Spiderwort, Blue Elf aloe, and other spring blooms


Spring is in earnest now. Every time I stroll through the garden I see something new blooming, and around town the redbuds and Texas mountain laurels are at peak bloom. Mexican plums and Bradford pears are past peak, and the Texas bluebonnets are just starting. The joyous ride of spring is underway!

In my own garden, in the shade of a still-dormant crepe myrtle, native spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) is sending up tall stems of lavender flowers, which the bees adore. The wavy arms of squid agave (A. bracteosa) give an illusion of movement in the background.


This surprised me yesterday: a single summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). I’d forgotten I’d ever planted it and have no idea if it was a bring-along from my old garden, which has lain dormant since then, or whether I bought a few recently. No idea! I’m enjoying its nodding flower and wondering what other spring surprises await discovery.


Here’s a different view of the replanted culvert-pipe planter and new purple pot, which I showed in a recent post. They stand out nicely against the coyote fence (rough cedar posts wired together). The dusky purple Chinese fringeflower (Loropetalum chinense ‘Sizzling Pink’) bloomed earlier, and its fuchsia flowers are faded and nearly done.


‘Blue Elf’ aloe was in bud during the last freeze (as usual), but the flowers survived to bloom another day — this day, in fact. I adore this flowering aloe, and so do the early hummingbirds when they arrive. Last summer it was looking very crowded and had an ugly bare spot right in the middle, and I knew it was time for thinning. I dug it out, pulled it into smaller pieces, each with a bit of root, and replanted in a freshened mix of gravelly soil. It’s filled in nicely since then and looks a lot healthier.


Here’s another spring surprise: my false red yucca (Beschorneria septentrionalis), which I bought from Peckerwood Garden three years ago, is about to bloom for the first time! I will be sure to post more pics when the big event occurs.


Cosmo wishes you a happy spring — or nearly spring, depending on where you live!

__________________
I’d love to have your vote in the Better Homes and Gardens 2015 Blogger Awards. Skip through to the Gardening category, select Digging, and then skip to the last page for your vote to be counted. You can vote as much as you like. Thanks for your support!

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Early spring at Thompson+Hanson nursery in Houston


Last weekend in Houston we popped into Thompson+Hanson, an elegant boutique nursery with a mouthful of a name, located on W. Alabama Street. It was late afternoon on a chilly, damp day, and the place was quiet, but we enjoyed browsing among their lovely potted displays, like this fiesta of succulent color.


And this charmingly potted arum lily.


Dogwood branches, even faux like these, evoke early spring.


Twig spheres, massed along a wall draped with still-dormant vines, echo the shape of clipped boxwood shrubs and create a classically beautiful vignette.


My friend Diana/Sharing Nature’s Garden and I visited the nursery last spring (click the link for my post), on a warmer, sunnier day, and had lunch at its cafe, Tiny Boxwoods. On this chilly afternoon, the cafe’s patio was closed down.


But the lawn was green, and Bradford pears were starting to flower along the fence. Spring is just a moment or two away in Houston.

__________________
I’d love to have your vote in the Better Homes and Gardens 2015 Blogger Awards. Skip through to the Gardening category, select Digging, and then skip to the last page for your vote to be counted. You can vote as much as you like. Thanks for your support!

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Flower power out front; in back a serene, green garden


Last year I featured this Houston Heights garden in a Drive-By Gardens post. But last Saturday, while in Houston to visit family, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, David Morello, who kindly gave me a full tour.


David owns the design and build company David Morello Garden Enterprises, and he’s an avid gardener who makes time for his own glorious garden as well. In the sunny front yard of his khaki bungalow, he’s created an elegantly structured space with clipped boxwood and geometric lines, colored in with a riotous but disciplined color scheme of flowering annuals. Every spring he experiments with new colors. This year he’s playing with yellow and gold.


Pops of purple and white give depth to the yellows.


Near the porch, a stand of ‘World’s Favorite’ tulips — orange-red edged in yellow (see top photo) — brightens the entry. The front garden will be at peak spring bloom in about three weeks, David said. The earliest Texas bluebonnets were starting to flower along the street, probably thanks to the reflected heat.


In back, the garden tells a different story. Gone are the colorful annuals. Instead a serene, ferny bower encloses a circular flagstone patio. A low boxwood parterre outlines the perimeter, and a hedge of evergreen Spartan juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’) makes a pleasing backdrop to a tall, rusty-red pot fountain. The color of the pot picks up the coppery-orange of the garage door, seat cushions, and even the terracotta pots.


The small patio is a work of art, with meticulously pieced flagstone “mortared” with Mexican beach pebbles.


Another view, from the garage door, which is accessed via a gray gravel path running alongside the garage. Looking directly across the patio, a pop of yellow catches your eye.


It’s leopard plant (Farfugium japonicum, formerly Ligularia) in bloom, with variegated shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) behind. Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’) adds cloud-like softness in the pots.


i was charmed by this scalloped-leaf rambler with dainty, white flowers atop tall stems — a white spiderwort, David told me — which he allows to spread at will along the boxwood parterre.


The view back toward the house. David said that Houston has not experienced a freeze this winter, so there’s been no die-back, although it’s been unseasonably cool.


This focal-point pot set on a plinth of stacked ledgestone grabs your eye as you enter the back garden from the driveway. Pink cyclamen mingles with a chartreuse-leaved plant (I didn’t get the ID) under a graceful tuteur that adds height. A bracelet of gray river rock rings the base of the pot, and vining plants are encouraged to twine an embrace as well. Unfussy, expertly crafted details like these give David’s garden a timeless appeal.

My thanks to David for sharing his lovely garden with me! If you’d like to see more, check out my pictures of his front garden from last spring.

Stay tuned for a visit to the plant-packed nursery and garden-art fantasia of Joshua’s Native Plants & Garden Antiques.

__________________
Vote early and often! I’d love to have your vote in the Better Homes and Gardens 2015 Blogger Awards. Skip through to the Gardening category, select Digging, and then skip to the last page for your vote to be counted. You can vote as much as you like. Thanks for your support!

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.