Hooray for Hardy

Plants that border on the aggressive can survive in this hard clay and caliche soil and endure the droughts.  Out with the finicky plants.  But I admit that I sometimes fall prey to those pretty flowers in the nursery that I know will not survive here.

Growing beside a county road, this Square Bid Primrose (Calylophus drummondianus)  is a good example of surviving some of the worst conditions.

Also known as Drummond’s Sundrops, that name fits.

Actually, in a flowerbed, it doesn’t spread that much.  Maybe because it gets regular water.  The one on the left was bought this year because the older plant wasn’t filling in the space.

Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is a zone 5 – 10 perennial.  Other common names are Scarlet Rosemallow, Crimson Rosemallow, and Wild Red Mallow.

Actually, Star Hibiscus is native to most southern states.  Some people resent that Texas was added to the name.  Guess we were just the first to claim it and name it.  Texans are not known as shy.

Although mine doesn’t bloom frequently, it’s a sight to be behold when it does.

Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) spreads to hold soil in place.  It is native to seashores around the Pacific.  It was an unidentified plant when I bought it, so it was a surprise to find out its natural environment.

This one is mostly in the shade, so maybe that keeps it confined.

It probably blooms better in full sun.  Ah, well, live and learn.  I certainly don’t plan to dig it up.  It is hardy and entrenched.

American Germander or Canadian Germander (Teucrium canadense) from the mint family is a volunteer plant.  It was probably a gift from birds.

Several plants came up among Pink Guara.

Two of my favorite super hardy and dependable flowers include Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and Strawberry globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa).  In my opinion, they are absolute musts for gardens.  They are heavy reseeders, so once you put in a few plants, there will be plenty to share.

Love the color, the shape, and the fact that pollinators flock to them.

Hope your garden is blessing your life.

“Dance like no one is watching.  Email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.”  unknownSave







Beach Vitex

Sometimes it is amazing how well plants perform considering where and when we plant them.  It’s like taking a monkey from a tropical jungle and moving it to the Sahara desert to live.

indigofera2This Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) is a case in point.  Its natural habitat is a sandy beach where it works as a natural prevention against soil erosion.  Growing low and spreading along the ground allows its roots to hold down more and more sand.

Its foliage does not look at all like the Vitex tree that is popular in Central Texas, and I don’t know why they have the same name.   Of course, I can’t understand how an okapi and a giraffe can be related, either.

indigoferaToo often I trust nurseries, especially locally owned ones to sell products appropriate for their area.  I’m learning to do my own investigation before buying.

This was bought several years ago before I wised up.  There was no label on or in the container.  The personnel told me it was Indigo Fera, but pictures do not bear that out.

indigofera1Here Beach Vitex is surviving in rocky clay soil.  It is so hardy, in fact, that it has become invasive on some US beaches.  There is a Beach Vitex Task Force to prevent its spread in North and South Carolina.

indigofera5It receives very little water in my yard, so it’s drought tolerant.

indigofera3If it gets out of control, which I doubt that it will here, it can be killed with a herbicide.

indigofera7The leaves are thick and leathery, so it seems like an odd meal choice for this grasshopper.   But they don’t seem choosy.

indigofera8The delicately colored flowers seem to disappear before I see most of them.

indigofera9Early morning sunrise casts a golden glow on the flower pods before they open.

indigoferabUsually the pods appear white.

I tend to focus on each plant and its beauty.  But photos can point out flaws in the yard.  Sometimes it is not until I take pictures that I even notice the weeds or grass growing up through plants.  Wearing rose colored glasses?  Anyway, pictures can serve as a reality check.

“The trick is,…to turn your face to the glory hours as they come.  The saddest thing in life is to see them only as they flit away.  They’re always a passing thing.”    Lisa Wingate in The Story Keepers