Friday, March 29, 2019


With the late freeze, and with most of my Irises having only been transplanted in the last year, and given the late date with nothing to show (almost April) I did not expect any blooms from my Irises this year. 

But while watering my back fence garden this evening, I looked over and noticed this long stalk, so close to blooming. I watered this bed just the other day, and didn't see anything, so I don't know if I missed it, or it just popped up very quickly.

I am very excited to watch over the next few days, to see what appears!

Last year, I only had one bloom, and it was just a few inches from the ground.

These are not the irises I dug up from my mother-in-law's last year, but the ones I got free from Natural Gardener two years ago...

So I have no idea what variety they are!

Butterfly Blue Pincushion Flower

I purchased these off the clearance rack of Lowe's in 2017.  I put three in my front bed, and two in the backyard west fence bed. 

In a classic example of how some plants thrive in one location and do not do well in another, the front ones grew and bloomed, while the back ones did very little. Eventually, I transplanted the back ones into the front bed.

Last year, these plants bloomed, but they were surrounded by blue bonnets, and their little purple flowers were lost among the huge blue bonnets. So this year, I pulled the bluebonnets away from this plant, and now they really shine :o)

This flower does not appear in many (any?) native Texas gardening webpages, so I am guessing they are not native. However, since purchasing these, I have seen some for sale at Natural Gardener. I have found that they are full sun, evergreen and grow 12 to 18 inches.  I would say that the mound of green in more like six inches, but then the flowers pop up six inches above the mound.  Because it is evergreen, it is an early spring bloomer.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Apricot Globe Mallow

I purchased this plant two years ago. I am not sure why, but I really wanted it.  I even paid the big bucks to get it, which I don't usually do.

And I love it :o)

I love the incredible bright pop of color that it lends to the garden.  It doesn't bloom often, and it is kind of a scraggy looking plant most of the time.  I also should have planted it more toward the center of my bed.

But it sits right there at the front... and I love it.

I have never pruned it. Maybe if I did, it wouldn't be so leggy.  But I don't know what time of year I should prune it, and I don't want to hurt it.

I found this picture of my globe mallow when I first purchased it, and it was low to the ground and sprawling.  Now it is upright... maybe if I do a big prune in late spring, it will return to this form.  
Notes pulled from online sources:
Globe mallow (or desert mallow) is not as common in Central Texas as it is out west, such as Arizona and New Mexico. But it does very well here. Its silvery gray leaves heighten colors around it all year. At the end of the cool season, it flowers with orange to pink hues. Globe mallow can be sheared or allowed to grow in a more natural form. Along with its visual aspects to the garden, it also performs well with a minimal amount of water. It’s also resistant to disease and insect problems.

This perennial wants full sun, and well-drained soil. It grows to about 30 x 30″.

Pruning: Prune once a year to approximately 6 inches to 1 ft. after it has finished blooming in late spring/early summer, which will help to prevent them from self-seeding, maximize future blooming and minimize unproductive, woody growth. Globe mallow is not the type of plant to repeatedly shear into a formal shape. When pruning, wear gloves and long sleeves since the tiny hairs on the leaves can be irritating to some as well as an eye irritant.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Bluebonnet massacre

I love the look for the Four Never Daisies nestled in among the bluebonnets!
After a warm winter ending with two very late, very cold days, my garden is a bit confused. I was getting ready for a beautiful early spring; there were blooms on the mountain laurel and my Jerusalem sage was putting up stalks, even the first wisps of Esperanza were sticking up... and then two days of freezing temperatures killed it all :o(

So, the garden is even further behind then last year, which was further behind then the previous year.

But the bluebonnets have shown up in force. The section of our front yard devoted to bluebonnets is gorgeous.

However, they have basically taken over my front garden bed. In order to keep my existing plants from being strangled, I wound up pulling up dozens of bluebonnets today. I put some in vases and jars inside, to enjoy the spring flower. But eventually I just wound up composting them.

The bright pink of my Apricot Globe Mallow is the only non-blue flower in the whole garden.

Here are a few photos of the beds - just starting to sprout out. 

You can see the sections of bed where I pulled out lots of bluebonnets.  It felt wrong and sad, but necessary.
The Brazilian Rock Rose and Regular Rock rose are both alive.  The three Shrubby Purple Skull cap (I think that is what they are), are alive, though very small. One of my new Mexican Mint marigold has some tiny leaves, giving me hope that the other two will be close behind. No sign of the Cigar Plant or Esperanza, and the Purple Fountain grass, which looked like it might be alive after such a warm winter, died in the last cold snap.

And one last photo of the bluebonnets

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