April 29, 2021
My spring planting is completed, and I feel all my post-freeze reducing again is completed too. There are nonetheless brown shrubs and dead-looking small timber (like a pomegranate getting back from the roots, with a number of leaves right here and there on higher branches) taking on visible area, however I’m keen to let these be via the summer time, simply in case they magically discover the power to releaf. In the event that they don’t, I’ll cope with it within the fall. I’m at peace with that and am merely having fun with the vegetation which are wanting comfortable, or which are valiantly getting back from the roots.
I’m additionally having fun with alternative vegetation, like this scruffy little ‘Frazzle Dazzle’ dyckia in bloom on the entrance porch.
Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and Gulf Coast penstemon (Penstemon tenuis), planted in a pot this 12 months, add shade to the gravel backyard.
The driveway backyard has recovered shortly, with autumn sage (Salvia greggii) blooming alongside wispy Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima). Purple skullcap (Scutellaria wrightii) is sort of in bloom. And spherical, spiky Texas sotol (Dasylirion texana) is sending up three spear-like bloom spikes.
I took this picture final week. The lavender-tinged spikes are already a pair toes taller now.
I can’t wait to see them in full bloom.
The place I took out a giant whale’s tongue agave — the one which acquired badly freeze-burned — I’ve planted a brand new ‘Alphonse Karr’ bamboo (a clumper, not a runner). It’ll display the afternoon solar for our new coated patio and (I hope) create a way of thriller as you enter the again backyard by obscuring a part of the view.
Slightly below it within the terraced beds, feathery foxtail ferns and creamy-striped ‘Sparkler’ sedges are coming again quick from the roots. And the once-stunning squid agave within the tall pot, which suffered amputated arms, is wanting like a survivor. I’m hopeful she’ll be stunning once more in the future!
I’m actually having fun with these little ‘Eureka Gold’ yaupon hollies (Ilex vomitoria ‘Eureka Gold’) — dwarf shrubs with an epically sluggish progress charge — which glow gold in spring. Because it heats up they’ll flip a daily inexperienced, however they certain add zingy shade now.
All my yellow hesperaloes (Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Yellow’) have despatched up sunshine-bright bloom spikes. So fairly towards the blue pool!
A couple of vegetation on the cactus desk up on the new, sunny deck have began to bloom. I’ll hold a watch out for extra.
One growth I’ve not been comfortable about: harm to lots of my recovering perennials by this sneaky pest, the four-lined plant bug. They dart below the leaves every time I snoop round to see what’s taking place.
As you may see, they do fairly a quantity on tender, new leaves, feeding largely on my Salvia greggii, Jerusalem sage, and ‘Amistad’ salvia. I learn that they don’t feed for too many weeks, and by the point it will get scorching they’ve laid eggs and died, so in case you can tolerate the harm for some time they’ll be gone — no less than till subsequent 12 months. It’s higher than spraying poison in all places, though I would attempt knocking them right into a bucket of soapy water one morning to see if that helps. If anybody has a greater suggestion, I’d love to listen to it!
So it goes within the spring backyard. New progress, spring flowers, pesky bugs, and — for these gardening below Texas dwell oaks — an avalanche of oak pollen and caterpillars hanging from silk strands. That’s all cleaned up now, however right here’s a picture from the peak of it, which evokes the delight of strolling via the backyard in late-March to early April — ha!
I welcome your feedback; please scroll to the tip of this put up to depart one. In the event you’re studying this in a subscription electronic mail, click on right here to go to Digging and discover the remark field on the finish of every put up.
Digging Deeper: Information and Upcoming Occasions
Do you like ponds in addition to gardens? 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 consists of 13 ponds over two days, with admission of $20 prematurely (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 12 months in Austin. (Whereas in-person talks are presently on hiatus because of the pandemic, I plan to renew once more as quickly as attainable.) Talks are limited-attendance occasions that promote out shortly, so be a part of the Backyard Spark electronic mail record to be notified prematurely. Merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added.
All materials © 2021 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized replica prohibited.