Scenes before a cold front

Another day, another eggplant flower. The fruit is looking pretty good, despite some skin damage.

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Purple pastel salvia greggii behind a red salvia greggii cutting in bloom.

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In the same bed, you can see the hack job I performed on the Oertel’s Rose yarrow, which was once three times its current size. That doesn’t stop it from budding and blooming. But the smaller footprint allowed some room for the irises; here, Mariposa Skies is putting out new foliage. A neighboring iris, Immortality, also displays new leaves.

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In the lily bed, the white mums are aging gracefully into blush pink senescence. Now, if I hadn’t stuck markers where those strap leaves were emerging, I’d have forgotten the spider lily bulbs I planted in the bed sometime back in June of this year.

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The tree ring out front is  still non-stop a-bloomin’! Of course, it’s looking somewhat bedraggled these days–apparently, a hare or a family of them has been using it for daytime cover. So it looks well-trampled in some parts. I can’t bring myself to yank out all the marigolds and salvia. It’s always fascinating to watch how long they will keep blooming their heads off.

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I also managed to catch a lone loropetalum bloom. And a nice arrangement of Hot Lips salvia triplets.

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Here is something I haven’t observed; fall foliage color on the potted lantana. Is this normal?

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And the rest of today’s photos: caladiums, vincas, potato vines, Thai basil, miscellaneous herbs. And let’s not forget the many rose buds on the Midnight Blue.

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May Saturday flower run

I was so stoked to visit my first Arboretum plant sale only to be disappointed when I got there. Many tables sat bare, and I perused a predictable selection of plants, from impatiens to pentas. I left with a couple of sweet potato vines, Illusion Emerald Lace and Illusion Midnight Lace. These were unusual in that the foliage was very fine and elongated unlike the palmate leaves of a typical sweet potato vine. I haven’t yet decided where to plant them but it’s most likely they will end up in a pot.

From there I headed out to Walton’s Garden Center and picked up 2 Dixie Chip ajugas. They’re the only place I’ve found in Dallas to carry them, and I was glad they still had them in stock on this repeat visit.

5/7/11 Ruibal's Sign and StorefrontThen down on Gaston I stopped by Ruibal’s. I had spotted this garden center on the way home from a previous Arboretum visit. Turns out Ruibal’s is a small-scale Christina’s Flowers. They specialize in bedding and planter color; their flats of bright coleus, impatiens, snapdragons and pentas drew me in from the main street in the first place. They also had a small space on the side dedicated to some surefire perennials such as salvia and daylilies, and a surprising number of japanese maples in the rear. I picked up a couple of Regatta Midnight Blue Lobelias and 2 Confetti Lantanas ($1 each) during my visit.

I proceeded to Covington’s, while hitting a Lowes on the way. Still no luck finding my Tropical Breeze Purple White Verbena, but by sheer luck, I found Lanai Purple Star verbena at Covington’s. The lone specimen I found in their retail space rewarded me with a golf cart ride to their back lot where their greenhouses a big surprise: several flats of Purple Star. Giddy with excitement, I ended up purchasing a flat of 20 ($45 total).

I was mighty pleased with my haul, but now I have to add Lanai Purple Mosaic to my verbena wishlist.

That time of year again

In the past week, the weather in Texas has been unseasonably warm. Hard to believe it’s winter! The fiance and I raked up some leaves, moved some stone work, and did general clean up work in the front and central yards. Getting a general feel for the planting areas…much of the yards are in part to deep shade. This will be an interesting change in landscaping, dealing with shade-friendly plants. Right now my attention is on the Chocolate Ajuga that I have surviving in one planter. I’m not sure how robust it still is, but I imagine that if it survives any future freezes, I’d like to use it in the center yard for under-planting in the beds. The flame red salvias are hanging on, but looking rather reedy in their pots. The white salvia unfortunately drowned. Two rosemary plants experienced extremes in watering and temperature…I’m fairly certain they are on their way to the compost heap–if we had one! Two salsa jasmines appear to be surviving, along with a thyme plant (strangely hanging on despite the horrid conditions). The potato vines and caladium I’m certain are DOA, the Silver Dragon type liriope specimens are gamely holding their ground, and the occasional dianthus is showing a bit of green.

Did I mention I had pulled all my calla bulbs last fall for storage in the pantry? I’m hoping they will survive for planting this year.

Of course, having all of these gardening catalogs coming in the mail is adding to all of the excitement.

New callas of May

The callas are blooming. First up: Flame. These blooms display brilliant yellow, with a touch of orange or red. I am assuming that as the weeks go on, they will deepen in color per their namesake. As an aside, the single blooming purple flower of my Devil’s Wine calla has barely faded but held its true shape. It’s a testament to how long-lived these calla blooms are!

My Blossom Farm order came in last week, but 2 of the lavender plants I ordered do not appear to be faring very well. I’ve been keeping a close watch on them, but it appears the smallest of the 4 has given up the ghost. I’ve messaged Blossom Farm for assistance…perhaps they are not beyond rescue. I’m just glad that I have one each of the 2 larger specimens, Coconut Ice and White Provence.

I’m not too thrilled with the Bewitched Purple potato vine (which appears to be mislabeled) threatening to take over my planter. While the palmate shape of the leaves are attractive, they are much too large and overshadowing the neighboring plants. I intend to pull it out as soon as I can find a suitable replacement, preferably a petite-leaf purple potato vine, similar to the compact bright green potato vine (which may be a Sweetheart Light Green) in the other planter.

Today is an example of a perfect morning on the patio, cool weather and warm sun. I should invest in a folding patio set. Perhaps I can shop for one this holiday…if the fiance will let me out of bed this weekend. 😀

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