Crossvine trumpeting spring’s arrival – Digging Leave a comment

March 12, 2023

Of all the vines that grow well with little care in Central Texas, ‘Tangerine Beauty’ crossvine (Bignonia capreolata ‘Tangerine Beauty’) may be my favorite.

This spring-flowering beauty blushes with abundant orange blossoms with golden centers, and the vine is semi-evergreen in winter too.

It has always bloomed, even in the shade of all our trees. But one upside of last month’s ice storm that broke so many large limbs is more sun, and the crossvine has responded to it with a better-than-ever flowering.

Purple spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis), a self sowing — i.e., weedy — spring beauty, is in full bloom too. Every year it pops up in new places, dotting its purple flowers and daylily-like foliage throughout the shady areas of my garden. I don’t think I planted any of these clumps along a stone stair to the lower garden. They planted themselves perfectly.

The flowers coordinate nicely with the ‘Tangerine Beauty’ crossvine and blueberry-colored tuteur from TerraTrellis. To reduce the self-sowing a little, I’ll whack back the flowering stems once they start going to seed. But in the meantime, the bees adore them, and I’m happy to feed them.

But it’s not all about flowers in my garden. I’m appreciating the spherical, blue-green foliage of beaked yucca (Yucca rostrata) just as much.

The stock-tank planter is still rough-looking as I wait for the agave to recover and for silver ponyfoot to unify the surface. But I like having the tank here again and look forward to tinkering with the plantings as it fills in.

‘Wonderful’ pomegranate leafing out with orange-tinged foliage

‘Traveller’ weeping redbud just starting to flower. That’s a loropetalum flowering hot-pink to the left.

View under another beaked yucca’s fringe. You can see how very sunny the circle garden is now, post-ice storm.

I always have orange accents, like these spray-painted metal chairs on the deck. The orange contrasts nicely with cool blues. Another example: a whale’s tongue agave pup in a terracotta pot. Even the soap aloe (Aloe maculata) is getting in on it, with the increased sun deepening its coloring.

Happy spring, y’all!

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Digging Deeper

Make plans to attend the Budding Out Plant Sale & Festival on March 18 at the John Fairey Garden in Hempstead, TX. Rare and distinctive plants will be offered, as well as art, ceramics, jewelry, food, drink, music, and other entertainment for the whole family. Members have early access and get in free. Non-member admission is $5. Children 12 and under are free.

Shop for native Texas plants at the Wildflower Center’s spring Native Plant Sale. Held on Fridays through Sundays, March 24 to May 7, from 9 am to 1 pm. The first weekend is just for Wildflower Center members, so join to enjoy this perk, plus get free admission all year and more.

Tour season kicks off with the new Austin Home’s Great Outdoors Tour on March 25 from 11 am to 4 pm. Visit 7 designer landscapes for $20, and gather ideas for your own outdoor living space.

Experience the Surreal Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, an enchanting neon-art display throughout the gardens, with food and drink, music and dancing, surreal performers, and interactive art sculptures. Surreal costumes encouraged! 25% of event proceeds benefit the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. Runs April 6 (VIP Night), April 7-8, and April 13-15, from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.

Add to your succulent collection at the Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Spring Show & Sale on April 15 and 16, from 10 am to 5 pm, at Zilker Botanical Garden. Come enjoy the plant show, shop for unique plants and pottery, and participate in a silent auction and raffles. Free with paid admission to Zilker Botanical Garden.

Tour 9 designer landscapes on the 2023 Austin Outdoor Living Tour on May 6. Designers and builders will be on hand to answer your questions. Cost is $33.85 for adults and $17.85 for kids aged 12 to 17. For safety, no one under 12 years of age except for carried infants.

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. Season 7 starts in August. Stay tuned for the lineup!

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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