Garden Art

As it’s Texas Native Plants Week, I thought I’d contribute a photo which profiles a few of the lovely native plants in my garden, as well as a seasonal piece of garden art which has highlighted the front garden this fall.

Clockwise, starting from the bottom left of the photo: the winter rosettes of Big red sage, Salvia pentstemonoides and moving upwards, the pink blooming shrubs, Rock rose, Pavonia lasiopetala. Behind those, peeks out white blooming Tropical sage, Salvia coccinea paired with some spikey foliage of a Red yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, plus three, second year Big muhly grasses, Muhlenbergia lindheimeri. The two yellow spots of sunshine in the background come in the form of Plateau goldeneye, Viguiera dentata and their frothy, cloud-like companions are Frostweed, Verbesina virginica. Lastly, the diminutive daisies dancing at the bottom right are Blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum.

For more information on growing native plants in Texas, check out these informative sites, Native Plant Society of Texas and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Native plants are beautiful, easy to grow, and reflect the place where you live–in Texas, or elsewhere. Native plants evolved alongside their companion critters and so attract and nurture pollinators, birds, and wildlife of all kinds and sorts.

Native plants bring a garden to life.

I’m linking with Anna, in Oregon, for Wednesday Vignette. Additionally, I’d like to give a nod and a link to OregonFlora, a gorgeous website profiling the native plants of Oregon. This site gives information about where native plants of Oregon are found, how to use them in home gardens, and lots of other valuable information for anyone interested in native plants. This site and the work related, is headed by my friend, Dr. Linda Hardison with her Oregon State University team.

Native plants rock!

Hat Trick

Hat trick: three successes of the same kind, especially consecutive ones within a limited period.

Three honeybees, working the glorious goodness of Frostweed, Verbesina virginica, focused only on their goal of nectar gathering, offered zero attention–no buzzes, no curious fly-bys–to the human with three eyes as she bumbled through the garden.

This time of year, the second spring of Central Texas, when autumn perennials burst forward in floral song, after the hot summer and before winter’s chill, it’s not at all challenging to find pollinator hat tricks working varieties of lush perennials, which dispense both food and beauty, necessities for hearts and souls. Change is palpable: shorter days, cooler temperatures, and optimism for the future.

Linking with Anna and the lovely Wednesday Vignette, it’s all about telling garden stories.

Foliage and Bird

It was a sprinkling of snowy Four O’Clock flowersMirabilis jalapa, that caught my eye one evening, not too long before sundown.  My two Four O’Clock plants (the other one blooms a stunning hot pink) are pass-alongs from a gardener and former blogger.  This old-timey, Southern garden addition-by-way-of-Central and South America, is a night bloomer and grows from a fleshy root which can become quite large.  The creamy flowers brighten a shady area close near my pond;  the flowers open in late afternoon, bloom all night, and close by late morning.  

But it was the metal bird, standing in a diversity of foliage, that resonated as a garden story.  Even though I planted this crew, I didn’t recognize just how different the various leaf forms are and how well they complement one another as they mature. 

Sometimes, it’s challenging to see consciously what will be as a garden evolves.

Clockwise from top left, the blue-tinged Soft-leaf Yucca, Yucca recurvifolia, sits next to the tropical green foliage of the Four O’Clock.  To its right, another grey-blue foliage plant, Drummond’s Ruellia, Ruellia drummondiana, serves as backing for three individuals of strappy, stripy Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’ sedge–and that’s where the quirky bird perches.  A couple of iris straps and dangles of autumnal seeds of Inland Sea Oats, Chasmanthium latifolium complete the oddball group.

The Drummond’s Ruellia and ‘Sparkler’ sedges will grow and will require management: the ruellia will need pruning and the ‘Sparklers’ transplanting.  Maybe the bird will  migrate elsewhere.

For now, the group is simpatico and the gardener is pleased.

It was Anna’s own lovely foliage photo which reminded me of my foliage and bird.  Check out her Wednesday Vignette for garden happenings.