Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday at the Arboretum

Time for another visit to the Dallas Arboretum. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary. The nice thing about trips to the Arboretum is that you may see some of the same things, but there is always something new blooming.
The pansies were mostly gone, and the petunias were in and looking beautiful!
Masses of bright spring colors..
The marigolds were in and starting their pretty yellow and orange show..
The creeping jenny by the stream was thick and lush...
Aren't the Japanese Maples beautiful hanging over the stream..

The Delphiniums were...well, so blue!

The foxglove were standing proud and tall in several beds..

Jerusalem Sage was in full bloom and very showy..

But the star of the show this trip...were the roses and iris!

"Fairy Rose"


"Belinda's Dream"
(thank you Mother for holding the rose so I could take a picture!) :)


This is the only Iris that was marked: and what a great name!

"Chocolate Fudge"

Simply stunning..(not the name, but should be!)

My picture does not do this justice..this is a beauty. And she has the best fragrance of any iris I have ever smelled.

We spent over 2 hours taking in all the beauty, but knowing we still didn't see everything. Flowers nourish my soul..they make me happy..they give me peace.
"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning." Lydia M. Child

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dahlberg Daisies

One of my favorite flowers in the garden are Dahlberg Daisies. They are bushy little annuals that have cute little yellow daisy flowers. I have four little pots on the front steps.
Dahlberg daisies are native to south central Texas and northern Mexico.
They are drought tolerant and easy to grow. I get them every year and have never had a problem with insects or diseases at all! The only maintenance is that you do need to deadhead them. Look closely and you can see the spent flowers that I need to remove. The nice thing about deadheading these cuties is that they have a spicy, almost lemon scent that you can enjoy as you work!
They are really versatile too. You can plant them in a bunny..
..or, add them as a filler in a container with mixed flower.
They look good in any container. See how they tend to cascade over the pail onto the stones? I think I am going to buy some for the sunny bed in back and plant them behind the stone border. Wouldn't that look good!
Dalhberg Daisies like well drained soil and want to live in full sun. I can't recommend these more! If you want a cute little flower with a spicy, citrus smell--then this is the flower for you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A new plant and LOTS of new seeds!

Knowing how I love to plant seeds, my sweet blogging friend Nola from Alamo North asked me if I would like some pink four o'clock seeds. Well, of course I said YES, please!! I received a little packet in the mail late last week from Nola, and there wasn't just 1 envelope of four o'clock seeds (acutally there were 2!) , there were 4 other envelopes of other kinds of seeds! I cannot tell you how excited I was. (but I know you love gardening like I do, so you know how excited I was!) Nola also sent me Angel's Trumpet, Hummingbird Vine, Bird of Paradise, and Moonflower Vine! Thank you, thank you, thank you Nola for sharing part of your beautiful garden with me!

This is my Gaillardia Indian Blanket, Firewheel. It is a drought hardy plant that we see a lot here in Texas beside the side of the road or out in fields. For some reason, they are very hard to grow in a flower bed. This plant is about 3 years old, and does well in spring, but even though it is drought tolerant, it tends to die back in the summer..when it should be at it's best!
Last summer Jimmy Turner from the Dallas Arboretum recommended a new variety of Gaillardia that does well in flower beds. It looked good at the Arboretum all summer, so I thought this year I would give it a try. This is Gaillardia "Frenzy" or Frenzy Blanket Flower. You plant it in full sun. It is also drought tolerant.
There was only a bud on the Firewheel, so you can't see a picture of the flower, but you can see the difference in the buds. The foliage is also different on the 2 plants. I really liked the flower of the Firewheel better I think, but if this one is happier in flower beds, then it will be a better plant for me. Time will tell...I'll keep you posted!
Happy Gardening everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Back in February I started Nasturtium seeds inside. they are today! I have 2 out front, one on either side of the porch. I thought I planted only Alaska, but realized I planted Jewel in front and Alaska in a small pot in back. Can you see the variegated leaves in this pot? That's the Alaska. I think when I transplanted the burlap pots I got a few mixed in with the jewels!
I have never grown Nasturtiums but have always loved them. I know they do much better in cooler climates, but thought I would give them a go here before summer's heat hits. I always love seeing them in Colorado when we travel there in summer. The colors are so vibrant!
Interesting thing about these plants, the leaves and flowers are edible with a peppery tang. As a matter of fact, ground Nasturtium seeds were used in World War II as a replacement for pepper. I have seen them in salads in the Texas Hill Country in early spring. However..notice anything NOT there?? No blooms! I made a big mistake and fertilized them..only once, but now I read you do not fertilize them as it will produce bushy plants but no flowers. Great! And I was looking forward to those flowers on my porch! Well, I am not giving up. From now on they only get water! And everyday I am going to tell them how pretty they will be when they produce those gorgeous flowers!

"Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes, it is the triumph of hope over experience!"
Marina Schinz

Friday, April 10, 2009

Veggie Update

We have a tiny little garden space, not room for much, but we do enjoy a few things. The tomatoes we planted have not looked good at all. I think they got way too much water when we had heavy rains; and I think the cold weather set them back. But today I saw signs of new growth, so maybe they will make it. We will just replace them if not.

My sweet neighbor Barbara gave me lettuce. It was really small when I planted it, and is now big enough to pick for salad.

And the carrots...
well, do ya think it's high time I thin them out? Yes, I think you are right!
Then there are the onions. They just seem to grow no matter what, don't they?

We planted them on either side of the tomato plants and lettuce..and guess what??
We had fresh onions with our navy beans tonight! YUM!
If you see lots of little green plants mixed in with these veggies, it is yellow and orange cosmos coming up. I made the mistake of tossing a cosmos plant in the garden late one summer, and..well you know the rest of that story! But that is ok--I like a few flowers growing among my veggies! I need to find banana peppers to plant and that will be it. No room for anything else.
How is your garden doing this spring?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - A New Book!

I know..Wordless Wednesday means "no words" but I am so excited that I received the latest Susan Albert mystery in the China Bayles series. If you love gardening..and you love will love these books! Start with the first one "Thyme of Death." No thyme to garden for me right now...I am needed to help China solve the latest murder!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday Seeds

This was the first Saturday in quite a while that I have not had something to do..or somewhere to be. That made it the perfect day to go through my seed box and get out in the garden and plant some seeds!

The first thing I did after deciding which seeds to plant is make plant markers out of popsicle sticks. I have such a hard time remembering what I plant where..these work great as little reminders.
Trading seeds is so much fun. I have little seed packets from Racquel the Perennial Garden Lover, and Tina from In The Garden. Three of my friends from work have given me seeds (thank you Carlina, Mary and Pat!) One of the best parts of gardening is sharing what you love with other gardeners.
So, time to plant. Remember this bed? It's where the lantana grew last year. I decided I want it to be my perennial cutting garden. This is what I planted in this bed: cleome, solidago (fireworks), datura, clasping coneflowers, purple coneflowers and zinnias. I also planted purple coneflowers in several other beds. They are one of my favorites.
I planted mexican hat and clasping coneflowers in the wildflower garden, and forget-me-nots in the back bed that gets some shade.
I planted moss rose and yellow 4 o'clocks in pots; and in this pretty pot I planted hyacinth bean. See the trellis--I am prepared for it to climb!

I watered them in and thought good thoughts about each one! (you talk to your plants too, don't you!)

My seed box is still full of seeds I will plant later in the spring-we are never done are we? There will always be another seed to plant, another flower to grow. I LOVE gardening!!

"This very act of planting a seed in the earth has in it to me something beautiful. I always do it with a joy that is largely mixed with awe!"
Celia Thaxter