Crossvine trumpeting spring’s arrival – Digging

March 12, 2023

Of all the vines that grow well in Central Texas with little care, ‘Tangerine Beauty’ Crossvine (Bignonia capriolata ‘Tangerine Beauty’) might be my favourite.

This spring-flowering beauty turns red with lots of orange flowers with golden centers, and the vine is semi-evergreen even in winter.

It has always bloomed, even in the shade of all our trees. But one upside to last month’s ice storm that broke many large limbs is more sun, and crossvine has responded with better-than-ever blooms.

Purple spiderwort (Western Tradescantia), a self-sowing — that is, weeding — spring beauty, in full bloom. Each year it pops up in new places, spreading its purple flowers and daylight-like leaves across the shady areas of my garden. I don’t think I ever planted any of these bunches along the stone steps in the lower garden. They planted themselves perfectly.

Terratrellis ‘Tangerine Beauty’ flowers coordinate beautifully with crossvines and blueberry-colored tutors. To reduce self-sowing a bit, I’ll cut back the flower stalks once they start to go to seed. But in the meantime, the bees adore them, and I’m happy to feed them.

But it’s not all about flowers in my garden. I admire the rounded, blue-green leaves of the beaked yucca (Yucca rostrata) is sufficient.

The stock-tank planter is still rough-looking as I wait for the agave to recover and the silver ponyfoot to assemble the surface. But I love having the tank here again and look forward to tinkering with the plantings as it fills up.

‘Amazing’ pomegranate leaves with orange-tinged leaves

‘Traveller’ weeping red buds are just beginning to bloom. This is the hot-pink of a loropetalum flower on the left.

Look down the bank of another lipped yucca. You can see how sunny the circle garden is now after the snow storm.

I always have orange accents, like these spray-painted metal chairs on the deck. Orange contrasts beautifully with cool blues. Another example: a whale tongue agave dog in a terracotta pot. Even soap aloe (Spotted Aloe) entering it, its color deepening with increasing sun.

Happy spring, everyone!

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dig deep

Plan to join Budding Plant Sale and Festival March 18 at John Fairy Gardens in Hempstead, TX. There will be rare and unique plants, as well as art, ceramics, jewelry, food, drink, music and other entertainment for the whole family. Members have early access and get free. Non-member admission is $5. Children under 12 are free.

Shop for native Texas plants At the Wildflower Center’s Spring Native Plant Sale. Held Friday through Sunday, March 24 through May 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first weekend is for Wildflower Center members only, so joining To enjoy this facility, and get free admission throughout the year and much more.

Tour season kicks off with the Great Outdoors Tour of the new Austin home March 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check out 7 designer landscapes for $20 and get ideas for your own outdoor living space.

Experience a surreal garden at the Zilkar Botanical Garden, with an enchanting neon-art display throughout the park, food and drink, music and dance, surreal performers and interactive art sculptures. Surreal costumes are encouraged! 25% of event proceeds benefit the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. April 6 (VIP Night), April 7-8 and April 13-15 runs from 6:30pm to 11pm.

Add your juicy collection to Austin Cactus and Succulent Society Spring Show and Sale April 15 and 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Zilker Botanical Gardens. Come enjoy the plant show, shop for unique plants and pottery, and participate in a silent auction and raffle. Free with payment at Zilker Botanical Garden.

Tour 9 designer landscapes on the 2023 Austin Outdoor Living Tour May 6. Designers and manufacturers will be on hand to answer your questions. Cost is $33.85 for adults and $17.85 for children ages 12 to 17. For safety, no one under the age of 12 is to be carried except children.

Learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I host private talks with inspiring designers, landscape architects, and writers several times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Just click on this link and ask to be added. Season 7 begins in August. Stay tuned for the lineup!

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Excavation. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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