Archive for April, 2009

Scientific Name: Mentha spicata var. piperita
Description: Perennial Groundcover
Partial shade/full sun
Ideal container plant
Culinary Uses:
*Taste like peppermint crisp
*Use in chocolate cake, chocolate icing
*Deserts, chocolate mousse, chocolate drinks, ice cream
*Tea, ice-tea, fruit juiceParts Used:
LeavesMedicinal Uses:
Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-flatulent, stimulant
Indigestion, stomach upset, heartburn, cleanse liver, promotes bile flow, gargle and mouthwash – gum infections, tea – eye wash – remove dust and grit
Chew a sprig – sweeten breath

Aztec™ Verbena Vegetative
Scientific Name: Verbena x hybrida
Common Name: Verbena
Hardiness Degree: 32°F (0.0°C)
Blooming Season: Spring, Summer, Autumn
Plant Habit: Mound, Trailing
Characteristics: Attract Bees, Attracts Butterfly, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Attracts Hummingbird, Heat Tolerant, Low Maintenance
Water: Light
Fertilize: Once a week
Spacing: 12-16″ (30.5-40.6cm)
Height: 8-10″ (20.3-25.4cm)
Width: 12-18″ (30.5-45.7cm)
Exposure: Sun
General Information: Bright and colorful, these trailing Aztec verbena thrive in heat and sun. Their attractive foliage will stay lush and healthy all summer.
Idea & Tips: Avoid overhead watering.

Salvia greggii – Wild Thing (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE – right most plant pictured. Mine has not started full bloom yet)

Salvia greggii is a popular, usually evergreen sub-shrub growing natively in rocky soils in Central, West and South Texas, and Mexico. It has small, dull pale green, glandular, aromatic leaves. The normally red-flowered species also has white and pink forms and many named cultivars with slightly larger or smaller, rounder or more elongate leaves. There are also numerous named hybrids with Salvia microphylla and other species, which are often referred to as “Salvia greggii types”. It is valued for its adaptability to garden soils, its very long blooming season and as a magnet for hummingbirds. Salvia greggii is usually not winter hardy in Wichita Falls and the High Plains of Texas. In a garden setting, prune back to 4 inches in late winter and again by one half in August to maintain a tidy shape, or allow to grow and spread or sprawl for a more natural appearance, with occasional pruning of old wood.
Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
Exposure: sunpartial sun
Flower Color: red and many others
Blooming Period: spring, summer, fall
Fruit Characteristics: nutlets
Height: 3 feet
Width: 3 feet
Plant Character: semievergreen
Heat Tolerance: high
Water Requirements:
Soil Requirements: alkalineadaptable

‘Morden’s Gleam’ is a seedless, non-invasive Loosestrife (Lythrum virgatum). It grows to 3 feet tall and in July and August bears beautiful tall spikes of pinkish-purple flowers prized for the beauty of their reflection on water. Its cousin, Purple Loosestrife, is banned in many states, including Missouri, because a single plant produces as many as 2 million seeds, making it highly invasive and destructive in wetlands. This variety is said to be okay but when in contact with wild loosestrife it is said to propogate… I don’t know? Thoughts? Rip it out now before it becomes a noxious threat to all those decent and holy?

My holly bush is dying from a scale infestation… I don’t want to buy chemicals that will contaminate the soil, so I think I am going to rip it out and buy some more Salvia. As long as they don’t ban my favorite plant because some punk kids are apparently smoking it these days.
Oh, and we collected those rocks from the lake the last time we went to my Aunt Pam’s house! Maybe I’ll plant some Grace Ward (see below) around them.
My cute little frog statue and some Dwarf Coreopsis that the rolly pollies have munched.

I plan on doing a picture diary of the growth of these thyme seeds… Day 5.
Misti I gave your seeds to my Aunts as a present, they loved it! And I love your new banner/labels!

Pink Cloud Beauty Bush: Kolkwitzia amabilis
Mature Height: 8 to 10 feet
Mature Spread: 6 to 8 feet
Soil Type: Well drained
Moisture: Widely adaptable
Mature Form: Arching
Growth Rate: Medium
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Flower Color: Pink
Fall Color: Red/Orange
Foliage Color Green
Zones 4-8
I love these bushes! We have them just to the right of our front door… they have the cutest pink bell shaped flowers that attract all sorts of fun things to watch. IE: honeybees, hummingbirds.

Mandevilla – Cultivar: Ruby Star
Family: Apocynaceae
Height: 10 ft. to 15 ft.
Plant Category: climbers
Foliage Characteristics: medium leaves
Foliage Color: dark green, green
Flower Characteristics: large showy
Flower Color: pinks, reds, whites,
Bloomtime Range: Late Spring to Early Fall
USDA Hardiness Zone: 10 to 11 (Meaning this baby is going to die come November. Fort Worth is zone 7b-8a) Maybe I’ll try Bougainvillea next year instead. Or some Coral Honeysuckle.
Light Range: Part Shade to Sun
pH Range: 5.5 to 6.5
Soil Range: Some Sand to Clay Loam
Water Range: Normal to Moist

Dianthus… these are great… you would have to be REALLY mean to them to kill ’em!
Lithodora – Grace Ward
Height: 0.17 ft. to 0.25 ft.Width: 1.5 ft. to 2 ft. (LOW GROWING)
Plant Category: ground covers, shrubs
Plant Characteristics: low maintenance
Foliage Characteristics: small leaves, evergreen,
Foliage Color: dark green
Tolerances: deer, drought, pollution, slope
Bloomtime Range: Late Spring to Early Summer
USDA Hardiness Zone: 6 to 8
Light Range: Sun to Full Sun
Soil Range: Mostly Sand to Clay Loam
Water Range: Dry to Normal
This is one of the finest rock garden plants, I am in love, and on my way to buy more! It prefers a sunny location. Deep blue, small, funnel-shaped flowers renew themselves all summer long. Evergreen leaves are narrow, up to an inch long. Both stems and foliage are hairy. Performs best in loose, well-drained, acidic soil with ample summer water.

Organic Gardening

Posted: April 23, 2009 in nature, texas

A year or two ago my Aunt Pam gave Peter and I this amazing organic gardening book. Only recently have I been enjoying it to the fullest extent. You see… in my apartment everything I tried to plant on my balcony either died a horrible death from drought (IE: me not watering) or various other neglectful gardening type situations. I had a row of impatiens in a planter that actually went from a wholesome pretty pink to a yellow lab experiment. Meaning: Peter and I watched the ants that had made a bed in the pot cultivate aphids (that had also taken over the plant) to suck the sweet nectar from there butts. Look it up, this stuff really happens!

So you could see why I would be hesitant to even try and pretend to have a green thumb.

After the apartment we moved into Peter’s parents house in Ft Worth that backed up to the Trinity River… complete with mammoth cockroaches and mutant mosquitoes, PLUS a heaping helping of landscaping previously prepared by Peter’s garden savvy parents. I think that, to a degree, if landscaping is done properly, there is not a whole lot you can do to destroy a healthy adapted site. But if your not down with the stuff that comes with a hardy landscape you will be easily overwhelmed. Growing up in the burbs all you really have to do is mow, and occasionally plant an annual here or there, and trim back the hollies when need be. In the amazon of our Ft Worth backyard I was dealing with fruiting pear trees, crazy opossums, rabid insects, and lurking weirdo neighbors watching an ill equipped girl yielding her soon to be in laws electric hedger.

From there we moved into our Cave Creek house. That was the name of the court… and I don’t think we will ever have a prettier street name. I still love saying it, Cave Creek Ct! Anyway, the family that lived there before us made me so jealous. The garden was the epitome of what I wish I was capable of. Natural stone borders, Texas stepping stones, native Texas flowers, neighbors that told us we better keep the garden as beautiful as they had. I mean, really? I only wish I could have a garden beautiful enough to make new neighbors threaten people!

So here I am. I am actually proud of my garden today. I’m proud of my Grace Ward Lithodora, and my Red Verbenas, I’m proud to have chocolate mint herbs, native lantana and salvia. And I am so proud that I tend to them on a daily basis. I even wish I had this composter that I saw at Target today!

To read more on the author of my new favorite book… click the link below.

Setup Practice – Take One!

Posted: April 8, 2009 in going coastal

Amanda and I got together this past weekend to do a “practice setup” for the Funky Finds Spring Fling craft show. I spent an entire day at my other job… not doing my job, and instead making 100 palm tree gift tags for the show. This may not sound too terribly bad unless you realize that each tag is composed of two different size circles that have to be punched from two different color card stocks, and then the smaller circle is punched with a palm tree punch, AND THEN you put the two pieces together and hole punch through the top center portion of both. But that’s not all folks, then you cut a piece of purple hemp and tie a cow-hitch knot through the tiny hole. 100 TIMES. My theory was, the more I finish at work, the more wine Amanda and I would get to drink later. It’s just too bad that when we got together it was magic and we came up with our setup idea within minutes… and that the said setup would NOT be requiring 100 palm tree tags. Oh well.

I am so excited with the tables! Here’s a sneak peak of what you will see if you come to Will Rogers in Fort Worth on the 25th of April. Everyone got that? FUNKY FINDS SPRING FLING – WILL ROGERS IN FORT WORTH 10am – 6pm ***APRIL 25TH!***