prowling the plant nurseries in fall

A startling sight at a local nursery this week was Dalea frutescens in roaring, five-alarm bloom, a Texas native that endures extreme heat and drought, then explodes with flowers in fall. Imagine this Black Dalea with muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris, and the shocking band of red violet they would paint on a landscape in fall. I’d probably have to include some agaves, too, silvery-blue ones like Agave ‘Silver Surfer.’

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Very similar in color to the muhly grass I photographed earlier in the week, another Texas native.
Maybe I could sneak in a couple dalea with the muhly grass in the wild flower garden downtown, guerilla style, for an experiment.
(How’s that for a “borrowed landscape?”)

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I’ve always had a soft spot for members of the pea family.

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We’re always warned by designers not to do all our plant shopping in spring, or risk ending up with a spring-loaded garden that stalls out by late June, but I could easily get in as much trouble shopping in fall.

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5 Responses to prowling the plant nurseries in fall

  1. Scott Weber says:

    That is a gorgeous plant! I actually have the opposite problem…I love all the plants that look good in fall…so, especially for the first few years, I had a very bare spring garden!

  2. Kris P says:

    I HAVE gotten into trouble with my fall plant shopping. I haven’t tallied up the receipts (largely because I’m afraid to) but I’m sure I’ve already out-distanced my spring expenditures. I blame that big empty space created when we removed a large section of lawn on one side of the house. In any case, if I had any notion of which nursery was offering that Dalea, I’d probably be there tomorrow…

  3. Denise says:

    @Scott, sometimes one garden can’t do it all!
    @Kris, this dalea was at an Armstrong’s. And I’ll just whisper here that if you’re one of the many interested in Digiplexis (digitalis X isoplexis) ‘Illumination Flame,’ Rogers got some gallons of those in. They’re on the ground, circling a table, easy to miss, but the leaves caught my eye, bigger than a typical foxglove. Annie’s Annuals sold out of their stock in two days…

  4. Denise says:

    Kim, I hope you try it. I’ve got the little prairie dalea, D. purpurea, to look forward to next year. And I finally brought in what I consider your signature plant, Crambe maritima, so lots to look forward to!

  5. Kris P says:

    Drat! I was at Rogers on Saturday and completely missed the Digiplexis.

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