Foliage for the WIN!

giant swallowtail purple oxalis

When I first started gardening, I was drawn to the pretty flowers.  Salvias, callistemon, blue bonnets, etc, etc. Flowers were the gateway drug to gardening for me.  I dallied in trying new flowers, but the whole look just never came together. Fast forward a few years, I’m a full on gardening junkie, I know that foliage is where it’s at. Why didn’t you guys tell me sooner????

Anyways this past weekend was super sunny and warm, so naturally I was outside planting stuff, specifically foliage.  Even though technically we could still have a late freeze (not uncommon for central Texas) in March or even April, I think most of the plants I planted will be fine. Cue Mother Nature swooping in to make me look like an ass…

Back to foliage: The cedar sage under the Juniper really hasn’t taken off and filled in like I had hoped.  It’s very slow growing and while the flowers are attractive, the foliage is just a little blah. And it’s VERY shady.   Sooooo, I decided to fill in the space with some Scott’s Turf Sedge from Barton Springs Nursery.  It’s perfect for shade, drought-tolerant, and evergreen.  What’s not to love?!


And the finished result! It still needs mulch,  but I’m hoping it fills in similar to the one seen over at Pam Penick’s.  The green clumps between the sedge are the Cedar Sage and the green clumps on the berm behind the sage are the Inland Sea Oats, another shady favorite.


And our second shady bed…that has slighty better soil…we went with more foliage. Pictured below we have native River Fern (Thelypteris kunthii), Foxtail Fern (Asparagus aethiopicus), more sedge, and purple oxalis (Oxalis triangularis).


Finished result number 2! I have three squid agave (Agave bracteosa) planted in the “blank” looking space, but they’re pretty hard to see, so I may do something to elevate them and make them a little more eye-catching.fern-garden-and-pond

The parrot and lady vase are new additions to the garden, courtesy of my parents for Christmas. Her head is spilling out with some variety of Graptopetalum (also from BSN).aerial-back-fern-garden

And because she looks so pretty with the sun illuminating her mossy face…backgarden22017headvase-graptopetalum


Lastly, an early  visitor in the form of a Giant Swallowtail getting some nectar from the purple oxalis…also, a better view of the squid agave.purpleoxalisgiantswallotail

Also, I recommend you stay away from gardening.  It’s too late for me. Save yourself.



After the Blue Northern

purple opuntia

It’s finally back into the 60s (Fahrenheit) here, so some of the tender plants can come back out into the sun.



Like this Opuntia. Not sure what species though. Maybe macrocentra or gosseliniana??


A Moby Jr. From Pam Penick’s famous and deceased Agave ovatifolia (whales tongue).



I did lose a couple of plants from the 50 degree drop we had last Saturday. Like the blue elf aloe below. I did pull up the biggest part of the plant that still had an unaffected portion. Time will tell if it survives.


This native Echinocereus reichenbachii is a few years old and used to stand up straight…🤔 #theMOSTphalliclookingcactus 😁


A couple more deaths: the gulf fritillary butterfly was hanging onto the dwarf papyrus after dragging it back up towards the surface. Beautifully preserved though. And I’m happy to report that I still have both my arms after having to pull up this and a couple other sunken bog plants.


The grapes gomphrena bit the dust but the flowers dried out nicely!

This Agave ‘Royal Spines’ got a visitor who luckily survived!



On Frozen Pond

frozen stocktank pond

It was colder than a _______. (My word choice would probably be inappropriate🤔)  The stock tank pond was frozen more than an inch solid after sub freezing temps for two days.


The Colorado water lilies are hardy here so should do fine although they’ll probably turn to mush for the rest of winter.


I sunk the marginal (bog) plants like Dwarf  Papyrus (above) and the native buttonbush (below).


And this Aquatic Milkweed.

Since we have some native Gambusias, I opted to pour hot water to help melt the ice versus using to some sort of tool to break it up.


Although you can’t really tell, that little chartreuse papyrus puff is still under a sheet of ice. Those reflections tho…

Before the hot water: “Mommy the ice is good for drawing on! See?!?!”