This Texas Lilac Vitex has really grown since last year, and that’s after quite a bit of pruning this past winter. But the Black and Blue Sage and the Gaura are just now beginning to bloom after a long cooler-than-usual spring. The flowering perennials may not be as bodacious as last year, because I chose not to add compost this spring. Last year the garden and newly prepped beds created monster plants that had a difficult time staying healthy during the long hot summer. Smaller plants have a better chance enduring the heat without succumbing to disease.
Black and Blue Sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’), an herbaceous perennial that will bloom consistently April through the first frost, has been a big attraction for bees and butterflies. I have read that it’s also a hummingbird favorite, though I have yet to see any. The leaves and stems when crushed or broken have a wonderful scent. Now if I can only train my dogs not to charge through it on their way to check out noisy attractions in the alley.
Texas Lilac Vitex. Sometimes called the Chaste Tree, this specimen is really a shrub and not a tree, but over time it can be pruned into a tree-like form and be quite spectacular when in bloom. I’ve been told to allow a few more years of growth to happen before breaking out the clippers. Though the Vitex isn’t native to North America, it has naturalized and thrives in our hot and dry Texan environment.
Surrounding the Vitex are wands of white to pink flowers called White Gaura or Whirling Butterflies, and the silver gray foliage belongs to the Powis castle artemisia. Currently the artemisia is trying to swallow up the Gaura, and I’m continually cutting it back to allow the Gaura more breathing room.
A longtime dream has finally come true. Thank you Michael Parkey and Hadden Landscaping for the best looking backyard ever! Today the copper path lights are being installed, so you will not see them in this post’s photos. Don’t worry, I will be doing a photoshoot of them sometime in the near future. Except for the front gates, everything has been completed and is now ready for drive by viewings, and don’t be surprised if you spy me on my back screen porch sipping a cocktail and enjoying the view.
Note: You can click on each photo for a much larger version.