Magnolia Garden Area

The best part of the whole Magnolia Market, in my opinion, are the gardens near the Seed Supply store at the back of the complex.

The old grain shoot (I’m guessing that is what it is) filled with flowers leads the way to the gardens.

At the entrance to the garden is this funky sink.

A flowerbed along the fence contains Blackfoot daisies, gaura, and several other plants.

Raised beds contain vegetables.

Just love the old rusted container.  Wonder what its original purpose was?

Think these are Brown-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Vitex bush with some privets.  Vitex or Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is said to be the Texas lilac. They have clusters of purple flowers in an upright cone shape and love the heat.

Blackfoot daisies (Melampodium leucanthum Torr. & A. Gray) need very little water and are a good choice for the border edge.

At the door to the Seed Supply are two of these interesting metal stands.  I’m not sure if they once had a purpose or are just ornamental made to look old.

Old table converted into a flowerbed.

Inside are some of Joanna’s signature decorating techniques, like the metal awning on the inside of a window.

And, of course, shiplap walls.

A cute small greenhouse.  Wonder if these will be offered for sale later?

Beautiful Foxglove.

Where two garden pathways intersect, at each corner is a birdbath with a fairy scene.

As I look at these pictures, I wonder if these old-looking metal wash pans were for sale there?  Great for planters.

Somewhere I read or saw on their show that Joanna had their four children help put these together.

Old fashioned bent wood swing makes me nostalgic about my dad’s old home place.

I didn’t see any trees that had been planted to shade this area in the future.

Enjoyed all the creative ideas to use in a garden.

Silos make a great backdrop for photos.

Magnolia Market attracts thousands of visitors a month and is good for Waco.  It also seems to provide lots of jobs for Baylor students.  Congrats to the Gaines for their vision and a fun place to visit.

“I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper.  The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.”  Andy Rooney

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Native or Not

Defining and identifying which plants are native is not easy because, first of all, there is no definitive definition.

Wikipedia definition:  “Native plants are plants indigenous to a given area in geologic time. This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in an area (trees, flowers, grasses, and other plants). Some native plants have adapted to very limited, unusual environments or very harsh climates or exceptional soil conditions.”

Sometimes it is difficult to find natives for sale at nurseries.  This False Foxglove was growing along our county road, so I dug up a couple of clumps about four years ago.

Texas Native Plant Society defines natives as plants that were growing naturally here when the European settlers came or plants that were growing naturally in this state at the beginning of the Holocene Recent Epoch, which began about 8,000 – 10,000 years ago, just after the last Ice Age.

Really?

Actually, in Texas we are lucky to have Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center because they have native plant sales twice a year.

Another way to get natives is from a friend or an acquaintance.  This plant came from a garden club sale.  It is Western Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) that was growing in Texas at the time of the arrival of the Europeans, and thus is considered native by some botanists.

Now, how does anyone know that?  Is there a notebook somewhere that has descriptions and drawings of this plant?

The feathery soft leaves are nice in small vases with small flowers.

This was also bought at a garden club sale.  I thought it was native but after some research, I believe it is Moonshine Yarrow (Achillea Moonshine).  It is a sterile, non-reseeding variety.

Looks like it will grow much taller than I realized.  The reason it was planted in this cattle feeder was to shade the “feet” of a Clematis vine.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture definition of “native plant” is “a plant that lives or grows naturally in a particular region without direct or indirect human intervention.” That definition also might apply to many “naturalized” plants that were introduced long ago, but are now thriving and spreading without human intervention.

Dripping with blossoms, the Yellow Lead Ball Tree is a pretty small multi-branched tree.

Crossvine or Trumpet Flower (Bignonia capreolata) is a sought-after vine because it is a vigorous grower and has tubular flowers that draws pollinators.

Don’t confuse this with Trumpet Creeper or Cow-itch Vine (Campsis radicans) which is invasive.

Plants that were introduced by man during the last three hundred or so years and that have adapted to our landscape and climate are referred to as “naturalized.”  Some of these are aggressive and are considered invasive or noxious.

Mexican Buckeye or Texas Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa) has pink/white flowers while it is leafing out and bears these unusual seed pods.  In fall the leaves are supposed to turn yellow.  This one was planted in early February.

Texas Primrose (Calylophus drummondianus var. berlandieri)is a Texas Native that has needle-like foliage.

It thrives in rocky bar ditches.

Long swaths of Pink Evening Primrose or Showy Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) along the highway makes me want to stop and get up close to them.

Simple, yet lovely.

Native Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) does not like to be watered.  These appear in flower beds but die out if over watered.

Ox-eye  or Margarita Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgarde) is considered by many to be a native but is actually native to Europe and parts of Asia.

The whole idea of native versus non-native is a hot topic right now in Texas.  Some people are offended by planting anything but natives.  But as the definitions show, that is not an exact science.  Others think that natives do not belong in urban settings.

Personally, I plant what will survive and do well in my region.  If I like something that won’t survive our winter, then I put it in a pot.  Then it can be moved into a shed.  My philosophy:   be practical and lighten up.

Sorry this is so long.  Thanks for taking the time to read this.

“Native plants give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours.  I want Texas to look like Texas and Vermont to look like Vermont.”  Lady Bird Johnson

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Autumn Blooms

It happens every October or November.  A few colder days makes us actually believe that summer is over.  It never is.  But the cooler temperatures have given new life to plants that have endured the summer furnace.  Cooler here means in the high eighties with lows in the fifties at night.  But we’ve had a few nights in the low thirties.  Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus wrightii) or Hummingbird Bush is a shrub that attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.  This one was bought at the spring plant sale at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflowers Center in Austin.  It’s hardy and does well in full sun, blooms in the summer and fall.  It does need average regular water.Although Lil Miss BiColor Lantana isn’t the orange and yellow flowered Texas Lantana growing wild in the fields, it does well here, grows fast and takes over a large space.  Its branches arch out about five feet.  Lantanas are deer resistant, so they are very popular here.

This one came from a stray shoot growing in my mother’s yard in West Texas.  This particular kind of lantana can take over a space.  But occasionally, I just lop off any unwanted long branches.

The Blackfoot Daisies (Melampodium leucanthum) are still going strong.  They are a Texas native that love full sun and are a great border plant because they don’t grow taller than a foot.  Blackfoot Daisies bloom all summer and into November.

This New Gold Lantana (lantana x hybrida) has spread out about eight feet and continues to be covered in blossoms.  It has survived for five years and is great here because it tolerates our sun and heat and blooms constantly from spring until a freeze.  New Gold Lantana is on the Texas Super Star list, which means it is one tough cookie that survives our extreme soils and climate.

Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii) or Texas Mallow is on the left.  A small part of a Autumn Sage or Salvia or (Salvia greggii Gray)  is in the lower right of the picture.  Both are favorites in Texas gardens because they perform so well.  They both grow in a variety of soils all over Texas.  The branches  of Turk’s Cap grow upright but tend to lean.  The red flowers have swirls with red stamens sticking out the top.  I don’t see that it looks like a fez, but that’s where the name came from.

Turk’s Cap grows in shade or sun but does better in the shade.  In the sun, sometimes it gets mildew, although I haven’t experienced that.  It has dense, deep roots, so it doesn’t transplant very easily.

Autumn Sage is also known as Cherry Sage or Gregg Salvia.  It is in the mint family and has a minty scent when brushed against.  It is native to the US and is a work horse in gardens across Texas.  It is a 2-3 ft. tall shrub that blooms from spring to frost and is drought tolerant.

I’m thankful for Texas native plants and for those that have adapted well to living here.  I love plants that flower and endure the heat.

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
-.George Bernard Shaw