From the producer: April 9, 2009

April 9th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

What a find for this week’s show!  Last October, we taped Lana and Robert Beyer’s garden, a huge departure from the one they had in Houston.  Robert is a passionate collector and ready to try anything once.  Lana attempts to keep it under control with an eye to design. The result is absolutely fabulous.  Also, check out Robert’s website and blog, truly essential plant references from a hands-on guy who learned Central Texas gardening from scratch.

His latest passion is variegated plants, including vines, groundcovers, perennials, shrubs, agaves, yuccas, and citrus. To pass along his enthusiasm, he joins Tom for a more in-depth look at a few of these plants.

In my garden, the Dutch irises are blooming. Purples (though they look blue) under the Chinese pistache.

Purple Dutch iris

More in the patio bed beyond the Marie Pavie rose.

Dutch iris lavender duo

With some yellows.

Yellow Dutch iris

In front, I don’t even remember planting this one.  But they look nice there, so plan to add more next fall.

Dutch iris yellow and white

If you’re new to bulbs, Dutch irises guarantee a return performance for many years, and won’t break the bank. I buy a few more every October and plant on Thanksgiving weekend.

This is rose week, too.  Here’s Mutabilis on Amelia’s fence, in its apricot Easter outfit.

Mutabilis rose apricot flower

And in pink, since Mutabilis is a multi-tasker, with blossoms turning crimson in the end. That’s a coral honeysuckle on the fence beyond.

Mutabilis rose pink flower

Next to it, Isabella Sprunt in yellow

Isabella Sprunt rose

In the den bed, here’s climber Buff Beauty on a trellis next to the window.

Buff Beauty rose

Two months ago, I cut it almost to the ground to encourage lush growth from the bottom, and fertilized with store-bought organic slow release and Harvey poop.

Here’s the fragrant white Lady Banks with primrose jasmine in the neglected back corner, an area next on the project list. No water hose ever gets to it.

White Lady Banks rose with primrose jasmine

My plan for a real upgrade on the cat cove turned into my usual budget “fixer-upper.”  To fix the sunken flagstones, I pushed them up with a shovel and stuffed pea gravel under them.  I’ll deal with the rest of them later.  I didn’t want to smash the plants in bloom.

Cat cove

For years, I’ve topped it with decomposed granite, where calylophys, winecup, oregano, and catnip thread the path.  Since one lavender did so well, I’ve built up a mound on the other side and planted a little ‘Provence.’ And, now that it’s in full sun, I decided to build up a few more areas with pea gravel and granite for blackfoot daisy.  I’m thinking about adding rain lilies, too. On the left are barbados cherry, just out of sight, a bay laurel I plan to “tip” this weekend to fluff out, and in the very front to the left is the spiraea.  On either side of the arbor are spuria iris, daylilies and hymenocallis.

Also since sun has returned, I moved the entrance Mexican heathers, coming up from last year, and planted pink skullcaps once again.  For a long time, they made a fluffy low evergreen hedge, spotted with pink flowers late spring through fall, until it got too shady.

On Sunday, we took down the patio cover and did a vigorous scrub-down. Then I reorganized the containers, pruned, fertilized, and topped them with new potting soil and mulch. Against the patio, one turks cap is already blooming. That is a first to note in my garden diary.

Turks cap

Until next week, Harvey wishes you a Happy Easter! Linda

Rex rabbit Harvey

  1. 12 Responses to “From the producer: April 9, 2009”

  2. By Pam/Digging on Apr 9, 2009

    It *does* seem early for Turk’s caps to bloom. But with today’s 90-degree heat, they may all be blooming soon. Happy Easter, Harvey.


    Linda reply on April 9th, 2009 6:01 pm:

    And can you believe it, the plumbagos, white & blue are blooming? And going from 28 to 99 degrees in three days. Yowsers. Harvey says Happy Easter to you, too.


  3. By mss @ Zanthan Gardens on Apr 9, 2009

    Do the Dutch iris come back every year? I planted some once but had poor luck with them. This has been the week for roses though. In your yard. In my yard. All over the Austin garden blogosphere.

    Not liking these last two hot days at all. If the weather doesn’t change soon all my flowers will be dried flowers. I wonder if I should try that as a theme garden.

    Happy Easter.


    Linda reply on April 10th, 2009 3:43 pm:

    I’m considering a plastic flower theme if this heat keeps up. My Dutch iris do come back for many years. Maybe you got a bad batch. I’ll divide some for you next year.


  4. By Vertie on Apr 10, 2009

    I love your Easter bunny! Hope he brings you some nice chocolates on Sunday.


    Linda reply on April 10th, 2009 3:45 pm:

    Well, Vertie, that would be nice, but I suspect all I will get will be some good garden fertilizer!


  5. By Robin at Getting Grounded on Apr 10, 2009

    Linda, the weather has been crazy, hasn’t it? Of course, our weather here is always a bit wonky, but this spring seems especially strange with the high winds, lack of rain, and extreme temperature fluctuations. Hooray for hardy plants, right? I can’t believe your plumbagos are already blooming! Love those Dutch Iris, so pretty. And I plan to attend the Iris Society gathering this fall to pick up a few more for myself. I think, though, that your cat cove is my favorite spot…makes me want to just take a book and hang out there. Looking forward to the next few shows, thanks!


    Linda reply on April 10th, 2009 3:47 pm:

    I’m planning a trip to the Iris sale too, and hope to nab one of their folks for CTG. I’m astounded by the plumbagos. Thanks for the encouragement on the cat cove–I’m still figuring it out. And you know, you’ve given me an idea–maybe I can put a chair on one side. Hmmm.


  6. By Cindy, MCOK on Apr 10, 2009

    Wow, your Buff Beauty is blooming already? I whacked Zephirine Drouhin back pretty drastically and she’s rebounded nicely. No blooms yet, although I did spot a bud yesterday.


    Linda reply on April 11th, 2009 3:39 pm:

    Hi, Cindy! Every rose is blooming like crazy, except for the ones I cut back on the cat cove, but there are so many buds that it’ll be in action in a few days. We’ve had such hot weather–maybe it’s been cooler for you and yours will be in action by next week. Linda


  7. By Larry Green on Apr 12, 2009

    Interesting to hear all the CTG watchers talk about their garden blooms. Here in Denver, Colorado, my Flowering Quince and Newport Plum were in bud, some in bloom, when we received our early Spring snowstorm on March 27th. Devastating. Just when the Flowering Quince was having its best year ever. Oh well! Happy Easter, Linda.


    Linda reply on April 12th, 2009 1:31 pm:

    Larry, great to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear about the snowstorm. Hail is what did some of our plants in about that time. But your garden will be in glory when ours are fried in summer! Linda


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