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Garden drama queens, big & small

Drama queen of the week: Lady Banks rose.  The Buff Beauty and New Dawn roses framing it on the arbor to the cat cove will soon catch up.

Rose Lady Banks hiding chain link fence
This is not a rose for the timid.

Lady Banks rose profusion
But it’s an excellent one if you need a thornless screen (mine hiding a back chain link fence) that barely needs water. I get drama queen every year, even though I don’t water or feed her.

Lady Banks rose

The Tangerine Dream crossvine is making friends. In a few weeks, when I cut back Lady Banks, I’ll untangle the crossvine from her hair.

Lady Banks rose with Tangerine Dream crossvine
Pruning this rose strategically after blooming allows you to shape and control its direction. I’ve seen some very artistic renditions! I stop pruning by mid-summer, but if I need to shape again in fall, obviously I don’t lose many flowers.

I tend to be a drama queen myself. On my first date with Greg, I told him that I imagined my life like being in an MGM movie. So I like a bit of drama in the garden, even if it’s usually like a movie dressing room in disarray.

Iceberg rose is getting her DQ crown ready. Since I moved her to a sunny spot, I’ve never bothered her with fertilizer, either. I rarely water and she keeps on going with no black spot or other issues, other than growing like crazy.

Iceberg rose
The Fairy gets the front curbside spots against hot reflected heat.  It’s easy to keep it low in spots where you don’t want to obstruct views.  This would be a fun one with silvery agaves or dichondra (Dichondra argentea).

The Fairy rose

Marie Pavie is a testament to low-care roses. I planted this one for my neighbor when her husband died. It’s pretty much on its own, though every few years I prune it a bit.  In a week, it’ll be hard to see the leaves for the intensely fragrant flowers.

Marie Pavie rose
I’m getting a truncated tulip performance, though. Don’t know if it was the cold or lack of rain. Still, the clusiana tulips are pretty reliable. This one is ‘Tubergen’s Gem’, Tulipa  clusiana var. chrysantha, my first year with these.

Clusiana tulip 'Tubergen's Gem'

And despite the early heat and no rain, little Clusiana tulip ‘Tinka’ is still determined to be a mini DQ.

Clusiana tulip 'Tinka'
Silver germander is a drama queen all year, but she wields a gentle scepter in spring.

Silver germander flowers

There are so many events coming up, but I sure hope you can come out to Mayfield Park on April 2 for Trowel & Error! It’s a wonderful event outdoors in this historic park with home-baked goodies and a superb raffle. The suggested $5 entry fee helps support this Austin retreat.  This year features:

* Renee Studebaker from Renee’s Roots: Container Gardening in 5 Easy Steps
* Meredith O’Reilly from Great Stems: Wildlife Garden-Beauty & Function with Native Plants
* Cher Groody, Master Gardener & heirloom rose specialist: Antique Bloomers

And to grab some new succulent plants, head out to the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society  Show & Sale on April 2 & 3.

Until next week, happy pruning! Go for it, and sing your favorite Drama Queen song while you do it.  AND, CTG will be back next week with a great spring line-up.   Linda