Gray Days of Winter Around the Corner

Enjoying a few more days of some color in the yard.

A few Jackman Clematis purple flowers hang on the vine.

Although all the foliage is gone, some Whirling Butterfly Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) still  waves in the wind.  Behind that are some red blossoms on a Flame Acanthus.

Henry Duelburg Mealycup Sage (Salvia farinacea) doesn’t want to say goodbye just yet.

This year the Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio confusus) won’t be carried inside, so it may pass away completely.  Each year we haul it in and each spring it takes forever for it to recover, and it seldom blooms.  So I give up.  It belongs in zones 10 – 11, but I was trying to push the envelop.

On a misty, overcast day, native Flame Prairie Sumac (Rhus Lanceolata) looks like it’s on fire.

This year the Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) has lots of tiny orange red berries.  I love the fact that it’s an evergreen tree.

Possumhaw Holly (Ilex decidua) berries are a little bigger and redder.  A winter treat for the birds. It’s a Texas native and a very hardy small tree with multiple trunks.

The tree/bush is very full of berries.

A few buds have shown up on the Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) .  It quit blooming months ago when the heat got too intense.  It’s also called Apricot Mallow based on the color of its flowers.

Maggie Rose (Rosa ‘Maggie’) just keeps on blooming.  It’s a fragrant bourbon rose that likes our climate.

Bought this bush a couple of years ago and kept it in a shed until I had a place for it.  It has surprised me because the limbs have grown so long and gangly, and the magneta globe flowers are so tiny.

Have lost the tag and can’t identify it.

It has a tendency to spread out.  So it’s really too close to other plants.  I’ll worry about that next year.

Several of the David Austin roses I have don’t flower very well.  But this Thomas A. Beckett blooms often and the bush looks healthy.

Duranta (Duranta erecta) flowers last a long time.

I moved this Mint to a container because it was taking over a flower bed.  Even in tight confines, it’s doing well here.

“One kind word can warm three months.”  Japanese proverb

Gardens in Victoria

This is the last post about the Master Gardener demonstration garden in Victoria near the coast in southeast Texas.

Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio confusus) blazes that bright orange color that screams hot climate.  Information indicates that it can grow in zones 8 and 9.

However, I have one in a pot that must be carried into a shed for the winter.  It takes it a long time to recover each summer.  So I think zone 8 is stretching it.

But what a fabulous flower color.

Bamboo Muhly (Muhlenvergia dumosa) is an interesting shrub with loose, draping branches.  It also requires a mild winter.

Crimson Pirate Daylily is one of my favorites.  Pretty spider shape, not too tall and brilliant color.

This garden is impressive in so many ways.  First, there are hundreds of different kinds of plants.  It is well organized and neat.  These gardeners also have so much creativity.

The queen butterfly is one of our most prominent butterflies.  This clever one is made from a section of heating vent.

There are also lots of structures that draw one into the garden.  The mesh building in the far right upper corner of this picture is an enclosed butterfly walk-in area.

Many Texans consider the welfare of Monarch Butterflies to be part of their responsibility since their migration path comes straight from Mexico through Texas.  Milkweed plants are vital for their survival because it’s the only plant where they lay their eggs and the only food source for their caterpillars. Milkweed mostly grows in uncultivated land areas.  But now, many homeowners grow it in their yards.

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is one food source for Swallowtail butterflies.

This looks like it could be in the Scabosia family.  But I don’t know what it is and would love to find out.

Absolutely stunning.

There is an area that has small gardens donated by individuals or with specific themes.

While in Victoria, we also visited the city’s rose garden.  The layout is wonderful with paved pathways and excellent structures.  Since I’ve seen pictures of this online with mature bushes, I’m guessing that it was wiped out by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and has recently rebuilt.

A few large bushes survived.

Also read that the city accepted rose bush donations to plant.  My only complaint about this garden is that there were no ID tags to name the roses.

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”  J.M. Barrie

Newbies

Newbie means that they are new in my yard and some of them are new to me, period.

newbiesA good source of hardy plants is garden club events.  This was bought at a regional meeting where the host club sold plants.  The prices are always reasonable, the plants are reliable, and the cause is good.

Many times I don’t know the plant but I trust the source.  This one was labeled Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra), so I expected some red berries.  This has pink berries and flowers that look a lot like Lantana.  It is hardiness zone 8 and 9, so it will have to go in a shed during the winter.

Barbados Cherry are large shrubs, and it will evidently have large red berries.

newbies1Another good source for plants in Central Texas is the Lady Bird Johnson Center.  Texas Kidneywood or Bee Brush (Eysenhardtia texana) is doing well in our alkaline soil.

newbies2It has a slight citrus smell and attracts pollinators.  The Mesquite looking leaves is a sign that it will do well in an arid climate.

newbies7Bought at a garden event, this plant was tagged Germander.  From what I’ve read, it’s an herb that is in the mint family.  It has grown, but doesn’t have much scent and hasn’t flowered.  The jury is still out on it.

newbies4Another garden club event purchase, Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio confusus) is a woody vine that grows up to 10 ft.  Senecio means confused old man which refers to its matted growth if not supported by a trellis or fence.

newbies6Since it is tropical, it has to brought inside here.  So I’m not quite sure how I will work out support for its branches.

newbies8New here means that at last I’ve gotten Lavender to survive.  I’ve tried it a couple of times before.  First, I thought it didn’t need much watering, so it withered.  The next one I watered a little, but rain from a roof flowed into it and drowned it.

These were given to us when we paid for a gardening seminar.  I’ve watered them but the pots drain really well.  So far, so good.

newbies9Oxblood Lily or Schoolhouse Lily (Rhodophiala bifida) is thought to be native to Texas but actually was brought here from Argentina in the early 1800’s.  My blooms were short lived, but so bright that they seem worth it.  Don’t really remember where I got them.

Experimenting in the garden can be fun and challenging.

“Long after this election is over Trump and Hillary will still be rich.  Half of us will be able to claim we ‘won’.  The other half will have 4 years to say that’s why I didn’t vote for ____.’

‘Just remember that we live in a different America than they do.  We have to live, work, and eat with each other in OUR America.  We don’t get to hop on a private jet and fly away from our communities’ problems.  We are what makes this country what it is, not the President.

‘He/she will not stop crime in our neighborhoods.  He won’t stop people from stealing your identity, and she will not stop any one from shooting up our local night clubs.  Hillary will not come teach your child right from wrong, but you can.  Trump will not come to your home and teach your child math, but you can.

‘WE as a UNITED people with sound morals, values, and ethics can make this country whatever we want.

‘Vote for whomever you want, but remember WE are the ones that shape our communities, not them.”     Barbara Janovetz