|Linaria maroccana (Toadflax)
QUESTION: My name is Nicole, we recently moved to Houston (Spring - near the Woodlands) from the northeast and I have always dreamed of a cottage garden. But, apparently I suck at growing things, or I just don't plant the right things at the right times, I don't know. Anyway, I come close to giving up, but I can't quite do it, it is becoming a sickness I think. Your garden gives me hope that maybe I can overcome my black thumb and get something to grow here. I love your toadflax, where did you buy yours? My biggest challenge has been finding the plants I want or read about. Do you have any nurseries you recommend? Any sources you could recommend would be great.
ANSWER: Hi, Nicole! I'm glad you enjoy my blog. Take heart, you too can have a beautiful cottage garden! If you moved here from another part of the country, what you can grow will be very different. Even in various areas of Texas, there are huge differences in climate and soil from region to region. The good news is that because your area gets colder than other parts of Houston (like mine), you'll be able to grow some of those perennials that need a period of dormancy to really shine. "Right plant, right place" should be your mantra!
Toadflax transplants sometimes appear in nurseries in October or November, but more often are found in early spring. Mine are sown from seed: Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, www.wildseedfarms.com, is my source. Because they're a reseeding annual, you should only need a couple of packets to get started. I sow them any time from late October into early March. UPDATE: Read Elizabeth Barrow's comment for some pertinent information!
My favorite nursery in your area is The Arbor Gate in Tomball. They have a huge selection of plants that do well in the greater Houston area; soils, tools, seeds and bulbs; friendly and knowledgeable staff; a tremendous variety of garden decor and home accessories; and gardens scattered all around the property that will educate and inspire you. They also host a wide variety of classes and events, such as today's Bulbs and Buddies Bash.
|Arbor Gate owner Beverly Welch (in overalls) and Chris Wiesinger of Southern Bulb Co. consult with customers