Tuesday, October 18, 2011


What better time to celebrate Native Plant Week in Texas. Now is the time gardeners are thinking about replacing and adding plants to their fall garden. After such a devastating hot, dry summer natives rule the roost.

Each day 5 natives plants and trees have been chosen and today my namesake rock rose, Pavonia lasiopetala, is one of the chosen. I think the original plant in my garden came from a seed. Since then it has appeared each year in various parts of the garden. It blooms all summer and like many, comes into full glory in the fall. Pretty pink flowers open every day. The foliage is always green, seemingly no bugs or diseases. Carefree as you come.

My garden lends itself towards plants seeding themselves, so most of the time they just appear. I don't do anything nor can take credit for much of this. I do pull seeds and scatter them in other places because nature doesn't always put them in the right place.

Where deer are constant visitors the Lindheimer senna, blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum, damianita, Damianita chrysactinia, dahlberg daisy, Thymophylla tenuiloba, lantana, copper canyon daisy, Tagetes limonii, fragrant mistflower, Eupatorium havanense, bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, daisy fleabane, Erigeron annus, Texas sage, Leucophyllum frutescens, rain lilies, Zephyranthes drummondii,   and Salvia leucantha provide color among cactus, agaves, yaupons, vitex, persimmon and oaks.

I am fortunate to be able to garden deer free in many parts of my garden but even here I use a lot of natives in among other adapted plants.

The smaller plants, like daisy fleabane and skull caps make a perfect addition to the sunken rock garden because they remain small and manageable. Even so I they too may need a cut back mid-way through the summer. They will respond by producing a new flush of leaves and flowers.

The purple skull cap, Scutellaria wrightii, is one of my favorites and cross breeding has resulted in several shades of purple and mixtures of purple and white.

Four nerve daisy, Tetraneuris scaposa, is a prolific re-seeder. This one is growing out of a hole in a rock. Quite happily.

Pass along plants, like this flame acanthus, Anisacanthus wrightii, from my friend Bob at Draco gardens, is a winner with the hummingbirds and creates a mass of delicate foliage and flowers by fall. I cut it back hard in the spring to encourage bushiness.

Although the major blooming time for damianita, Chrysactinia mexicana, is spring, a few flowers appear in the fall. Very tolerant of drought conditions and also deer resistant due to its highly aromatic foliage.

Zexmenia, Zexmenia hispida, also deer resistant can be trimmed back to maintain a neat appearance. Even cutting back to the ground doesn't faze this plant.

The little chocolate daisy, Berlandiera lyrata. Why doesn't it reseed? I really wish it would because it is not easy to find.

This year the Salvia leucantha suffered from the lack of rain and relentless heat. It maybe too late for the hummers but is not too late for gardeners to enjoy.
Think native when you go to the nursery this fall. All of our local independent nurseries carry a good selection of plants and seeds to make your garden a native garden.


  1. Great plants! I particularly like the rock rose and the flame acanthus. Also, I love reliable plants that reseed...

  2. Oh, your garden is just magnificent! So many of my own favorites--it's good to see them so beautifully presented.

  3. Nice selection - a front yard with ugly red lava rock over all has so many Chocolate Daisy volunteers! Yet only 1 reseeded here...maybe like pets, if you don't like them, they like you?

    Yes - I hope people buy more native plants and their local nurseries carry them more. Glad to have shopped some at Plants of the Southwest in ABQ last week! Great post.

  4. Great post.
    Love all those natives. The deer here will eat a lot of the ones you have outside your walls. I just have to keep testing and see what works. Of course, right now they're looking for anything they can find to eat.
    It was 36 here this morning. Makes me wonder what the winter might have in store.

  5. Everything looks so pretty. Those little Four Nerves are so cute- love them. I am enjoying this cooler weather- sure you are too!

  6. What a great illustration and explanation of these natives! I look forward to adding more and more natives to my garden.

  7. Lovely natives! I have the senna in the wild, but need to bring it into my garden. So many pretty natives to choose from!

  8. Yes, this was especially a summer for the natives. Here, those prairie plants outperformed almost everything else except tropicals.~~Dee

  9. You've given me lots of ideas for my planting list. And thanks for the tip about when to trim the Flame Acanthus :-)

  10. Oh...what a pretty plant, that Rock Rose!!! I love how you just scatter seeds and plants come! I never have any fortune with that...very beautiful garden design!!!