The Texas Garden in February

Thanks Leap Year, for letting me squeak this post in. Appreciate it.

It’s been fairly limited as gardening goes so far this month. The weather is mild, the backyard is still ripped up, and the leaves are finally starting to fall off the red oak in the front yard. Said yard also needs to be cut. The weeds in the back corner are JUST interspersed enough with some red poppies that are coming in to prevent weeding, and there are lots of seed packets sitting on my desk.

The larkspur that reseeded are coming in nicely, and range between 3″ and 6″ tall.

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GROW MY PRETTY, GROW! And don’t be pink.

Here’s what they looked like last year

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Larkspur in spring of 2019

You know the place they seem to have seeded the most readily though? Was it the nice garden bed that was prepared for them and that their seeds were scattered evenly on? Heck no. It was in the cracks of the neighbor’s asphalt driveway like the big jerks they are. Now larkspur are notorious for being difficult to transplant, but we had a full week of rain recently with one non-rainy day right in the middle; perfect transplanting weather, so I gave it a shot anyway.

I prepared a couple of spots in the back yard by turning the soil and putting a whole heaping lot of sand in the top layer. I then went, and as carefully as I could, pulled the larkspur seedlings out of the driveway. Since it had been raining they came right up- though I did snap the best looking one because of course I did.

I put them in and continue to water them any day it doesn’t rain. My husband took over this chore while I while I was away this week at a conference and there haven’t been ANY losses so far- so fingers crossed.

I didn’t do snapdragons this year in the weird open patch in the front driveway bed that is sunny in the spring but changes to fairly heavy shade in the summer- and that I can’t ever figure out what to grow there successfully.

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Snapdragons (and nicotinia) from 2019

Instead of snapdragons, this year I grew calendulas (first seen in the flower arrangement here. These got planted on a day I took off work in the fall, though for the life of me I can’t remember the date. I’m thinking it was October.

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I got all the orange ones they had, but most of them were of yellow. 

My only issue with them is they turned out to be dwarf calendulas and I was hoping for the standard taller guys. Sometimes you just get what you get and you don’t throw a fit; I was lucky to find them in six packs at all. These were giant six packs- each part is almost as big as a 4″ square pot. I don’t grow anything from actual six packs aside from the occasional viola for pots. I don’t know if I’ll run into the same issues I had with the snapdragons- that they’ll flower so long that by the time I pull them out it will be too late to plant something else… we’ll have to see. But for now they’re more than earning their keep.

The orange are my favorite. They look so delicate but really they’re quite hardy and proving to be pretty drought tolerant because I forget them a lot when I’m watering.

The rose my husband got me for Valentine’s Day has bloomed- check this out:

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Ebb Tide- wowza. This one is about 4″ across and has an awesome fragrance

He also got me (as just because gifts) a Julia Child (yellow) and a Twilight Zone which was the purple rose that I originally saw last August and was what made me decide the garden needed a purple rose to begin with. Now, Twilight Zone was bred from Ebb Tide- so we’ll be able to compare them soon. As it stands now Twilight Zone has some pretty big shoes to fill- though my understanding is that there are slight differences in the colors.

In other news the wheat is coming in nicely- and I just realized I’ve never actually talked about that project.

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Our backyard wheat and Lacey the cat

So my husband took a group of students (he’s a teacher) to Washington DC this summer and brought me back a gift- a spike of wheat. (also called a head) from Mt. Vernon. I loved this SO immensely.

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Artist’s recreation of this moment because I can’t find the picture of it. The wheat looked exactly like that though.

So I did some research and I separated the seeds and I planted them in September and I’m THRILLED at the idea of all of this. Turns out you can grind small amounts of flour in a coffee grinder and I can’t wait to make the world’s smallest loaf of bread.

We call it Washington’s Wheat, and we’ll just have to see if the same wheat that works in Virginia will work in Texas. Word on the street is we’ll be able to harvest around 6-7 months after planting.

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Three mystery colored foxgloves

Since the backyard is still ripped up for the patio install most things back there are in pots right now and will stay that way for a while yet. I’ve never done foxgloves before, but saw that an Austin blogger I read, Rock Rose grows them so figured I’d give them a shot as something new that I can play around with in the back while we work on the hardscape. (HIGHLY recommend checking out that blog- she has an awesome style- English and Texas aesthetic married together.)

So for now that’s it- the husband and I are back to working on the patio today- wish us luck!

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “The Texas Garden in February

  1. I can’t wait for the colour to reach from your yard in Texas to mine on Vancouver Island. It looks so pleasantly warm there and I’d love to have some of that warmth here. Your flowers look wonderful!

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