What’s blooming in Austin?

February 28th, 2002
In Bloom Calendar

I’ve completed another overhaul to the In Bloom calendar. I’ve separated each month into its own calendar page (and file) because the year-long calendar was getting too large to read and to maintain.

These changes required that I then update the four seasons pages as well. Now each season links to the In Bloom calendars and to the weekly garden diary pages for the associated months.

Here’s an example. A Central Austin Garden | Spring
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Plant Profile: Lavender ‘Goodwin Creek’
photo: lavender Goodwin Creek Gray

February 25th, 2002
Lavandula heterophylla ‘Goodwin Creek Gray’

Here is an unexpected success. I bought a lavender plant in a 4-inch pot last year and planted it. It produced a small bushy plant but did not flower. Sometime in the fall, it was looking straggly so I cut it back. I decided to try to root the cuttings (although I’ve never had any luck doing this with any other plant I’ve tried) and stuck them in the vegetable garden. In January they began putting out new growth. The other day, I was about to pinch them back (to make them bushier) when I recognized little flower buds. Not only did my cuttings root, they are flowering!


L. ‘Goodwin Creek Gray’.
Discovered at Goodwin Creek Gardens in Oregon.
Possibly a intersectional hybrid: Lavandula x heterophylla. A hybrid supposedly of L. dentata and L. augustifolia.
Hardy to 10 degrees (F).

Garden History

First flowers.

The mother plant looks a bit scraggly, so I trim her back and plant the trimmings hoping that I will have luck rooting them a second time.

The mother plant is in full bloom and looks great. The cuttings I took in March are blooming. The cuttings I took last fall are blooming and the plants are getting bushy.

February 22nd, 2002
With Compliments of the RHS

As a Christmas present my English father-in-law gave me a membership to the Royal Horticultural Society. Last December I received notice of a surprise benefit. I could choose 30 packets of seeds from the RHS gardens at Wisley. These are excess seeds that the RHS shares with its members. I quickly filled out my first choices and alternates, looking up many Latin names (the RHS always refers to plants by their Latin names), trying to stick with plants that were easy to grow from seed and that had a chance of surviving the shock of moving to Texas.

The seeds arrived today! Now to research how to grow them.
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Gardening is a discipline as well as an art. A garden is a finite space in which plants compete for the choicest locations.

February 18th, 2002
If This Plant Offends Thee, Pluck it Out

One of the most difficult tasks for the beginning gardener is to remove healthy plants. I’m so grateful for anything that is happy to grow in my garden that I’ve been known to let all sorts of plants considered rank weeds by others, flourish here. As long as it looks green and lush and fills in the blank spaces, I’m content to live and let live.
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photo: Crocus tomasinianus
Crocus tomasinianus.

February 10th, 2002
Crocus tomasinianus ‘Whitewell Purple’

First flowers of the year opened on the Tommie crocuses today. These are the tiny crocuses with the huge name. They are tiny, even smaller than the Crocus chrysanthus ‘Blue Pearl’. I think that you must have to have a thousand of them before you’d even notice them.
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The Rose Bible.
Rayford Clayton Reddell.
Chronicle Books. San Francisco. 1998.

February 3rd, 2002
Defoliating Roses

In a couple of weeks, we will begin pruning roses here in Austin (zone 8). To prepare, Rayford Clayton Reddell suggests that we defoliate the rose to encourage the growth of new eyes (from which new roses will grow). With the roses defoliated, it is also easier to see how the rose should be pruned and a good time to spray them.

This idea makes a lot of sense in Austin. Almost none of my roses have lost their leaves from last year. These leaves are tattered, bug-eaten, and in the case of a couple of roses, beginning to suffer from black spot and mildew.
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Dr. Leda Horticulture, aka Elizabeth Churchill, is a rosarian who worked for eight years at nurseries in the San Francisco Bay Area. She recently retired and moved to a beautiful old Victorian in southern Louisiana. If she told you how much room she has for new roses, you would hate her.

February 2nd, 2002
Dr. Leda’s Rose Tips

Words of humor and wisdom from Elizabeth Churchill.