May Flowers

I wish I could say that April showers brought my May flowers, but here in Austin, Texas (zone 8b), it was a dry April and so far, May is in fine copycat form as the dry late spring segues into summer. Nonetheless, there are plenty of blooms in the garden because I’m a lazy gardener and choose tough plants that withstand the tricky Texas conditions while delivering valuable and pretty blooms–a win for pollinators and a delight for the gardener.

A stunning set of blooms, the always dramatic, royal-blue Majestic sageSalvia guaranitica,  currently reigns in certain spots of the garden.

I expect this crew to be the last of the Majestic blooms for a while, as this perennial’s blooms enjoy our gentler months of spring and autumn and then temporarily abdicates blooming during the toasty summer months.

 

Brightening a front garden is a reliable spring and autumn bloomer, the low growing shrub, DamianitaChrysactinia mexicana.

Handsome evergreen and aromatic foliage, plus perky daisy flowers, equals floral sunshine.

 

This nice combo sits nearby and includes some of my favorite flowers: Purple coneflowersEchinacea purpurea and ZexmeniaWedelia acapulcensis var. hispida.

Both are superb pollinator plants and almost always have insect visitors in, around, or on the blooms.

 

Red yuccaHesperaloe parviflora, are now in full, salmon-and-yellow glory.

The flower stalks are 4-5 feet in height and bear multitudes of belled blooms during spring, summer, and through fall, nourishing insect and avian pollinators alike.

 

A spray of Heartleaf skullcapScutellaria ovata, dances in front of surrounding shrubs and grasses, its violet blooms a floral contrast to the other foliage-prominent perennials.

A closer look…

 

Nothing shouts summer!  like sunny sunflowers and this threesome nod approval for a fast track to the summer blooming season.

Some of this season’s sunflowers are already in seed production and the finches and sparrows are taking notice.

To enjoy more May blooming beauties, please pop over to Carol’s May Dreams Gardens and enjoy bloom-filled-blog posts celebrating blooming in May.

If You Plant Them, They Will Come

I’m always amused when someone says to me, Oh, your gardens are so pretty.  It must take a lot of time….  The reality is that while those same people are mowing, watering and edging their pointless lawns, or hiring some company or individual to do so, I’m sipping my coffee, or whatever, and enjoying the native plants in my gardens–as are the wildlife who are attracted to those plants.

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Wildflower and native plants gardens are beautiful and require less work than traditional “yards” of turf.  Additionally, wildlife of all sorts will visit and set up house–because they evolved with natives and generally prefer native plants above others.  Gardeners who plant with natives and wildflowers, instead of introduced plants or turf, help heal the Earth.  A well-designed native and wildflower garden is a balm to the gardener, to people who visit the garden and to wildlife which is threatened by habitat destruction.

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Celebrate National Wildflower Week and plant some wildflowers in your garden. Heck, just make your whole plot of land native plants and wildflowers.

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Wildflowers work:  they’re beautiful, easy, and support wildlife.

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