Community Garden

The pictures in this post were taken at a Community Garden in the small town of Menard.  There are raised beds that can be rented for growing vegetables.  The garden is also used to teach Jr. Master Gardeners. They have a separate section with raised beds for them.

A large section of the garden contains different bushes, flowers, and vines.  This is a type of Salvia.

The flowers on Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) have a velvet look and feel.  The problem is that it needs warmer winters.  So, alas, it freezes back when I try to grow it.  But it is a gorgeous plant.

Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana) also needs more tropical growing conditions.

The unique flowers have the paper-thin look of Bougainvillas.  The actual flower is the white part.

Zinnas are an economical way to bring color into the garden.  So easy to grow.

A must for Texas gardens:  Gregg’s Blue Mist Flower (Conoclinium greggii.).  Queen Butterflies flock to it.

Morning Glory Tree (Ipomoea carnea) loves our heat but not the freezing winter times in my area.

The rains have made it difficult to keep up with weeding.  Since this garden is manned by volunteers, it’s easy to see how it’s possible to be crowded with plants growing unchecked.

One couple teaches the Jr. Master Gardeners and takes care of this garden.  They recruit volunteers whenever possible.  What a heart for their community.

Another tropical plant is Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima).  Their bright color certainly steals the scene and makes us all drool for one.  Unfortunately, I’ve learned that no matter how much you want some plants, if they won’t survive the winter, forget them.

Just look at that flower that screams the Caribbean Islands.

Now back to a solid performer.

Esperanzass (Tecoma Stans) are coveted for their beautiful yellow tubular flowers.  Mine always freeze.  Some people say they have better luck than I do.

And what would a Texas garden be without a pepper plant.  Not sure which one this is.

Good old Zinnas grow wherever there is a little bit of soil.

Anyone with a garden anywhere knows that plant choices are important.  Sometimes we cannot plant something we really like.

“The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”  John F. Kennedy

Last of Rose Emporium Snapshots

This is the final post from our last visit to the Antique Rose Emporium.

As expected, even at the end of the blooming season, there were tons of beautiful roses.

Wandering around, it is a welcoming garden with no pressure to buy.

Shrimp Plant or Mexican Shrimp or false hop (Justicia brandegeeana) is an evergreen shrub with interesting flowers.  It is native to Mexican and Florida and is a zone 9 -11 bush.

Because this nursery is so large, there’s room for massive plantings that show the beauty of many different plants.

Smile, please.

Knock Out Rose with another plant intertwined.

A statute for a formal garden with petunias.

Someone there has a sense of humor.  A cemetery for broken pots.

A grave for Cracked Up and Busted…

and for Rest in Pieces and Dead Broke.

Old house and gazebo add to the quaint feeling of the place.

Climbing roses on the gazebo.

Part of the plantings around the gazebo include this Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) bush.  Native to Canada, and eastern US, it spreads to Texas.  American Indians used plant parts to break fevers with the heavy sweating it caused.  Therefore, it’s also known as feverwort or sweating plant.

Should know this plant but can’t bring the name to mind.  Anyone?

Angel Wind Begonias for sale.

Henry Duelberg Salvia (Salvia farinacea Henry Duelberg) attracting butterflies, as usual. Fabulous plant.

A huge stand of Cigar Plant (Cuphea melvillea) is dense along a walkway.

Mexican Bush Sage’s (Salvia leucantha) velvety flowers make it an outstanding flowering bush.  A Texas native, it grows really well further south of us.  Although it is perennial, it sometimes doesn’t survive our winters.

Cute stone pixies waiting to be bought.

Walking back to the parking lot, this old piece of farming equipment is a reminder of days gone by.

“Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an app, they will start using it.” unknown

Austin Gardens Tour, Part 2

The city of Austin is in the Hill Country and spreads out over cedar covered hills giving it a green vista.  The city center and original settlement is on about the only level ground.  A few of the home gardens on the tour were located there.

But the newer houses and most expensive real estate is on the hills on the outer edges of the city.  Those sites make challenging landscaping for home owners.  This post shows plants from three of those gardens.

austingardenspThis home had a mostly shady garden in an area that hugged the house.   The rest of the land sloped down to a dry creek bed.

This Black and Blue Salvia (Salvia guarantica) grows in shade here with dapples of sunlight.  But most salvia will also do well in sun.

austingardensqStairs led up to the swimming pool on a raised area where the back door to the home was located.  There were palms at several of the homes, but I don’t know what kind of palms.

austingardensrThe lights on the bottle bush was a nice touch.

austingardenssTo the right is the raised area.  Steps led down to another small garden area.  The orange flowers look like Crossvine.

austingardenst This Mexico native is a good low water plant but won’t survive our winters.

austingardensuThe previous yard and this one were both professionally landscaped.

austingardensvThe main feature of this yard was the stunning view.   Behind me as I take this picture is a large grassy lawn.

austingardenswThis last yard was very nicely laid out.  Oak Leaf Acanthus (Acanthus mollis) is a new plant to me.  Information on the net states that  stiff, spiky tubular-shaped flowers emerge from the center of the plant.  Flowers can be white, lilac or rose in color. If this plant is in a hot climate, it needs afternoon shade.  That would be Texas.  It prefers moist soils but will tolerate drier soil.

austingardensxI think this pretty purple plant is Persian Spears.

austingardensyAlthough I’m not especially drawn to agaves, I like Queen Victoria Century Plant (Agave victoriae-reginae). It’s not winter hardy here, but I could probably try it in a container.

austingardenvvWingpod Pursulane (Portulaca umbraticola) is a US native  succulent.  This gardener did a nice job of landscaping with several beds outlined with different materials.  You can see a back row of bricks and a side wood border.

austingardenszThere is a wild one aggressive purslane that comes up in my flowerbeds.  Maybe that’s why it is in a contained area in this garden.

austingardenwwNot sure which sage this is.

austingardenxxIn the bright light behind the kneeling girl is a Shrimp Plant with yellow blooms.  It’s a native of Mexico and does very well in zones 8 and above.

austingardenzzLike the clean, fresh color of this Coleus.

austingardenzzzThis cluster of Plumbago plants (Plumbago auriculata) was in the yard beside the featured garden we were visiting.  Very attractive planting.

That’s the last of the Austin gardens.  There were a nice variety of gardens – shady, sunny, all native, more formal, or less formal natural settings. There was only one garden that I feel should not have been on the tour.  It was sadly neglected.  The reason I mention this is because the houses were scattered all over Austin and required a lot of driving.  So a stop that wasn’t worth the time or gas should not have been included.  Otherwise, it was a worthwhile tour.

“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”   Elizabeth Murray