Thursday, January 24, 2019

Austin Fling Induced Plant Lust

While i think i would happily take entire gardens out of Austin and bring them home, there were several plants that we saw that might be more realistic to get at home. As i'm planning out what i want to in the garden in 2019, i went back and looked at what caught my attention in Austin. Below is a list of the things i now really really want... degrees of practicality aside.

First of - smoke bush. I saw this (both the green and purple form) in a large number of gardens.
those smoke puffs!
They should do fine here, but i've already killed one. Maybe it's time to try again?

Next hesperaloe funifera - also seen in multiple gardens, and most of them in bloom!
at Lady Bird Johnson center
I actually already have one of these, but now i want more... they look so great, especially the bloom stalks against the sky.

This next one (also from Lady Bird Johnson) I have no idea what it is. I may have asked on Instagram, so maybe someone answered already?
those green bloom stalks are cool!
this next one i have also, although it does not look like this... Dicondra argentea (Silver Ponyfoot).
ground cover at the library
We saw this everywhere in Austin, and it looked so good. It must like Austin much more than the desert. I wonder if there's a good alternative. I would also take all the other plants in that picture, please and thank you.

This next plant was actually for sale - Muhlenbergia dumosa at The Natural Gardener
Unfortunately, gallon pots don't fit in my carry on.
Why can't i find bamboo muhly locally?

Not a plant, but also at The Natural Gardener - these beautiful glass chimes.
so pretty...
And they would last approximately 10 seconds in our wind. Sigh. This is why we can't have nice things. Maybe if i hung them against a wall?

Back to plants - several gardens had these pineapple guave (acca sellowiana) - gorgeous flowers and leaves, and it even makes fruit!
Given how wet these are - this must be from Mirador!
it looks good dry too!
I'm pretty sure they could survive in the desert, even if they didn't fruit... Now, I just have to track one down...

This next one, several bloggers asked about. It was a salvia (gigantica?) but with the most amazing azure-y colored blooms.
Close up
This one is in Pam's garden.
When asked, all Austin gardeners claimed not to know what it was, and just said it was "passed along".  Perhaps a conspiracy to keep it for themselves!

Lucinda's garden had the same pretty salvia, along with a non-plant resident that i wouldn't mind -
cute Sancho - waiting to be admired
While my neighbors cats will sometimes come into my garden, they are not nearly as friendly or calm as Sancho!

This plant is one I've written about before - piper auritum. I actually got my own little cutting.
From Margi McClurgs garden
I'm trying to figure out where mine should go - it sounds like it could take over, and i recall Julie Clark from Stronger than Dirt saying it comes up everywhere. The lack of water (and shade) here should help, but i probably don't just want to let it loose willy nilly...

There was one rose at Kirk Moring's garden that for some reason really wanted to come home with me - Rosa 'Livin Easy":

the foliage and color and scent was amazing!
This one i was actually able to track down, and now gets to live in the front garden. Let's hope its happy!

There were so many more plants and ideas and things i learned during the Austin Fling that I'm sure i could make this post even longer, but I'll stop now. But if i find all these, maybe i'll go back and look through all the pictures I look for some more unique plants to find. This may have been my first fling, but if they are all this inspiring, hopefully there will be many more to go to!


  1. You'll have to report back on the Piper auritum. I saw the plant for sale (in large pots) at a Santa Barbara nursery some time ago (prior to the Fling) but, even though the grower claimed it has low water needs, I backed off on it. However, I did plant a smoke bush a little more than a year ago - the jury's still out on it.

    1. ha! the report is... that it died. I couldn't find the right combination of water and enough sun but not too much. I still have one cutting left that i'm going to try again in the spring. And then i'll look for it again. I've learned not to give up until i kill the same plant at least 3-4 times. :)

  2. Hope someone ID's that greeny flowered number for you -I don't even remember seeing at all. I'll bet you can grow Acca, a couple hundred years ago when I worked at the garden center in San Diego we sold it all the time to inland gardeners. I know inland is not desert --but in the right spot ?

    1. I will have to try! I haven't found the plants anywhere yet, but i think they should work in the right spot. Sometimes our winters get too cold... but it's still worth a try!

  3. I've got that piper going in my garden now too! Nice big leaves...


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