm:

    Hi, Annie! Well, those were the early birds. But it is very interesting how a few miles make such a difference. I wish I had all your plants!


  7. By Kathleen Scott on Mar 14, 2012

    Glad you addressed the pruning. I’m a remedial case for pruning & have been agonizing over the dwarf barbados cherries and beauty berry. Both are budding out now so maybe it’s too late.

    Isn’t this spring a joy after last year? I think of you when I drive down FM 306 and see the bluebonnets blooming.


    Linda reply on March 15th, 2012 4:49 pm:

    Hi, Kathleen! Oh, I’m a remedial case too, mainly because I can’t get to everyone on time. Go ahead and prune for shape. I did my dwarf barbados last weekend, though they’re not budding. The big one gets whacked a little this weekend to keep it out of the eaves. It won’t deter their blooming at all.

    Wow on bluebonnets! Haven’t seen many this way yet.


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