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Showing posts from 2009

Montgomery Co Master Gardeners

Just returned from a Propagation Specialist training in Montgomery County and wanted to add my voice to the crowd singing the praises of the Montgomery County Master Gardeners. They really set a high standard for the rest of us by installing and maintaining an amazing variety of demo gardens - floral, fruit, butterfly, xeriscape, bog and pond - and in their "spare time" they've raised the money for and installed a huge multipurpose building for their Extension office. They even have real china cups for the coffee! Talk about attention to detail...

If you have reason to be in the Houston/Woodlands area - it's worth the drive to Conroe to see what can be accomplished with a big dream, hard work and a team spirit. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have Tom LeRoy as coach/Extension agent.

Bloom Day 03.09

Yellow bulbine, Asian ground orchids, and a Pat Austin rose are three of the shows currently appearing in my garden.


But, what I'm really excited to tell you about are these irises...


My husband and I rescued these last year after I noticed a familiar crown shape off to the side of the road. I joked then that being moved from blazing sun and neglect in a former pasture to a place of honor in well amended soil and constant attention in my garden would probably kill them. Instead, they've quadrupled in size and rewarded us with the most interesting blooms. Many of them have petals that are exactly one half purple and one half white. I've started calling it Night and Day, both for the change in their growing conditions and for their unique coloring.



Another interesting iris blooming right now is one that develops absolutely NO stem. It's hard to capture in a picture, but here's my best effort. The blooms are silvery white with a small amount of purple deep inside. I'…

Tulipa Clusiana is Back!

Just had to share these with you. There's a lot happening in my garden, but I'm saving most of it for Bloom Day. These old friends surprised me on Sunday, March 8th, but I'm just getting around to showing them off. I didn't know you could get a tulip to naturalize in our heat and horrible excuse for soil until a friend at Barton Springs Nursery introduced me to Tulipa clusiana "Cynthia" several years ago. I was charmed by the idea of having these delicate beauties popping up each spring, and even happier they share the name of my oldest stepdaughter. Even if there were other tulips that could be happy here, I'd still grow these for the dark pink on the outsides of their sunny lemon yellow petals. I'm told they're originally from Uzbekistan - who'd have thought our climate would support their natives?! But, they happily signal spring each year just at that time Austin gardeners are trying to guess if it's going to be in the 80'…

There's rosemary, that's for remembrance ...

Knowing this day was coming hasn't softened the blow nor has it prepared me with the right words. It's been my preference to just get through emotional events, then to use words later to reflect back when I've established the necessary distance and objectivity. I'm breaking with tradition today because we've all lost a treasure and I need somewhere to go with the feelings.


Madalene Hill passed away yesterday at the early age of 95. "Early" because she seemed immortal to me and because I don't know what we'll do without her. "Early" because she always had more energy than anyone else in the room. "Early" because I'm not ready to let her go.


My husband says that when I mention Madalene in my writing, I always say her name as though everyone on the planet automatically knows who I'm talking about - like "God" or "Elvis". And I always answer that they do. Anyone who knows much about herbs does, and they…

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

In the three years Carol at May Dreams Garden has been hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, this is the first time I've managed to take pictures and get them posted in time. When I first heard of it, I had the impression it only happened once a year; but eventually I caught on that the fun happens every single month. So welcome ... here's what's putting on a show in my Zone 8 garden in Austin. Thanks for stopping by. That's a red shrimp plant to the left. I think the frost damage makes it look like chintz.


Frost damaged, but still covered with blooms and reddish new growth - "Old Blush" rose.

Bulbine frutescens, yellow (above) and orange varieties (below)




Meyer lemon getting a start on this year's Meyer Lemon Ginger Marmalade.

Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense)

German Iris "Feedback" with MSS' larkspur seedlings in background.

Chandler variety strawberries - here in Austin, we plant our berry plants in the fall for a full crop the following s…

Wow ... it's really happening!

Just made my hotel reservation for this year's Spring Fling to be held in Chicago and had a few thoughts that actually apply to the bigger picture:
1. It's possible to trust other people to get things done - at the first Spring Fling in Austin, the Chicago gardeners were telling us that we'd be gathering "next year in Chicago". Honestly, it was hard to imagine they'd go home and not get so busy gardening and being regular folks that it wouldn't slide to the bottom of the "to do" list.
2. Sometimes others do a better job than I ever might have done - This is probably something I should engrave on a metal disc and wear around my neck. I mean, just look at the Chicago Spring Fling website! They have a logo, and hotel info, and links, and lions and tigers (well, okay, no lions and tigers but there IS a borzoi!)
3. There are people you just met (last year or last week) but feel you've known your whole life and your life is actually better for know…