Early summer flowers popping, deer fawning Leave a comment

May 20, 2024

Before the stifling heat dome settles over Texas later this week from now until October, I’ve been racing from one garden to the next across Austin and beyond, from San Antonio to Blanco to Dallas. Fun? Absolutely! But also, my gosh, I have a ton of pictures to winnow and edit and round up into blog posts. Even though garden-tour season in Texas is now pretty much over until fall, I’ll be posting about my recent excursions for the next several weeks. But first, a quick look ’round my own garden as it transitions from spring into summer.

Let’s start on the shady side of the back garden, where purple oxalis is looking pretty, whether in turquoise…

…or dark-gray pots. Purple oxalis is one of my favorite shade plants for containers. Just look at those gorgeous, two-tone leaves and delicate lilac flowers. It’s worth elevating.

My cacti are flowering too. I repotted this mammillaria this spring, and it rewarded me with a growth spurt and showy orange flowers.


Good old-fashioned daylilies are flowering too.

‘Best of Friends’ started first…

…followed by ‘Wilson’s Yellow’. Both of these daylilies came with me, 16 years ago, from my old garden.

Ursula the variegated whale’s tongue agave isn’t flowering — agaves bloom just once, right before they die — but she’s looking like a big, blue rose streaked with moonlight yellow. Lookin’ good, Ursula!

Purple coneflowers are blooming with abandon. A metal flower in the background makes a silver echo.

More hot pink appears on the sunny deck, where another mammillaria cactus is putting on a show.

Those satin, carnation-pink petals with yellow centers are attention grabbing.

In the shady side garden, a few society garlic are flowering. But there’s something else to notice over here. See it? I startled a young fawn hidden in the grasses, and it popped up and dashed a few yards before looking back.

I stopped my pruning, took a couple of quick pics, and retreated, leaving it to settle in again until its mother returned for it.

Fawn public service announcement

Not everyone knows about fawns, as I recently learned from new-to-Austin neighbors. For those who don’t know, a doe (a female deer) will hide its newborn fawn (sometimes twins) in shrubbery, grasses, or even on a lawn, and then go off to browse for the day. Fawns know to stay put and will hide for hours until their mother returns. They may move around a little, but they’re OK. Eventually their mother will return to nurse. So if you see a fawn lying in your yard, alone and helpless, please leave it alone and let it wait for its mother’s return. If you’re worried that it’s been left too long, call Austin Wildlife Rescue to get their opinion before taking any action.

I’ll leave you with one more cutie spotted in a neighbor’s driveway on a recent morning walk. Soon the fawns will be big enough to stay with their mothers all day, and they’ll be visible all over the neighborhood. But for now they’re a bit like Easter eggs, and you never know when you’ll startle one out of hiding in your garden, giving you a little heart attack in the process.

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Digging Deeper

June 1-2: Take a self-guided, 2-day tour of ponds and gardens in and around Austin on the annual Austin Pond and Garden Tour, held 6/1 and 6/2, 9 am to 5 pm. Tickets are $20 to $25.

Come learn about gardening and design at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, authors, and gardeners 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 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Stay tuned for more info!

All material © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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