out what is growing in Ann Marie's garden, located in Austin, Texas
large plant is sometimes called Coral Datura. It is a tropical shrub
that normally blooms in the fall, but thanks to the mild winter, is now
blanketed with pale, pink, pendulous trumpets. Normal winter care
involves covering the base of the plant with a quilt on the coldest nights,
but this year's warm temperatures kept the plant growing and full of leaves
though the year. It is easily propagated by rooting sections of the
garden also features a number of Daturas. The large white trumpets
of Datura inoxia provide evening entertainment as we lounge by the
pool and wait for the blossoms to open. Wait, don't look away, it
might open! (Hint: there is a whiff of it's intoxicatingly
sweet, lemony fragrance immediately before the blossom springs open)
The first white Datura blossom was seen on April 26th. There are
also double purple and yellow datura plants that haven't yet begun to flower.
A warning to parents of young children: The daturas are highly toxic,
you may want to wait a while to grow them.
native, Gaura lindheimeri, has delicate white flowers that rise
above the plant like little moths flitting in the twilight. Although
it has no noticeable scent, it lends an air of enchantment to the goodnight
garden. Gaura is hardy to zone 5 and blooms from spring to fall,
pruning spent blooms increases flower production. A pink form is
also available commercially.
moonlight visit to this portion of Ann Marie's garden is guaranteed to
relax and bring sweet dreams. Located near the pool, these sweet
scented flowers reflect the moonlight and have a cooling effect on hot,
O'Clocks are another mainstay of the goodnight garden. They reseed
themselves in Texas so once upon a time Ann Marie planted a packet and
they now live happily ever after. To have a shimmer of reflected
moonlight in the garden Ann Marie has selected for only white flowering
four o'clocks, other colors have been ruthlessly pulled out and composted.
front perennial border is growing and even has flowers! The Paul
Neyron Rose and Phalaenopsis Rose are both in bloom. The yarrow is
just beginning to open its pink clusters of blossoms and the Salvia superba
'Rose Queen' has spikes of, well, rosy blooms. Three compact abelia
bushes were added recently with the hope that their fragrant, tubular blossoms
will attract swallowtail butterflies. In April, the Paul Neyron Rose
was attacked by the dreaded aphids, but ladybug larva marched to the rescue
and in no time at all the aphids were gone and the larva were fat.
Now there is an army of ladybugs patrolling the garden. Compare photos
from March 1, 1998 with those taken
on May 1, 1998.