From the producer: March 27, 2009

March 26th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

One day late for last week’s post, here’s Maggie, another rose William Welch found in Louisiana.  She’s just down the way from last week’s climber Peggy Martin. “The” rose guy, Dicke Patterson, who brought roses to It’s a Jungle (acclaimed for Juanice Davis’s orchids), gave me this one a few years ago at the Mayfield Park garden symposium when we were loading out the guest speakers.  She’s another trouper.

Maggie rose

A big surpise: this bearded iris in the crape bed.  In the evening, my camera saw it as more blue than its actual lavender.

Bearded iris lavender

The next morning, it looked closer to its true color, though it’s still not this blue.

I can’t even remember where I got it or its companions, since it was so long ago.  They started in the rental side when it was sunny, in the first garden bed I made there.  When that turned into shade, I moved them to the sunny crape island bed, but then that spot got a bit too shady, too. Even dividing them and removing the once-flowering mother rhizome doesn’t help their bloom power, but I’ve kept them for their trusty foliage. Beyond is the Agave celsii.

Bearded iris foliage
Still, every now and then, they do a little more self-promotion.

Bearded iris bud
These pink evening primroses in the crape bed have done some moving, too, but on their own.  They came with the house, but originally, were in front. That trunk is a mountain laurel; this view on the right side  of the bed.

Pink evening primrose
For years, they made a wonderful hedge across the front yard curb every spring.  One year they disappeared, but showed up in Amelia’s fence side. When they got tired of that, recently they settled in the crape bed.

As gardener Cindy MCOK commented on moving plants, they must be on wheels!

Also, in the crape bed, along with them, the columbines, spiderworts, ‘Hot Lips’ salvia, bulbine, and numerous others, here come my first lilies ever, ‘Linda.’

Lily 'Linda'

I love lilies but didn’t know if I could have them.  This is an experiment, and if it works, I’ll be looking more into lilies!

Lillium 'Linda'

In the front bed that has morning shade and afternoon sun, here’s an experiment from last spring that worked: Berlandiera lyrata (chocolate flower).

Berlandeira lyrata

That may be my favorite part of gardening, experimenting.  Taking risks. In other parts of our lives, taking risks can sometimes send up our blood pressure. In the garden, we can be as risky as a kid on a bungee cord.

My experiment to move the Satsuma orange from pot to the ground in the protected, sunny side yard (former photinia-ville) seems to have worked.

Satsuma orange flower

It still looks a bit chlorotic, so I gave it some Epsom salts and seaweed mixture fortified with iron.

Analyzing plant problems is tough, and even worse is analyzing insect damage, if the creature is elusive, or if there are lots of bystanders (innocent insects often get blamed for the real problem, insect or otherwise).

I applaud the CTG viewer who got in touch last week about her established clematis and coneflowers being severed.  Instead of nuking the yard, she analyzed and explored, even taking her camera out at midnight to see what was up. I thank Wizzie Brown, Skip, Trisha, and MSS at Zanthan Gardens for their analysis. It’s still up for grabs, cutworms or snails, but there’s been a lot of unexpected damage going on around this spring.

The main thing, and I know I’m preaching to the choir:  pesticides are not a one-fits-all. And by running out to nuke everything (even organic “cures”) may not help, and could even hurt.

Next week we’re back with CTG, for a remarkable interview with Matt Turner on Remarkable Plants of Texas, and a visit to a local grower to see how plants are “born.”

There’s an event every weekend, but some to note:
Zilker Garden Festival, this weekend, March 28 & 29

Meet Skip on March 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Lockhart’s Spring Annual Festival, but lots going on all day and on March 27.

This year’s Mayfield Park Trowel and Error garden symposium on April 4, featuring Jill Nokes, David Meeker on summer bulbs, and Vicki Blachman on culinary herbs.

Until next week, Linda

  1. 7 Responses to “From the producer: March 27, 2009”

  2. By mss @ Zanthan Gardens on Mar 26, 2009

    I’m still having a lot of problems with stems of bluebonnets being nibbled. I haven’t caught the culprit in the act but the most likely suspect seems to be…snails.

    The lilies are lovely. I don’t expect any until May. But then, this has been an odd year.

    PS. I still miss the “old” name of the Zilker Garden Festival…wasn’t it “Flora-rama”?


    Linda reply on March 27th, 2009 3:52 pm:

    I thought the lilies were for later, too! But, wow, I’m getting a great shot tonight of them with columbines. It’s a nice bonus but I was hoping they’d fill the color gap later.

    You’ve got a good memory! Flora-rama it was–the place I bought my first Salvia greggii when they were the “latest” thing.


  3. By eva on Mar 27, 2009

    I have a beautiful blue and yellow bearded iris that is blooming 6 inch blooms for the first time in my garden. Problem is, you can’t see them because halfway through growing the bloom stalk, it decided to make an “S” curve and is hanging upside down. Now the other stems are starting to do the same thing. Any ideas why?
    Also, I think I have cutworms doing a number on my hollyhocks, which are my very favorite flower in the garden. I’ve heard that putting a collar around the stalk of plants will stop them. I don’t know what that is or how to do it. Can you tell me?
    Thanks. I enjoy your blog.


    Linda reply on March 28th, 2009 3:22 pm:

    Hi, Eva! Not sure what is up with the iris, but I’ll ask around. Anyone else have ideas? Are they getting sun? I wonder if they have some type of borer. Will be back with you if I find out.

    On cutworms, you can make a collar by cutting a paper or styrofoam cup, 2-3″ high, and bury a inch or two in the soil around the plant. I once used heavy tin foil to do this. You could also spray with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) but try the collar first. You’re making a barrier at the soil level so they can’t chomp through your hollyhocks. I love ‘em too!


  4. By Robin at Getting Grounded on Mar 27, 2009

    Linda, while I’ve read that we can grow the Satsuma Orange tree here, you are the first person I’ve heard about that actual is doing it. Are you really getting edible oranges from it, here in Austin Texas? It’s so hard for me to fathom that citrus can grow here, that I just now purchased my first Meyer Lemon tree. I have it in a container to find out if I have enough sun. So you were brave enough to put the orange straight into the ground, hmmm? Tell me more about your experience with it, please?


    Linda reply on March 28th, 2009 3:24 pm:

    Hi, Robin! I know it’s hard to believe, but yes, lots of people are growing citrus here and some of them get huge! You will love your Meyer lemon. I have several friends with theirs in the ground and they survive just find, but of course, it depends on what part of town you’re in. I’ll email you for more details. Linda


    Michelle reply on November 6th, 2009 11:16 pm:

    I’m in Round Rock, on 620 between Parmer and 35. I’d love to know more about planting Meyer lemons and satsumas in the ground. I just purchased these plants, and I am debating whether to pot them or put them into the ground. My first instinct is to put them into the ground, but if you have any tips for how to make this successful, I would REALLY appreciate your insight!



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