Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) and Bog Sage (Salvia uliginosa)
Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Obedient plants begin blooming in late August in our area. They are native plants that can take over the world if you don't watch out! They are somewhat easy to remove, but you have to keep at it. I know in some parts of the country they are considered a native nightmare. I can't resist the beautiful purple blooms so I allow them to live in my little garden. The plants are about five feet tall, this year, and flopping all over the place. Next year I plan on building a support structure so that the blooms stand proudly and can be seen from far away.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Oxalis L. (Woodsorrel)

My backyard paths used to be Saint Augustine grass but have all been replaced with mulch. Not only is it easier to maintain but it cuts down on watering as well. A patch of Oxalis seeded itself in one of the beds and I liked its look. I decided to let it spread on its own. It decided however to jump the bed into the paths. I realized it looked better in the paths than in the bed and transplanted all of it. It is now spreading nicely and needs no up keep. It gives me green paths without the burden. Now, as it spreads, I'll need to make sure it doesn't spread into the rest of the garden!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Ricinus communis 'Carmencita'

Castor Bean Plants (Ricinus communis) re-seed themselves at my front door Canna border. Before a killing frost, they reach up to thirteen feet. This photo is taken from my front door porch, looking down through a vine wreath. I love the red colors of the 'Carmencita' variety. Each year, they come back 'true.' I usually cut the berries off through the summer but when the plants get tall enough for a ladder, I leave them alone so that they will make beans that will sprout the next season.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Malvaviscus arboreus, Physostegia virginiana, and Lysimachia nummularia

Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana), and Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) put on their show in the late summer and fall. I have them planted together so that they will all perform in unison. They have all been allowed to exist in a somewhat wild state. The Obedient plant has to be cut back during the year so that it doesn't grow too tall, but other than that, I let them all do their own thing.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Canna 'Red King Humbert'
Canna 'Wyoming'
Some people consider Canna too coarse for residential gardens. They also think the colors are too brash. Well that's okay, but I find them to be bold and exciting additions to my garden. I grow them along with my Castor Bean Plants ( Ricinus communis) which grow up to fifteen feet tall in one season.

Canna 'Red King Humbert' sends up spikes that can reach ten feet. When they get that tall however they usually break from the weight of the flowers. I usually just cut them back and wait for another show later on. Canna 'Wyoming' grows about six feet tall and the orange blooms are bright and happy. I can't imagine a summer without Cannas!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Celosia and Phlox paniculata


Celosia reseeds and multiplies in my front beds every year. The offspring seems to be a mix of Celosia 'New Look' and 'Punky Red.' When the temperatures in Texas hit above 105, this is one of those plants that keeps on going.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Year after year I tried growing Cleome from seed. No matter how many seeds I sewed, I always just got one out of many to germinate. This year I finally gave up. Low and behold they popped up on their own. Reminds me of the lesson I have to keep learning over and over - 'Let nature take its course!'