Saturday, April 17, 2010


Every year, about this time, I find myself pulling out loads of bluebonnets and it's not because they have finished blooming. The problem is that with so many seeding every year they just about take over the garden. They look fine to start with but then when the plant takes on a diameter of 4' and I can't walk for a sea of blue, I know it's time for them to go to the compost pile. These are not the bluebonnets growing outside the walls but those inside.

This was the scene in the English garden just a couple of weeks ago, the paths completely covered.

I feel so much better now that most of them are gone. We can now walk down the path, although we can no longer go through the gate. The nest we saw last week, hidden inside the crossvine, on the gate and just that is just visible at the back, has a cardinal sitting on eggs. So no opening the gate for a few weeks, and no removing the vine which David has been begging me to do since last year. he wants to paint the gate.

I pulled out bluebonnets in the sunken garden too. After all I couldn't risk damage to my Wright's skullcap, back for the fourth year. I can't believe how this one has grown into such a perfect mound. It is not in flower yet but I love it just as it is.

It isn't just bluebonnets either. In a 3" space at the steps leading down to the vegetable garden there is a selection of blanket flowers, larkspur, California poppies, love in a mist and two kinds of sedum. In the end I'll pull them out but for now I have other places on which I need to concentrate.

I am constantly pulling out poppies, dahlberg daisy, verbena and blanket flowers along the pathway past the veggie beds. But for all the extra work and grumbling I love having plants growing along the pathways and in the gravel. Some I will let stay to maturity and they will encourage pollinators and add interest to the stone and gravel. Mother nature often plants just the right plant in the perfect spot. In fact I have decided that most of the time she plants and I try to perfect.

As to bluebonnet seeds for next year. I have plenty of those. These ones growing along the new granite pathway at the back will be saved to spread into other areas of the garden.

Here is one plant mother nature has not yet planted in my garden and I wish she would. This morning, I spotted this sweet smelling, Amsonia tubiflora, growing wild on an undeveloped lot nearby. I sent the image to Joseph Marcus at the Wildflower Center who was able to identify it for me. He was very excited because he said this was growing at the Eastern end of its range and he had never seen the flower. I have the blue amsonia growing here but have never, ever seen this white one before. What a surprise.


  1. I also like that mound of Wright's skullcap. I'd love to see it in bloom, too.

    Those bluebonnets are pretty, but I like how your garden looks after being cleaned up, too. And what a nice surprise to find the Amsonia!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. You're right, sometimes gardening means being cruel in the interests of the long term. Such beautiful flowers though.

  3. The flowers obviously thrive in yor lovely garden. It is beautiful!

  4. Carol- I don't think it will be long. Others in the garden are already blooming with their little purple flowers.
    Ruth- I continues my cruel spell today with more pulling out. I need to write myself a note not to let this happen next year. Too much work.
    Robin- Thanks. It really is a floriferous spring.

  5. Hi RR.

    I cannot believe how many bluebonnets you have had! Your compost bins must be brimming. It does feel good to have a 'clear-out' after a plant onslaught. I always breath a sigh of relief after I pull out the amaranth at the end of the year...Ahhh, room to walk again.

    I just got through reading your cruise blog, I never noticed it before, I Really enjoyed it. I felt like I had had a mini holiday myself after reading it. I loved Santorini as well, oh I just love Greece period. I bought a sweater/jumper from there and it STILL smells like sheep, and that winding road IS lethal!

    That Amsonia tubiflora is a stunner, almost jasmine like petals.

    Cheers RR.

  6. How lovely to find your blog - and such amazing photos! I will definitely be checking in with you!

  7. When that amsonia quits blooming, you should go and dig it up and move it to your garden. Really, you should. You know when it gets developed it will be scraped off the face of the earth, gone forever. Maybe David could slip over in the dark and dig it up. I know I would.

  8. Finding your site made my day. Thanks.

  9. Your garden never ceases to amaze.
    Your hard work, certainly shows.


  10. Wow, how exciting about that amsonia! I bought some of the blue ones last year but so far, no blooms. I like it when a native plant expert gets excited about a find. :-)

    I can't believe the before and after photos of your garden. I can see why you have to pull up the beautiful bluebonnets. That skullcap is so perfect looking. I look forward to seeing its blooms.

  11. hello what a wonderful blog! I am shocked and speechless .... many roses, poppies is a sweet soul



  12. I love the purple skullcap in bloom, and now that I see your green mound, I like it out of bloom too. Cleaning up is a lot of work, but it's very rewarding, isn't it? You see immediate results.