Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Friday, April 26, 2013

This week in the garden - #61

My week in the garden was interrupted by appointments and by book club meetings, but it still managed to be a fairly productive one.

One task which I had had on my list for months but kept pushing further down that list was pruning 'Big Momma' Turk's Cap. 'Big Momma' is extremely well-named. The two specimens that I had planted along the south side of my house a few years ago had grown to the point that they seriously threatened to devour the house. They had grown up to obstruct a couple of windows and were reaching for the roof. This week I decided I couldn't wait any longer and, trusty Felco pruners in hand, I spent hours whacking away at those plants. By the time I finished, they were mere shadows of their former selves. I had cut them back to about three feet tall.

I'm quite sure this will not discourage these hardy plants. By the end of the year they'll be back covering the windows again, unless I find the time and energy to keep them trimmed.


There was a lot going on in the garden this week. My husband continued with his project of laying a moss rock edging around the beds. Things are looking good on that front.

Moreover, there are a lot of new blossoms brightening those beds, as well as some little visitors adding interest to the plants.

 As I was walking by one of the beds, I looked down to see this little ladybug. I encounter them frequently around my garden - which probably just means that I have plenty of aphids for them to feed on.

 When I walked out my back door this morning, I noticed this 'Darcy Bussell' rose and 'Rouge Cardinal' clematis blooming side by side next to the porch.

'Hot Lips' is one of my favorite salvias.

The mandevilla vine by the patio has bloomed constantly since I planted it and shows no signs of slowing down.

This old 'Dortmund' rose bush has been putting on quite a show this spring.

The various lantanas around my garden - and I have several - are beginning their bloom.

I really like the combination of colors on this 'Dallas red' lantana.

In an earlier post, I told you about the threat to Knockouts - and indeed all roses - from rose rosette disease, but my 'Radazz' plants are healthy enough so far and, if they go, they are going in a blaze of glory!

And this little American Painted Lady butterfly is very happy for those bright red blooms.

In the front yard under the red oak tree, the oak leaf hydrangea is just about to be in full bloom. It's probably my favorite of all the hydrangeas, most likely because it seems to be the toughest.

I am a sucker for yellow roses and I've added several to the garden over the years, but my favorite is still my first one - the David Austin rose 'Graham Thomas.'


Much of my time in the garden this week has been spent watering plants. It is very dry once again and the forecasters are telling us to expect continued drought conditions over the long term. It is shaping up as another challenging summer. But then, it's always something, isn't it?


  1. I love your rose and Clematis combination. I like to create what I call color echoes too. I notice with a lot of flowers a predominance of that magenta rose color. I think that's why I tend to gravitate toward red, orange, and peach flowers, and even blue and purple. Your Graham Thomas is beautiful! Does it smell good? I miss Lantana, the cuteness, mixed colors in the flowers, and even the smell. Thanks for the photos!

    1. 'Graham' has a faint rose scent, not as much as many old roses. Lantana is a mainstay of my garden. I have four different varieties, all beloved by butterflies - and me.

  2. That Salvia is a knockout! And that Dortmund rose is gorgeous. It's also great you have painted ladies already.

    1. We seem to have Painted Ladies and American Painted Ladies most months of the year. They are always welcome visitors.

  3. Beautiful photos Dorothy. I love the one of the rose and clematis together. I also love that Dallas Red lantana. I have a several plants here in my garden and it's a favorite with butterflies and hummingbirds.

    1. Lantana of all kinds seems to be big with butterflies, but I am particularly fond of that 'Dallas red.'