Per week of bloom spikes and rain

Might 22, 2021

We had such extended rain this week that I misplaced observe of what number of inches it got here to — 4 inches for positive if not 5. The backyard responded to the additional water and gentle Might temps with a profusion of progress, together with bloom spikes on yuccas, sotols, and aloes. A ‘Vivid Edge’ yucca, one among a trio, despatched up a spike of creamy, bell-shaped flowers that echoes the ivory stripes of an ‘Espresso’ mangave within the stock-tank planter.

For no matter purpose, the yucca flowers weren’t troubled this spring by leaf-footed bugs.

Aloe maculata, which amazingly survived the February snowpocalypse, continues to ship up candelabra-shaped flower spikes. I simply reduce one down that had gone to seed, and now I see one other developing on a special plant. The hummingbirds can be blissful!

Out entrance, Texas sotol (Dasylirion texana) is displaying off with a trio of 15-foot bloom spikes, beloved by honeybees.

I appeared out the window immediately — it’s raining once more — and noticed one of many spikes bent virtually horizontal from the rain. Hopefully it’ll stand again up once more once we dry out.

Heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata), a local Texas plant that blooms in spring and goes dormant in summer season, is in full bloom and competing with the sotol for my consideration. Plenty of low-growing, purple bloom spikes stand atop fuzzy, blue-green leaves, which make this plant unpalatable to deer.

It spreads slowly however relentlessly each underground and above, by seed, and it’s welcome to cowl the whole island mattress. I’m typically requested what takes over when the skullcap goes dormant, and the reply is seen at lower-left, within the quickly rising Turk’s cap leaves. Turk’s cap, a summer-blooming native, takes over a lot of the island mattress as temperatures warmth up. I even have foxtail ferns alongside the sting which are revealed when the skullcap will get reduce. The opposite vegetation right here embrace Sabal minor and variegated miscanthus grass, which grows nicely in shiny shade.

The primary datura flowers opened this week, to my delight. Cloudy mornings allowed the night-blooming flowers to hold on virtually to midday earlier than collapsing.

Bear in mind the “dinosaur bone” cactus stump left behind after my ‘Previous Mexico’ prickly pear collapsed in a mushy heap after the snowpocalypse? Right here it’s immediately, sprouting a dozen new pads. This passalong from Jean at Dig, Develop, Compost, Weblog ought to quickly be making an attempt to dominate the backyard once more.

The lately replanted aspect backyard is coming alongside, and deer repellant is conserving the hoofed pests off the coreopsis flowers — for now.

On the coated patio, container vegetation and backyard decor add a bit persona.

And on the sunny deck, cacti have been flowering nonstop, like this hedgehog cactus (Thelocactus setispinus)…

…and a pink-flowering mammillaria.

I at all times consider it as a flower little one, carrying flowers in her hair.

I’m nonetheless eradicating vegetation killed by the snowpocalypse. This week alone, an enormous loropetalum shrub and evergreen sumac and pomegranate timber got here down. All are getting back from the roots, and it’ll be an experiment to see how lengthy it takes them to regrow into the massive specimens they have been. I additionally took out the massive toothless sotol (Dasylirion longissimum) within the pipe planter (above), which had slumped to at least one aspect in defeat, revealing its rotten core. See earlier pics of it on this put up. No tears — it was time.

Intriguingly, the sotol pulled aside in layers, every part resembling a sunflower. The white middle contained a superbly round gap, as if the plant have been layered in place on a pole. Take a look at my brief video on Instagram (with quantity on) about these attention-grabbing layers.

I discovered a 5-gallon substitute plant at a new-to-me nursery, SiteOne Panorama Provide in Manor. The place has a wholesale ambiance, however it does promote retail at a number of areas in Austin and San Antonio. (Because of Linda Peterson for the tip!) Should you’re unable to search out your vegetation at our beloved Austin nurseries this spring, it’s value a glance, and you’ll test stock on-line.

I can’t finish this put up with a photograph of a useless plant, even when it’s already been changed, so let’s return and benefit from the short-lived blossoms of ‘Etoile Violette’ clematis. The Tempest in a Teapot windchime is a long-ago present, nonetheless a lot loved, from my husband. That’s an enormous ‘Sapphire Skies’ Yucca rostrata behind it. It was my first. Now I’ve 4.

I’ll depart you with a mini-meadow view of ‘Sterntaler’ lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) and Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima). It’s a small second, however should you crouch it appears to be like a lot bigger. All of it depends upon your perspective.

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Digging Deeper: Information and Upcoming Occasions

It’s pond tour time! Seize your solar hat and attend Austin’s twenty sixth annual Pond and Backyard Tour on June 5 and 6. Sponsored by the Austin Pond Society, the tour contains 13 ponds over two days, with admission of $20 upfront (till 5/31) and $25 on the day of (on-line funds solely; no money).

Be part of the mailing record for Backyard Spark! Hungry to find out about backyard design from the specialists? I’m internet hosting a collection of talks by inspiring backyard designers, panorama architects, and authors a number of occasions a yr in Austin. (Whereas in-person talks are at present on hiatus as a result of pandemic, I hope to renew once more this fall.) Talks are limited-attendance occasions that promote out shortly, so be part of the Backyard Spark electronic mail record to be notified upfront. Merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added.

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