I have been scouring the local nurseries of late with an expression that I am convinced must resemble “Mad-Eye Moody”… I have been reading tags, mumbling and grumbling under my breath at the prices while ignoring the side-way glances from nursery staff. Oh yes, better not get in my way, I was on a mission, hunting down a new vine to cover up my pink jasmine vines that died in our freezes last winter (see previous post about sweeping things under the carpet).
I have found one that is new to me, but already…
As an added bonus, the color of it’s flowers and funky seeds work perfectly with the color scheme of our house:
That is a post oak on the right. Post oaks are so difficult to transplant that very few nurseries will even stock them, oh and they hate to be tampered with: Roy Bedichek: http://www.bedichek.org/roy/ a noted nature writer quotes General Beck, who was in charge of landscaping at UT for years…“The more you trim a post oak, the unhealthier it becomes”.
The vine I settled on is Yellow Butterfly Vine.
It is the seed pods that give this plant its name (but it does attract butterflies as well) . During summer, chartreuse ‘wings’ unfold on the seed pods that resemble butterflies.
The papery pods turn from tan to brown as they mature, and along with the contrasting yellow flowers, it offers the illusion of two, no even three different plants! The pods can also be harvested and planted, which is a good thing as I plan to propagate a few more of these vines against this tall fence over time. In mild winters, the vine will retain its glossy green foliage, but if we have another cold winter it will die back and re-sprout in spring…no big deal,
as the other great news is that it is a very fast grower and incredibly heat tolerant, being virtually impervious to the baking sun and also reflected heat – great attributes for survival here in Central Texas, interestingly, it also grows in partial shade…I cannot believe I do not see this vine more often!
The plant recently was renamed; it previously was classified as Stigmaphyllon ciliatum, I would love to hear from anyone who has any experience with this.
Staying with the same color palette, a quick update on my ahem, swelling tomatillos…
The paper lanterns just get better looking and more fall-festive as the year draws on.
…and as the actress said to the Bishop…I squeeze my lanterns daily, just to see how they are progressing, right now there is still a gap between the pepper and the husk, but eventually the pepper will grow to split this protective paper shell. I could have inserted a few double entendres here, but I managed to keep my Benny Hill demon at bay.
The skeletal structure on the spine of this fatsia japonica caught my attention today, one of my favorite plants (can you tell) for deep shade.
Staying on a sculptural slant I planted out a couple of my pups from my agave that bloomed a couple of years back in my hell-strip early this year: http://www.eastsidepatch.com/2008/06/gardening-in-a-furnace/
And with absolutely no attention from me, they are now starting to take on the same swirling good-looks as their mother…very satisfying to see the next generation take root, grow and prosper.
Live long and prosper my young agaves. This one will look great in maturity, set against the dark backdrop of this large hell-strip sago palm.
The snaking seedpods on this year’s mammoth amaranths are larger than usual for this time of year. It looks like this year will be a good seed harvest.
In contrast, the tiny jewels are only now just forming on my jewels of opar plants. I am now up to eight new plants from the seeds that I spread all around the Patch last year.
The camouflage on this camera-shy Texas spiny lizard was perfect against the trunk of this evergreen wisteria.
Gaura just starting to put on a fall show…
…and I will not tell you as to why these two unsavory characters were lurking around on our street this week, trust me…you really do not want to know! Brrr (x10)
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