Saturday, August 7, 2010


This post is like Survivor TV: many of the plants start out with high hopes of 'making it' to that final A+++ rating, but first they have to survive. I tried out a LOT of new plants since I redid the front beds. The front beds are in a brutal situation: near the street, on a slope, lots of sun, sandy loam soil, and that occasional dog that decides to mark his territory. I also do not fertilize except with compost once a year. In other words, they'll live the life of a wildflower.
I also did NOT want to water these plants endlessly, so here goes:

The white angelonia did not do well (the other colors of Angelonia did splendidly), the cilantro bolted after a week, the Ruby Star got eaten and decided it did not like it here, and the creeping thyme, well, here's the picture:

Creeping thyme got the dreaded two thumbs way down award. It will be a long time before I try Thyme again.
(I was hoping for more Thyme in the garden, guess not..ha ha)


I really was hoping for something with small, delicate foliage and lots of endless blooms to soften the hard edges of the agaves. Angelonia is FANTASTIC for this purpose. I highly recommend this plant for Houston gardens.  The dahlberg daisy is a sweet little plant and a native to boot. The salvia is an old friend along with the sage. The cleome is taller, and currently suffering a bit from the high temps. Still, it gets a thumbs up.


These plants have beautiful foliage, are compact, and add interest to the dry, rock garden.
Most varieties of lavender cannot stand our high humidity, but Goodwin Creek is the exception. I LOVE this plant. The white licorice plant is from South Africa, and has a low habit with nice, silver foliage. It can recover from a wilted condition in an hour.  The rosemary is another old favorite, but it comes in so many varieties that it can be very confusing. This one has a larger leaf and used for culinary purposes. I like it.
And finally, the ultimate award goes to blue daze (Evolvulus) It blooms endlessly, honey bees LOVE IT, it takes drought well, it stays low, and has a small, intertwining habit. I wish the flowers would last all day, but they fade by noon.
Blue Daze and Angelonia are great together.
I have a few other wonderful plants that passed with flying colors, but that will have to wait 'til next week.
BLUE DAZE is the winner!


  1. I've been thinking about trying Angelonia and now I will! I love Blue Daze. Such a good plant for hanging baskets or flower beds. I really liked reading this blog post, it was very informative. Keep doing more plant reviews!

  2. Interesting to hear what's done well for you. The Cilantro is more of a cool season crop, so that doesn't surprise me. I think what may do creeping varieties of Thyme in is not getting to cool down at night. I've had some luck with them growing in partial shade. You also might try Golden Oregano and see how it fares. I'm impressed that you've kept Goodwin's Creek going: Fernleaf Lavender is the only one that thrives in my garden.

    I love how you raked the gravel in the Peace Garden!

  3. Hi David....informative and interesting post.
    I am surprised the creeping thyme did not do well.
    I have used thyme to run through my forms a beautiful mat and puts all those pretty blooms among the grass during the summer. Bees adore it. Perhaps you may try again at some point?

    You have some great winners though.......should look great as they establish themselves.

    Tku for dropping by sanctuary. So many emailed me and ask me to think again, so I did.

    You can now find me at

    Drop by if you fancy a chat.......

  4. Mary...always a pleasure to help! Tell me how it works out. Angelonia is still on sale here in Houston.
    Cindy...thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to try that oregano next time. BTW: I visited your blog and saw your new title photo. It's totally a walking into a dream. the way from England and you found us! So nice to hear you are going on with your wonderful blog. I've already visited. Your first commentor loved your garden and " chaotic planting". Wow, that's the perfect fit for my gaden as well. Now I know what to call it. :-)

  5. Houston here also! My blue daze was planted last year, died during the heavy freeze, and it came back! It's currently blooming heavily and blooms all season long! Thymes do well for me too, I'm not sure what happened to yours, too much water?


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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