Although my spuria iris flowers astound me just once a year, they do it every year—drought, flood, or freeze—since Scott Ogden shared a few divisions with me years ago.
My garden is resilient, too, thanks to the words he’s shared with me through all his books. Lauren Springer Ogden is another mentor, through her The Undaunted Garden (recently revised with Fulcrum Publishing) for garden design, plant resumes, and the poetry of words that express our love of the garden.
Lauren and Scott collaborated on Plant-Driven Design, which ought be be in your grubby hands, if not already. Their latest (and very timely) partnership is Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens, a quick-read, hands-on guide to peruse as you head to the nursery.
Wow on CTG this week when they join Tom in a passionate conversation about the plants that took the “double spanking,”—Lauren’s on-target description about last year’s extreme freeze and drought.
One they mention as a durable replacement for sago palms (cycads) is Dioon angustifolium (formerly Dioon edule var. angustifolium). That’s one on my list for this year. In the meantime, I nabbed a Dioon edule.
When they brown up in a few months, I’ll cut them back. In some areas, neighboring perennials fill out to cover the spot or I’ll seed annuals.
Here’s a great example to illustrate the tenacity of Lady Banks. Years ago, I planted the fragrant white one ‘Alba Plena’ (included in Waterwise) at the back fence. Primrose jasmine grew up to smother it. No irrigation, fertilizer, or even attention until it sent its light-deprived stems into the trees to bloom.
In our recent project, when I dug out the primrose jasmines, I discovered that she was still there and had even rooted a second one.
A few weeks after I began its renovation, it had already filled out and bloomed. White Lady Banks is sweetly fragrant.
Although some things in this bed are new from last fall, many others have made it through the Texas Two-Step for several years.
Jerusalem sage is one that Merrideth Jiles includes in his Backyard Basics list of “double spanking” plants that made it in his east Austin garden. Get his list here.
Among his success stories: Olive tree (Olea europea). Since 2006, this one’s been growing in the garden of my friends, Molly and David.
Merrideth explains how to add Globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), another double trouble star. A few months ago, I finally got one when I dug out dead grass and had a good sunny spot for it. Obviously, I got this picture on one of our luscious cloudy days!
Texas mountain laurel, Daphne’s Pick of the Week, favored us this year with outstanding performance, a keeper for double troubled Texas gardens.
But every year, viewers ask us why theirs didn’t bloom. There are many factors, but one is by pruning off the flower buds that form almost immediately after bloom.
On tour, see how Anne Bellomy replaced lawn and invasive plants with waterwise specimens that have turned her formerly wildlife-bereft lot into a garden for resident and migratory wildlife.
Now, what about those exposed oak tree roots?
A viewer asked if she can plant groundcover (like sedges!) in between, and how much soil can she add. Get Daphne’s answer.
See you next week! Linda