En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - March 25, 2012

From: Driftwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Flowers for an August wedding in Driftwood TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

For an August 4th wedding in Driftwood, Texas we want fragrant flowers and wildflowers that we can grow in our garden. We have four raised beds (12 ft. x 6 ft.) in a fenced area in which we've grown vegetables in the past. Now the beds are empty and we want to plant some flowers that will be blooming by the end of July. Note: we have usually had a strong SE wind blowing by mid-afternoon in previous years. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Were you planning to cut the flower for bouquets, or are they to remain in the garden as a backdrop to the ceremony? We ask this because it is about 6 months too late to have wildflowers planted from seed blooming on August 4, unless the wedding date is August 4, 2013. Most of the popular Texas wildflowers are Spring-bloomers, they plant themselves (or are planted by gardeners) in the Fall. The Spring rains (if we get them) allow the seeds to germinate, they grow, bloom and, in the case of annuals, put out seeds and die. Perennials ordinarily do not bloom until the second season for blooming so that puts the date at August 4, 2014. Sorry, we don't make the rules, Nature does.

There is a chance that you might be able to achieve your purpose because you live in Central Texas. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will be having its Spring Plant Sale in April. Our plants will all be native to this area, and many will be blooming or will bloom by August. It wouldn't be nearly as inexpensive as buying seeds in September and planting them, but it's really the only way you are going to get native flowers for your wedding. We are going to go to the Plant Sale list, select on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) and August for bloom time.

Now, full disclosure: Again, this will not be cheap. You will have to measure your space and estimate what you are going to need to cover it. Determine the sun requirements for all parts of the garden and choose plants appropriate to those areas. Make a map so you won't forget which goes where. If you have deer in the area (and you probably do) don't plant that garden. The day after the plants go in, or the morning of the wedding, you will discover nothing but stems; deer loooove fresh tender young flowers. All these plants should go into the ground as quickly as possible and be watered carefully. In other words, you have a big job ahead of you to achieve the "garden in your head."

August-blooming flowers for Central Texas:

Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate daisy)

Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin)

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops)

Conoclinium greggii (Gregg's mistflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo)

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (Texas bluebells)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Tanseyleaf tansyaster)

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

 

From the Image Gallery


Chocolate daisy
Berlandiera lyrata

Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

Berlandier's sundrops
Calylophus berlandieri

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Leavenworth's eryngo
Eryngium leavenworthii

Texas bluebells
Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Maximilian sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

Tahoka daisy
Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Garden instructions from Austin
June 12, 2013 - I'm a beginning gardener putting in some new landscaping in my front yard in north central Austin, TX. The yard faces almost due east, so it gets full sun until early afternoon, when the house's sha...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Purple Heart in Raleigh, NC
December 24, 2014 - I was hoping you could help me with an indoor/outdoor houseplant issue. I have a purple heart, that lives outside in the summers and indoors in the winters. I brought it in a few weeks ago and am no...
view the full question and answer

How to Deal with Leggy Artemisia 'Silver Mound'
October 03, 2015 - I have two Artemisia (I think 'Silver Mound') in full sun in West Austin. They have been happily growing there for the past 10 or so years. Both were hard-hit by last winter's cold weather and did...
view the full question and answer

Flowers or plants for no-sun area in Nova Scotia
March 14, 2009 - What kind of flowers or plants can I plant in my rock garden that gets virtually no sun? I have wasted so much money on plants that were guaranteed to grow.
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center