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Monday, March 31, 2003

March Flowers...

  • allium schoenoprasum (chives)
  • white clover*
  • coriandrum sativum (cilantro)
  • crocus tomasinianus
  • cuphea hyssopifolia (mexican heather)
  • ipheion uniflorum "wisley blue"
  • unidentified (yellow) iris
  • leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)
  • meyer lemon
  • narcissus tazetta "erlicheer"
  • n. triandrus "petrel"
  • oxalis*
  • prunus caroliniana (cherry laurel)
  • salvia elegans (pineapple sage)
  • tomato - "matt's wild cherry"
  • species tulips
    • tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha
    • t. kolpakowskiana
    • t. saxatilis
    • t. turkestanica
  • verbena
  • lawn violets*
*growing randomly in the lawn, but i've decided to include them because the flowers cheer me up

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in What's Blooming... | Permalink | Comments (1)

Home Again. we're back from

Home Again. we're back from a few days in the d.c. / alexandria area. the cherry trees were just getting started but were very nice in a few places; japanese magnolias were spectacular.

the snow mixed with rain that we awoke to yesterday morning reminded me again why i live in houston. although houston also experienced a bit of a cold snap while we were gone, it doesn't appear to have damaged anything.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Yellow! imagine my surprise

iris bud Yellow! imagine my surprise this morning when i was taking my morning stroll through the yard, admiring how upright and bold the foliage of the unidentified iris has become, and saw a flower bud!

it's just peeking out but you can see a beautiful, clear yellow tip. the bud is huge compared to the bearded iris i remember my mother growing -- it's about two inches top-to-bottom. i'm incredibly anxious to see it bloom (here's hoping nothing happens to it in the meantime.)

this plant is one of the ones i replanted in the bed below the sunroom window after separating the monster unblooming clump-o-iris. i honestly didn't expect any of them to bloom this year since i just separated them in november. even if this is the only flower i get from them this year, i'll be happy -- and eager to see what happens next year. nonetheless, i can't help but be hopeful that the rhizomes i put at the end of the deck* will bloom this year since they get at least 25% more sun than the bed this one is in.

oh, and the "bold" foliage is ~30 inches tall; the fan with the bud is ~24 inches tall and the tallest fan in the "sunny" bed is exactly 36 inches tall. i just went out and measured everything.

* the bed we just finished is an around-the-corner extension of this bed.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Weekend Update.

perfect spring weather -- lots to do outside today.

but first, recent garden developments: the narcissus triandrus 'petrel' started blooming this past week. one stem of two flowers currently open; many more up and expected to open over the next few days. the petrel foliage is only about half the height of the erlicheer foliage (~12 inches vs. ~24 inches).

the pixie lilies are about 8 inches tall and appear to have flower buds. the 'royal fantasy' lilies are 12-18 inches tall and getting taller. no buds apparent. also, much to my relief, the 'regale' lilies are finally sprouting -- three of the five are up so far.

another happy development, about 60% of the final batch of bulbs are up.

cilantro is blooming, as are chives. sugar snap peas are 4-5 feet tall and look fantastic; hopefully will start producing soon. the two tomatoes have been planted in the raised bed; matt's wild cherry started blooming a few days ago.

tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha is blooming away. this might be my favorite of the tulips so far.

the crape myrtles are leafing out, the cherry laurel is blooming (and, much to my annoyance, last season's dropped seeds are sprouting all over the back yard), the redbud has just started blooming and the sweet olives look ready to bloom in the next week or so.

last, but certainly not least important, we finished making the new bed off the deck. pictures to come.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Edibles, Ornamentals, What's Blooming... | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 21, 2003

March Mart Buys.

i went to march mart at mercer arboretum this morning -- wow. i've never seen so many different plants for sale.

i only allowed myself to buy as much as i could carry, which turned out to be 13 plants squeezed into a nursery flat.

  • coreopsis grandiflora (big flower coreopsis) -- something to try in the border between our driveway and the neighbor's
  • gladiolus byzantinus (byzantine gladiolus) -- this is one i've admired since reading about it in scott ogden's "garden bulbs for the south" and william welch / greg grant's "the southern heirloom garden". welch has this to say, "...unlike the fussy modern hybrids, G. byzantinus is a survivor, and a true perennial." i'm not sure whether mine are large enough to bloom this year; i may have to settle for admiring the foliage for a year or two.
  • laurus nobilis (bay laurel) -- darin loves to cook and frequently uses bay leaves, so this counts as a 'practical' plant. it's also a fascinating heirloom shrub for the south. i'll probably keep it in a container so it can be moved inside if necessary during the winter.
  • (2) penstemon tenuis (gulf coast / brazos penstemon) -- another candidate for the driveway border
  • (2) phlox divaricata var. laphamii (louisiana phlox) -- front bed, i think
  • (2) salvia greggii "coral" (coral sage) -- border
  • salvia urtica (blue sage) -- border
  • stipa tenuissima (nassella tenuissima) (mexican feather grass) -- possible replacement for the liriope along the front walk (but i'll need a lot more)
  • thymus x citriodorus (golden lemon thyme) -- not entirely sure where to put this one, it could go into the raised bed, but it looked too neat to pass up. the linked photo doesn't do it justice, but the tiny green leaves are edged in yellow. and it does have a very lemony scent.
  • thymus serphyllum (mother of thyme) -- groundcover for somewhere

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in New Plants | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 20, 2003

March Mart 2003.

guess where i'm going tomorrow?

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Places to Go | Permalink | Comments (0)

Miscellaneous New Plants.

  • peppers*
    • (7) serrano
    • (6) sweet banana
  • purple ruffles basil*
  • hippeastrum x johnsonii (st. joseph's lily)
  • unidentified louisiana iris
  • unidentified rain lilies (white?)
* purchased

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Edibles, New Plants, Ornamentals | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha.

t. clusiana t. clusianaTulipa clusiana var. chrysantha. one t. clusiana opened today; two or three more should open tomorrow.

t. clusiana looks very similar to t. kolpakowskiana but with t. clusiana the pink / rose streak is wider, the foliage is finer and the flower stem is a couple of inches taller. and it's blooming about a week later.

both pictures accompanying this post are t. clusiana.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Playing with Rocks. yesterday

stone Playing with Rocks. yesterday darin and i bought 300-odd pounds of rocks -- "san jacinto ledgestone" (i have no idea what the scientific name is).

we spent over an hour wandering through a local stone yard -- san jacinto stone, for the curious -- looking at rocks. rocks for edging, paving stone, gravel of all sizes, and big boulders for "focal points." we were looking specifically for rocks to edge the new bed we're putting off the east side of the deck, but we also got lots of ideas for future projects.

sure enough, the san jacinto ledgestone was among the first piles of rock we looked at, but we went through the whole yard to make sure.

since we had only eyeballed the space before going shopping, we had to guess how much to buy. naturally, we ended up a few feet short so darin had to make a second trip. he also roughly placed the rocks around the bed-to-be (to make make sure we had enough) and we both agree that the rocks are a perfect complement to the house and the deck and it's going to look fantastic.

i put down newspaper and compost to cover the area of the new bed last weekend so the grass is on its way to being dead. this afternoon i dug out the grass along the edges.

darin hasn't caught on yet, but this is all part of my master plan to eliminate much of the lawn.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crocus tomasinianus.

the crocus finished blooming earlier this week.

all in all, i'm extremely pleased with their performance. there were so many flowers that i think every one of the bulbs i planted sprouted and bloomed. i know for a fact that several had multiple blooms.

now i just have to be patient and wait eleven months to see whether they return and whether they multiply.

one final note, the foliage is rather attractive, also. the grass-like leaves radiate out from the bulb -- deep green with a center stripe of white, almost silver.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in What's Blooming... | Permalink | Comments (0)