Pfluger Bridge Plants Replaced – Thank you Leaf Landscape Supply!
Last month someone stole several plants from our adopted bed on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. Sadly, these sort of things happen in public gardening spaces.
When Cathy, the Manager of Leaf Landscape Supply North, heard the story, she arranged for Leaf to donate several plants as replacements. The new plants went into the planting bed over President’s Day weekend.
Texas Superstar® Plants and “Bling”
Leaf’s donation includes several Texas Superstar® plants and a few flats of annuals to give the bed a pop of color. You can see the entire list here. The Brazilian Sky Flower, Duranta erecta, steals the show with its small orange berries. Birds love these berries as tasty snacks so it’s a treat to see them still hanging on the plant.
Two flats of Viola cornuta ‘Penny™’ will keep blooming until the heat arrives and provide for a little “bling” among the greenery. The Penny™ Pansy series is especially suitable for southern gardens because its vigorous roots allow it to tolerate a little heat and thwart the occasional cold snap. We’ll probably leave them in the bed until they can be replaced with a summer annual.
The creeping phlox, Phlox subulata ‘Scarlet Flame’ adds even more color. Phlox can be a great addition to the garden if it receives enough irrigation. It’s growing amid the Silver Ponyfoot, Dichondra argentea. The bright pink blooms provide a nice contrast to the Silver foliage of the ponyfoot.
Another Texas Superstar® plant, Trailing Lantana, Lantana montevidensis, adds delicate lavender blooms to the planting bed. These pair nicely with the blues from the remaining ‘Mystic Spires’ and the three ‘Indigo Spires’ that Leaf Landscape Nursery donated. Both of these saliva are varieties of Salvia longispicata x farinacea. They are tender perennials in the Austin Area and require more irrigation than some other salvias. We’re testing them at Pfluger Bridge to see if the waterway creates a microclimate to protect them from cold.
Handling Spurge Comes With Risk
Three Euphoribia rigida, sometimes called Gopher Spurge, complement the existing plants. This spurge is native to the Mediterranean region. It grows upright two feet tall with blue-green leaves spiraling down the stem. Sulfur yellow bracts surround the tiny green spring flowers. In the late fall the foliage may bronze in cooler weather. The stems exude a milky sap when cut or bruised which can irritate skin and eyes. Our plant thief must know this.
Meet the Team
It’s a dirty job but these Travis County Master Gardeners are up for it. The new plants donated by Leaf Landscape Supply found new homes thanks to Wendi, Linda, and Shanna. They and eleven more gardeners share duties to tend the garden bed all year. In addition to taking care of plants, they also take time to answer gardening questions and explain what they are doing. If you have gardening questions of your own, feel free to reach out to our Master Gardener Help Desk.