October 22, 2015
This summer, we asked our experts (YOU!) to tell us their summer favorite plants. Pride of Barbados won hands-down with votes from Shirley Fox, Linda Goodale, Robin Mayfield, Matt Boring, Tracy Simons and Stephanie Skarren.
We got so many good drought-tough, pollinator-friendly plants that we’ll present the rest next week! For this segment, plumbago was #2 with votes from Linda Goodale, Ovaltene Jones, Velia Sanchez-Ruiz and Robin Mayfield.
Orange-flaunting Mexican honeysuckle got a ringing endorsement from Bob Beyer and Pamela King Malone, who also likes annual purple hyacinth bean for late summer color. Bonus points for Mexican honeysuckle: it favors dappled shade, as I can attest in my own garden.
Morgan Goldberg and Lori Garven Horton went for lantana, as do the butterflies. Lori especially likes a mix of white and purple flowering varieties.
Lisa Louden Rhoden picked sweet Texas bluebells.
Chet Gresham went for Maximilian sunflower, and Yael Abraham is keen on tropical milkweed.
Sherry Cordry likes succulents, including cold-hardy squid agave, great for those shady spots or in containers.
Also in part shade, go for Ceci Burklow’s understory shrub/small tree: native American beautyberry.
Trees made the list with a surprising twist. Cindy McClimans chose native, multi-trunked, feathery retama. Its flowers are such a draw for pollinators!
Eva Van Dyke chose native Texas torchwood, a small, shrubby tree (more about it on an upcoming segment with Mary Irish).
Plus, Eva won the draw in our online contest to spend a day at CTG! Here with guest Mary Irish.
You might run into her at Barton Springs Nursery, where she works part-time.
Check out all our Plants of the Week!
At last, it looks like “fall” is finally here, which means that “winter” is around the corner, usually overnight, don’t you know! Daphne explains how to cover plants and why to avoid plastic draped directly over plants. Plastic is fine for a greenhouse, patio, or other structure.
Last week, we taped an innovative wicking bed garden where Jay Carpenter curves cattle panel over limestone beds. In summer, it supports climbers. In winter, he covers with plastic to harvest tomatoes, squash, Swiss chard and broccoli at Christmas!
Gardeners are all about clever use of resources. And Austin, like many cities, is going for zero waste. Susanne Harm from Austin Resource Recovery joins Tom with simple tips for gardeners.
What about gardeners in small spaces? No yard? She’s got ideas for that, too.
Wherever you live, get more tips for composting here.
Red wigglers are a small-space gardener’s best friend to “magically” turn your kitchen scraps into free fertilizer. This week, we taped Ben McConnell’s new vermiculture house that he found on Etsy. Already his worms are happily working overtime.
And here’s our segment with Jessica Robertson from Backbone Valley Nursery for tips on starting your worm composter.
So, what all can you throw into your compost pile? Trisha lists common household scraps, including paper towel tubes. Plus, get her tips on how to speed things up.
To keep it at the right moisture level, she tells us: “I like to use a five gallon bucket with tiny weep holes drilled in the bottom to drench the pile slowly, or spray layers of your compost pile as you turn it with a pitchfork, if it’s really dry.”
Our Viewer Picture comes with a romantic story! Gail Standley’s husband Mike built a beautiful pond for her this year as a wedding gift. Soon after they added water and fragrant water lilies, more gifts arrived: tadpoles and now happy frogs celebrating their wedding all year long!
On tour, when Lori Daul bought her first house as a new Texas gardener, she dumped the pristine lawn for an adventure with drought-tough plants, art, flood issues and hardscape she could fit into her small car.
She recycled bricks from an eyesore structure in the backyard into simple terraces that control rainwater runoff.
When she found this charming shell-like basin, she crafted a recirculating fountain, much adored by birds and other wildlife.
With a little paint and creativity, Lori catches the light and our attention.
Now a Travis County Master Gardener and garden designer, she’s changed a lot in her garden since we taped. But her clever, on-a-budget ideas are all right here! Sadly, I lost most of my pictures in a regrettable “incident,” so here’s our video!
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week for Summer Faves 2 and drought-tough native trees with Mary Irish. Linda