Shantung maple’s charming flowers – Digging Leave a comment

March 17, 2024

When I decided to experiment with a ‘Fire Dragon’ Shantung maple last April — purchased at Metro Maples during a garden scouting expedition in the Dallas/Fort Worth area — I had no idea it would do this: burst into bloom with starry, acid-yellow flowers.

My little 5-gallon tree, planted last spring, bravely survived the hellish summer of 2023. It didn’t show any remarkable fall color after that ordeal, but perhaps this year…

Meanwhile, I’m charmed by the dainty spring show.

By the way, I just saw Shantung maple for sale at Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery in Cedar Park this weekend.

I’m also soaking up the cottage-core beauty of native spiderwort, which shows off purple and magenta blooms every morning through midday, before closing up tight in the afternoon.

Three colors have appeared in this pretty patch.

Bees love them too.

Speaking of, thirsty bees have been dropping in for a drink from my saucer birdbath on the deck. I hadn’t noticed them doing this last year, even in the summer.

But this spring, I’ve got some thirsty neighbors!

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Digging Deeper

March 30-31: Come see the Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Show at Zilker Botanical Garden on 3/30 and 3/31, from 10 am to 5 pm. Includes a plant show with specimen cacti and succulents, handcrafted pottery, daily silent auction and hourly plant raffles, and expert advice. Admission is included with paid admission to Zilker Garden, $5 to $8 for adults, $3 to $4 for children (under 2 free).

April 6: Come out to Austin’s Mayfield Park on 4/6 for the Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium & Fundraiser, 8:30 to 11 am. This annual benefit for the park includes a raffle, plant sale, and garden speakers.

May 4: Explore “brilliant backyards, perfect pools and pergolas, and outdoor rooms and gardens” on the ATX Outdoor Living Tour on 5/4, 10 am to 3 pm. Landscape architects, designers, and builders will be on hand to answer questions. Tickets are $33.85 for adults, $17.85 for kids age 10-17.

May 11: Save the date for Austin Home’s Great Outdoors Tour on 5/11.

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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