Saturday, March 29, 2008


My Japanese Maple is in full glory. In our part of the country, Japanese Maples show their foliage color more reliably in the spring than in the fall. I planted this one about 4 years ago. I'm surprised at how fast it has grown.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I bought some Golden Groundsel (Senecio aureus) from a native plant sale about 3 years ago. For two years I saw the same plant blooming along with the bluebonnets and other wildflowers on the roadsides throughout Texas. I kept wondering why mine didn't. This year it finally bloomed! I can only describe the yellow as being neon! It is so bright ya need sunglasses! I've heard it is invasive, so I have it planted in a bed with Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), Houttuynia, Bog Sage (Salvia uliginasa), and Salvia coccinea. Each of these is invasive so I let them duke it out for themselves. If one of these tries to obtain too much territory, I may have to step in and control the outcome. In the mean time, for now, I'll just enjoy the 'neon' yellow blooms of the Golden Groundsel while it is the leading actor on the stage.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Webster defines ensemble as a group producing a single effect. In the garden, it is probably my favorite endeavor. It is one thing to appreciate the beauty of a single flower, but quite another to view it as one part of a group. The possibilities are limitless. You can mix textures against each other, as well as colors, size, and lights against darks. Blue is blue on its own, but contrast it with yellow and it is zowie blue!

For me, the most challenging part of making a garden is mixing plants for effect. First you have to know which plants can survive in similar growing conditions with each other. The art of combining comes next. If you get it right, it's exhilarating! Other times nature does it for you, but even then you have to pay attention or you might miss a grand ensemble.

I planted some Daffodil bulbs last fall, in a bed of Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue' hoping the combination would succeed. When I saw the first yellow buds forming on my daffodils, I could see the bed would be even more 'smashing' with another color. I found the perfect 'Georgia Blue' companion when I stumbled upon some annual phlox, named Phlox Intensia 'Cabernet.' The burgundy flowers were just what the blue needed to punch things up a bit. I also love the little hint of blue on the inner most part of Cabernet's petals. When the Daffodils began to open I knew I had a pleasing combination.

I don't consider the garden 'going' until the ensembles start. Once they do, they provide the inspiration to keep at it. As I prepare for the spring, summer, fall, and winter the biggest thing on my mind is the artful combination. ---And I'm off....

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Leucojum aestivum
Some flowers demand close observation. So are the tiny flowers of Leucojum aestivum. Each year I know when winter goes into spring by the buds and blooms of this little bulb plant. You can't really see the inside of the bloom, unless you get on your hands and knees and turn the little trumpet heads over. The outer flower, the part most people are familiar with, is worthy enough of praise. The white is pure and the little green specks are true green. A very nice combination! If you stumble upon a bed of Leucojum, consider stopping and giving them the attention they deserve.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Is there anything more lovely than the Anemone? Not the moment you are looking at one! These were taken on March 2nd before the rain and snow storm that surprised us all.

Monday, March 3, 2008


With snow in the forecast today, I thought it would be appropriate to include a photo of my white Anemones. This photo was taken yesterday before a rainstorm hit. They remind me of snowflakes!