Wonderful, Overwhelming Spring

As much as I love spring with the new life it brings, it is easy to become frustrated with all the attention the yard needs.  When you add that to other commitments, plus the unexpected ones that come up, some of the joy of it all is lost.

So, I’m trying to relax and not let the weeds or the busy schedule spoil this season.

Love Spiderwort (Tradescantia gigantea).  It loves the cool mild days of spring but shags out when the heat hits.

Mock Orange (Philadelphus x virginalis) also likes prefers the milder weather.

The leaves maintain their light green color until the first freeze.

Columbine (Aquilegia flavescens) is a Texas native that does really well with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Dianthus, also called pinks, is a more hardy soul.  The roots systems of some perennials can’t survive a cold winter in a pot.  But these guys greet us in early spring.  I like the look of them in pots.  The thickness of the plant also keeps weeds out.

Blackfoot Daisies( Melampodium leucanthum) with roses is a pleasing combination.

Wish I knew the name of this rose.  It was planted years ago when that sort of thing wasn’t important to me.

For a very short period of time, blossoms hang on Eve’s Necklace bush (Sophora affinis).  Soon, black pods of seeds will form like beads of a necklace.

Good old faithful Ice Plants glow in the sunlight.  The foliage looks a little ragged as the weather warms up.  I can’t even remember how long this has been in this pot in this spot.

Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) pokes its head up briefly in the early spring.  This plant has been here for years and never seems to get much bigger.  But the root is solid.  I tried to dig it up one time – not happening.

Gulf Coast Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis) form tight clusters with lots of flowers.  Although it is considered a good plant for a marshy area, it has done very well in our drier area.  But, of course, we’ve had more rain than usual in the last year and a half.

This week the garden club had the dedication of the Blue Star Memorial to honor veterans.  The flower bed behind the plaque was built and planted by the club.  True to Texas weather, the wind whipped everything and everyone.  But it was a special event.

Hope you’re able to look past all the demands of your time and enjoy the moment.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Soft Hues

Although I generally prefer bold colors in the landscape, softer ones can make the reds and yellow pop.  More muted colors can also provide a calm feeling.

desertsageThis year the rains we had in June helped the Desert Sages perform like I’ve never seen them.  This is actually a Cinizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) even though we all call it a Texas Sage or Desert Sage.  It’s not even in the sage family.

Absolutely gorgeous.

desertsage3The two above photos show a Desert Sage bush in one flower bed that has flowers with a pinkish tint.

desertsage2This Desert Sage is in a different place.  It’s color has a more purple hue.  It’s amazing how full it was with blossoms.  That’s why in nature, they burst out in color after a rainstorm.  Then very quickly turn back to a silver green foliage plant.

hdulburgsageHenry Duelburg Purple Salvia (Salvia farinacea ‘Henry Duelberg’) is one reliable plant.  For seven years it has bloomed and spread to fill a 11′ x 5′ bed from two small plants.  It’s a favorite of bees.

dscn2155Speaking of pale colors, this bird that sways in the wind is slowly rusting away.  Note the metal fork that balances in that tiny trough.  Strong wind may twist it around or have it hanging by one prong, but it has never fallen to the ground.

plumbagoIt is confirmed that this plant is a Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata).  I posted an earlier picture and wondered about its correct identify.  But recently I saw one at a nursery and feel sure it’s a Plumbago.  All summer it has bloomed like crazy.

indigoferaThis plant was purchased at an independent nursery in Abilene.  I’ve not seen another one.  It was not labeled.  When I asked for a name, it took a long time before someone came to tell me it was an Indigofera.  I’ve looked at pictures of Indigoferas on the web, but they don’t look like this plant.  So, I don’t know for sure what this plant is.

indigofera2The leaves are tough and feel like a succulent.  It grows low on the ground spreading out.  The flowers that resemble Balloon flowers before they open don’t last long, so it’s difficult to see the whole plant in bloom at once.

russiansage4Another great performer is Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia).  I first saw this bush in Santa Fe at a family gathering.  All my sisters and I were asking everyone what it was.

russiansage2Hey, I figured if it survived in the dry climate of northern New Mexico, it would make it here.  These have flourished and spread over five years.

They even dry well, and the flowers look pretty much the way they look while living.

russiansage3As the stems are moved around, they have a similar scent as other sages, like the popular ones with  small red flowers.  One is shown to the left in the first picture of the Russian Sage.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But how can one not appreciate the glories of nature.

“Pride is a steamroller.  It’ll clear the path for a while, but sooner or later it’ll shift into reverse, and then…look out.”  The Sea Glass Sisters by Lisa Wingate