Px3: Perennial, Pollinators, Powerful

October 25th, 2012 Posted in Nurseries, Techniques, bees, birds, butterflies, cat cove, caterpillars, fall plants, garden design, groundcovers, herbs, lawn replace, native plants, wildlife

I absolutely fall for fall, when everything explodes at once! A few white-blooming ‘Silverado’ cenizo (Texas sage) flowers hooked up with re-blooming Iceberg roses and hot weather thryallis.

White blooming cenizo, Iceberg rose, thryallis

White mistflower (Ageratina havanensis) will pop us a few flowers in spring, but it goes for the gusto as the days get shorter and cooler, attracting migrating and residential butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds.

White mistflower Ageratina havanensis
Daphne makes this native perennial her pick of the week. This wildlife favorite can grow as tall as 6’ but usually I’ve seen it in the 2-3’ foot range. Late winter shearing will encourage shrubbier growth and more flowers, since it blooms on new wood. The ones I planted last fall are now among my favorites! This one’s in the front bed with Yucca ‘Margaritaville,’ pink skullcap, purple heart, daylilies, bamboo muhly and soon to bloom Copper Canyon daisy.

white mistflower yucca 'Margaritaville' pink skullcap, dayliles
I include plants for pollinators in every season, since one of the top secrets to a healthy garden is abundant wildlife. Plus, you’ll be “on tour” every day to a thankful crowd!

To show off a few, Crystal Murray from Far South Nursery joins Tom this week.

Crystal Murray Far South Nursery Central Texas Gardener
Far South is a wholesale nursery, so don’t show up at their doorstep! Instead, ask for these plants at your nursery, since they supply many in Texas. But, do check out their great plant list for details about some of the tried and true plants they grow.

A new one to me is Indian mallow (Abutilon palmeri), with silvery velvety leaves on a plant that can get 5’ tall. It wants full sun and good drainage. Since it’s only hardy to 25°, it may be a re-seeding annual in cold winters.

Indian Mallow Abutilon palmeri Central Texas Gardener
Another for sunny dry spots is native Gray golden-aster (Heterotheca canescens) that gets about 1’ tall to attract small butterflies from July to September.

Gray golden-aster (Heterotheca canescens)

Whoa, check this out: a pink-blooming Anisacanthus (Anisacanthus puberulus).

Anisacanthus puberulus Central Texas Gardener

Unlike the orange flame acanthus beloved by hummingbirds in late summer/fall, this one blooms in spring, with a more arching habit, attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and moths.

A little one I relish in spring is native blue-eyed grass (many species). This member of the iris family actually showed up in my desert-like yard long ago. As soon as I amended the soil, off if went. Now, I’ve got a return every year with transplants in the sunny cat cove, where I’ve dug in a few bags of decomposed granite, assuring good drainage.

Blue-eyed grass flowers Central Texas
A perennial evergreen groundcover that doesn’t like much water and well-drained soil is groundcover creeping germander (Teucrium cossonii). I planted my first ones this year to cover the ground under The Fairy roses (set back by drought, but quickly returning).

Creeping germander with The Fairy rose
This well-drained curbside bed gets the west afternoon sun, reflected street heat, and minimal water.

Creeping germander Teucrium cossonii

Someday, mine are going to look like these at Shoal Creek Nursery.

Creeping germander Teucrium cossonii Shoal Creek Nursery
When I stopped by Shoal Creek last week, they were starting to bloom. I bet the bees are all over them by now!

Creeping germander Teucrium cossonii flower
Crystal also promotes Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra). Blooming and fruiting from spring to frost, these drought-tough shrubs/small trees are evergreen except in extremely cold winters.

Barbados cherry Malpighia glabra flowers and green fruit
That’s just the quick version! Watch online for all of Crystal’s plants and explanations and get her list.

On tour in Kyle, see how Ida Bujan reduced her lawn thumbprint and turned her small garden into a native habitat.

Native plant garden Kyle Texas

She’s got the most glorious Barbados cherry ever!

Barbados cherry Malpighia glabra ripe fruits
Crystal recommends native frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora). I love how Ida replaced lawn with this white-flowering, evergreen groundcover on this side slope.

Frogfruit lawn replacement Kyle Texas
See how Ida did it!

Herbs also attract many beneficial insects. Right now is prime time to plant cool weather yummies for us, like cilantro, parsley, dill and fennel. This week, Trisha shows what she’s planting and how to divide crowded nursery transplants for even more to flavor your recipes.

Winter herbs Trisha Shirey

Certainly, you’ll want extras of parsley, fennel, and dill to attract swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs. A few caterpillars eating your plants late next spring mean lots of butterflies all over the place!

It’s also the best time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. But what’s the best way to water them? Daphne answers Mary Riley’s great question: Do I water my shrubs to the drip line, like for trees? Find out how.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda

  1. 11 Responses to “Px3: Perennial, Pollinators, Powerful”

  2. By Cat on Oct 25, 2012

    Can I just gush about how much I love your blog? The amount of knowledge and passion you give us every week is exceptional. Thank you!
    And that Indian mallow! The seeds are just beautiful.

    Reply

    Linda reply on October 25th, 2012 6:36 pm:

    Well, can I just gush about how you give me a new perspective on life every day? And thank you!

    And yes, that Indian mallow–yummy!

    Reply

  3. By Pat Molloy on Oct 25, 2012

    Loved it all. Thank you!

    Reply

    Linda reply on October 25th, 2012 6:34 pm:

    Thanks, Patricia!

    Reply

  4. By Tina on Oct 25, 2012

    Fall is so beautiful in Central Texas! Thanks for sharing these photos and information. I love that photo of the fruit on the Barbados Cherry–my little fruits are still green, but changing soon! Enjoy this lovely season.

    Reply

    Linda reply on October 26th, 2012 2:55 pm:

    Hi, Tina! I adore my Barbados cherries. Some are starting to turn, but I’ve never a display on mine like on Ida’s!

    Reply

  5. By Desert Dweller / David C. on Oct 27, 2012

    I like CTG and the blog – both are upbeat & inspirational with so much great information. Seeing your fall cause those plants to come alive is perfect, as I watch the latest show. Thanks LL!

    Reply

    Linda reply on October 27th, 2012 3:10 pm:

    Taped the garden for “your show” today! Wow, what a combination this will be!

    Reply

  6. By Diana/SharingNaturesGarden on Oct 27, 2012

    That abutilon is the 5 gal Pam brought ba k from GWA! It looks fabulous and I want one, too. I love your blue-eyed grass – it’s adorable.

    Reply

    Linda reply on October 28th, 2012 3:20 pm:

    I’m hoping to find a good spot for it!

    Reply

  7. By Sun Perennials on Jun 5, 2013

    The article is inspirational with so much information. The photos on the site are catchy. Thanks for sharing wonderful article.

    Reply

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