It took a little doing but I managed to get a few good shots around the garden despite the wind here on MCOK. I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking so I can head back outside and see what kind of trouble I can cause.
The Coconut Lime Echinacea I bought at Lowe's last week will be planted when we get a cloudy day, or maybe just potted up into more moisture-retentive soil. Pam at Digging said in a recent post that she does her best not to plant anything after May 1st. That makes a lot of sense, especially given the early onset of summer this year. I checked the historical weather data on the Houston Chronicle's website and learned that our temperatures this year are running 5 to 7 degrees higher than in 2006 and 2007. Those of us who have been whining about it's being hotter than usual were right!
I bought this blue Agave at Shoal Creek Nursery in Austin during the Garden Bloggers' Spring Fling. This is the mother plant: she had 2 pups, as well, much to my delight. I used to not be a big fan of agaves but Pam's Whale's Tongue agave is what really won me over.
Look at Stokesia 'Peachie's Pick', which I bought at Houston Bulb & Plant Mart last fall. I paid $11 for a one gallon pot, which is a pretty steep price for that size plant here in Houston. I was seduced by the description of what an incredible performer it is, so I bit the bullet/took the plunge. This is one time I'm very happy I succumbed!
For comparison's sake, here's a picture of my garden variety Stokesia: it's only a few feet away in another bed and just a wee bit less floriferous (one bloom, count it, ONE). Those are Supertunia 'Mini Silver' on the left (found on the Lowe's clearance rack for 25 cents).
The Desert Willow tree (Chilopsis linearis):
These Crocosmia/Montbretia were passalong plants from Diane, a gardener from the West University neighborhood in Houston, who was preparing to move to Wimberley. She had posted a message on Craigslist offering free plants for the digging. I am so glad I drove into town from the burbs and dug these because I'm deeply in love with these blooms. Carol at May Dreams Gardens talks about how few red flowers she has in her garden and it's been interesting to read other gardeners' comments on their color preferences. Before I started gardening in the front yard as well as the back, I did find reds, yellows and oranges a challenge to integrate into the garden. Now that I keep the hot colors in my front gardens where there's enough open space that they don't overwhelm the cooler colors, the plants and the head gardener are much happier!
I do break my own rules on occasion, however, as evidenced by this vignette in the back. These zinnias seeded themselves in the path at the end of a bed: they make me smile every time I see them.
I took this picture last week but it's worth sharing. This is Morning Glory Tree, Ipomoea fistulosa. Be prepared to give it some space if you plant it ... it's big and rangy but the blooms are just glorious (and you won't find yourself pulling up an infinite number of seedlings, unlike the vining varieties).
If anyone recognizes this pink rose, let me know! I have no idea who she is but she's been a very well mannered shrub thus far, maybe 2 feet high and 2-1/2 feet wide. I think this was a cutting I started from someone else but I just cannot remember. I should spend the summer making indelible labels!
I chastised this plant last week for taking so danged long to bloom ... it seemed like the buds took weeks to open. It's white Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus, I think?).I've dallied long enough ... time to go chase the squirrel off the bird feeder, put on my gloves and get busy!