Friday, April 18, 2014


This is the final segment in my series on plants that look good all winter. Even here in zone 9 Texas, not EVERY plant stays green and vibrant through the winter. So...I've gone through my garden to pick out 
the best of the best for anyone who wants to build a year round cottage garden along the 
Texas coast or in warmer regions of the world. (Names are below the images)
Large photo: Agave x 'Mr. Ripple' (good down to 5F)
Far left bottom: Texas Sage aka Barometer bush (Leucophyllum frutescens)
Bottom middle: Native wire grass/wire sedge
Bottom right: Peter's Purple Monarda or bee balm (natural hybrid that doesn't die of powdery mildew!)
Bottom corner: Silver Mediterranean Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis cerifera)
Top right: Kentucky Colonel Spearmint (already mentioned)
Middle Right: Creeping Rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis prostratus)

Large image: Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria)
Bottom left: Bright Lights Swiss Chard
Middle bottom: Agave toumeyana (already mentioned earlier)
Right bottom: Chocolate mint (Mentha x piperita f. citratata 'Chocolate')
Bottom corner: Azure germander (Teucrium fruticans)
Top right: Zexmenia hispida (exeptional Texas native...drought tolerant)
Middle right: Our cat 'Bear' trying out the catmint
Bottom right: Tea hyssop (not a hyssop but great little herb)
                          Summer                                                                         Winter

So there you have it. Of course, adding seasonal flowers to your foundation plants is what cottage gardening is all about. So remember to space out your larger plants to leave room for the flowers.
All for now. I've got to get ready for Spring!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


This is part 2 of a series on 50 plants that look good in winter. These all live in my garden here in Houston, Texas. If you live along the Texas coast, these are plants that will win you over for their toughness and beauty.
Names are below the photographs.
Left: Agave bovicornuta (It's good down to 25 degrees, but after that cover it)
Top right: Native sedge (has leaves that look like green wires)
Middle right: Texas rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) This is one of my very favorites for a low wall.
Bottom left: Agave toumeyana (my best guess)

Left side top of photo: Agave bracteosa (Squid agave...very cold tolerant)
Left side bottom of photo: small-leaf Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) The small leaf version is tougher than the larger leaf version
Right top: Buddleia davidii 'Nanho blue' has beautiful silvery foliage along with gorgeous blooms. It's rare that a buddleia does well in Houston, but this in now its third season!
Right bottom: Cape daisy (Euryops pectinatus) Blooms all year long if it feels like it. Stays green even with a light freeze.

Top left: Artemesia ludoviciana 'Silver Queen' (reported to be a Texas native)
Middle left: Agave salmiana var. ferox (As hardy as A. americana)
Bottom left: Native sedge (probably Carex texensis but not certain)
Right photo: Aloe saponaria 

Left photo: Variegated Yucca (Yucca gloriosa variegata or Y. aloifolia..not certain) shown with two agaves
Top right: Korean velvet grass (Zoysia tenuifolia)
Bottom right: Berggarten sage (Salvia officinalis)

Large photo: Aechmea bromeliad 'Burgandy' with Sago palm in background
Top right (top 2 photos): Aloe species (unknown but different from A. sapponaria)
Bottom left: Red mountain ice plant (Delosperma floribundum)
Bottom middle: Agave funkiana 'Fatal Attraction'
Bottom right: Antique miniature rose 'Rouletii' (very tough...introduced prior to 1818!)

Top right: Yucca gloriosa (bluish foliage)
Top right: Yucca elephantipes
Bottom left: Flapjack plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) Not real good with cold, so don't chance it and take it in when the weather gets below freezing)
Bottom right: Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissuma)

Well, that's it for this second round. Hope you found it helpful! Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

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