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 April and May Blooming Perennials Here!

The Fairy Miniature Rose

It is important to anchor your perennial garden. In Texas the Fairy miniature rose is a good anchor plant. Many miniature roses in Texas just don’t make it through our summers. Also miniature roses mature to a huge variety of sizes. The Fairy miniature rose is a reliable and dependable rose.

The pink flowered shrub is a Fairy Miniature rose, it is flanked by day lilies.

Water Retaining Pellets and Crystals: Amending Your Soil

It is crucial to fill your soil with organic matter.  I use water retaining pellets and crystals in beds and flower pots.  Texas is in drought conditions from mid-June to early October.  Water retaining pellets are crucial for plants with shallow roots.

Great flower beds always begin with soil amendment, organic matter, water retention pellets, sand sometimes, chemicals to kill seeds sometimes ... unless you live in deep East Texas.

Great flower beds always begin with soil amendment, organic matter, water retention pellets, sand sometimes, chemicals to kill seeds sometimes … unless you live in deep East Texas.

Great flower beds always begin with soil amendment, organic matter, water retention pellets, sand sometimes, chemicals to kill seeds sometimes ...

The “organic matter” in this truck is cow manure and is great.  It is being tilled in with water retention pellets, sand and seed killer chemicals  … unless you live in deep East Texas you should amend your soil.

Lilac Vitex Tree a Texas SuperStar (TM)

Texas Lilac Vitex Tree First Week of June
Texas Lilac Vitex Tree is the foundation for many perennials.  At six foot per year growth this tree can quickly turn your sunny perennial garden to a shade perennial garden.  Or cut it back each year for a shrub appearance.  It will come roaring back six feet a year.  This is a patented Texas Superstar.

Lavender Vitex Tree Texas Superstar

These Vitex trees are shaped more like shrubs. Cut them down each year and they will return six feet tall the next year. Here you see Vitex anchoring the corner with Barberry shrubs, Knockout Roses and Maiden Grass.  I think this is beautiful!

Texas Liliac Vitex tree read more here …

 Native Texas Plants!

Native Texas plants are hugely popular in Texas.  This begins with trees such as the Desert Willow below, American Agave picture below but all agaves are great, Myrtle Spurge which is the ground cover.  In the background, left image you can see Mealy Blue Sage!

Texas Perennial Gardening and Landscaping Myrtle Spurge

That is myrtle spurge as the ground cover with Desert Willow or Chilopsis linearis.
 Remember the Desert Willow is poisonous and the Chitalpa tree is a better choice.
Read more on the Chitalpa tree here …
Read more on poisonous plants here …
Read more about planting native plants as perennials here …

May Blooming Perennial Garden in Texas


Blooms for Three Seasons in Texas:  The wonderful thing about a Texas Perennial Garden is you can forget about annuals.  It is possible to have something blooming all the time, but it takes preserverance and effort!  Filling in those open spots in the early years with annuals makes the garden colorful and full.
Dianthus - April - Texas Perennial

It is possible to enjoy Dianthus for almost three full months which means Dianthus are perfect competition for the annual pansy.

Read more about Dianthus here …
No More Annuals:  With a good stand of Dianthus you can forget about pansies.  A Clematis vine looks delicate but the right vine, suited for Texas, is incredibly hardy year after year.  Simple roses can bloom all summer.

Soaker Hoses

Soaker hoses add water during the crucial two to three year period it takes to establish perennials.  I have used these hoses and recommend them.

Purple Shamrock

Purple Shamrocks are not grown for their flowers but for their beautiful leaves.  There are various colors and shades of purple.

The green shrub planted in the corners is a spreading Yew.

Read more about the Purple Shamrock varieties here.

Also read more about poisonous plants…

Purple shamrocks are claimed to be poisonous to cats and dogs.

Coincidentally, speaking of poisonous plants the Yew is considered to be poisonous as well.  A small point but I did eat the leaves of the Yew when young with no ill effect.

Read more about the Yew shrub here …

  Purple Shamrock Texas Perennial with Spreading Yew
In the planter above you see spreading yew in the corners with a Japanese Maple in the center.  The Purple Shamrock is an annual that will return every year.

In Texas, because of our heat, most summer annuals have no more than a three to four month life span at best.  With a little more effort, and virtually no more expense you can have a blooming garden that comes back year after year.

Chocolate Flower

Chocolate Daisy a Texas perennial with chocolate fragrance

Chocolate Daisy a Texas perennial.

Chocolate Flower is a common name for Berlandiera lyrata, a species of flowering plants also known as Chocolate Daisy or Lyreleaf Greeneyes. This plant belongs to the family Asteraceae and grows from North-Central to South-western areas of the United states, and in Northern and Southern Mexico. This flower is distinguished by its sweet chocolate-like scent.
Moist Soil Two Year Establishment Period:  Moist soil is necessary for two year establishment period.  Do not rely on your sprinkler system for the first two years for your perennials to become established.   I use a lightweight fabric type soaker hose and a timer.  The rubber hoses blow out too often for me.

Lady Bugs for Aphid Control

 Lady Bugs are natural aphid eaters.  Well, actually their larvae devour aphids.  Aphids arrive dehydrated.  Make sure your garden is moist, has aphids for the hungry Lady Bugs, and it is night time.  With all those factors in place, release your Lady Bugs in the evening into your wet garden with aphids for supper!

Mealy Blue Sage

Mealy Blue Sage planted in front of a hedge of Rainbow Home Run Roses.
Mealy Blue Sage - Texas Perennial Planted in Front of Rainbow Home Run Roses

Blue Sage Texas Perennila

Established Mealy Blue Sage, year two.

 Midnight Blue Salvia

 Midnight Blue Salvia planted in front of Canna Lillies.


Artemesia, a gray frothy perennial which can get woody and leggy is planted in front of Autumn Salvia
Artemesia Daisy in the foreground with the Autumn Salvia below is hot pink and with a Katy Girl Pink Shrub Rose in the far background.  That’s Englishman’s Daisy (Englemania Pyrestinia) the yellow daisy in the background which is a natural Texas plant. That is an absolute must have for a perennial garden.


 Clematis in Texas

 Clematis is extremely hardy. Give it enough sun and a good trellis and it will reward you season after season.  That is Henryi Clematis — very good for Texas year after year.

Jackmanii clematis with climbing rose.

Jackmanii clematis with climbing rose.

Read more about Clematis in Texas here …

Cross Vine - Texas Flowering Vine

Cross Vine April and may blooming vine in Texas related to the Trumpet Vine and found in the wild. Extreme hardy.


 Iris – the transition bulb. In late April and early May Iris fill in the void.  (More here on the triple purple threat!)  My grandmother loved a purple iris.  It is still my favorite flower.
  Texas Iris
 Texas April Garden with Foxglove and Lupine

Lupine in Texas

 An Early Perennial Garden – An April Garden in Texas
Come back more on this charming garden soon!!
 Foxglove and Lupine do well in Texas! (More Here)


Foxglove in Texas with Lupine


Foxglove in Texas with Lupine


 Poppies Do Well in Texas!  (More Here)
 Poppies also grow with the wildflowers.  Technically, they are not perennials but reseed themselves.

Poppies with Wildflowers

Texas Wild Flowers


Lemon Coral Sedum Texas Perennial.  Most sedums do well in Texas and are incredibly easy to root.

My favorite sedum is Basket of Gold.  Here it is seen with miniature climbing roses.  It blooms in may.

Dallas Landscaping and Gardening Basket of Gold Sedum Lee Ann Torrans
Lemon Coral Sedum
Colorful native plants for Texas landscaping design.

Colorful native plants for Texas landscaping design.  Cone flowers, with sedums in the fore, myrtle spurge to the left, Rudbekia in the back and in the far back right you can see Monks Cap just beginning to bloom.  That is a Desert Willow tree, poisonous but beautiful.


Sedum: Autumn Joy


Sedum: Autumn Joy


Really this is a lily bulb but it spreads through the years and is striking with roses and perennials.  This is a truly carefree show of color.  Little or no worries with these lilies.

Blue Pin Cushion

Purple Pin Cushion Texas Perennial Scabiosa

 Classic Sundial Perennial Garden

Texas summer perennial garden is coming on strong! It is important to know which perennials bloom simultaneously. Big Lambs Ear


Big Lambs Ear and Tansy – Match Made in Heaven.  Early April.  (More Here)

Tansy and Lambs Ear Match Made in Heaven Tansy_Large_Lambsear_Lee_Torrans-2

Daisies in Texas

Daisies return stronger each year.  Mix with wild flowers!!! These are OxEye Daisies on the left and perennials and Englishman’s Daisy on the right

Yellow_Daisy_Perennial_Texas_Lee_Ann_Torrans-3 . Ox Eye Daisies and Hot Pink Salvia Texas Perennials

Yellow Daisies (more here)


Daisies and Wildflowers in Texas


Texas Primrose

Primrose grows naturally in Texas and thrives in your garden as well.  Small, discrete primrose.  Not showy but a strong, resilient workhorse.


Primrose for landscaping with native Texas plants. Blooms early April / late March.

Primrose for landscaping with native Texas plants. Blooms early April / late March.

Primrose for landscaping with native Texas plants. Blooms early April / late March.

Primrose for landscaping with native Texas plants. Blooms early April / late March.

Primrose a Texas Perennial Sun or Shade


Pocket Perennial Garden

In small perennial garden with Rudbekia and Summer Phlox

Top Texas Perennials

Victoria Phlox is a Texas Superstar developed by Texas A&M.  That is the purple phlox above.  Read more here.

Summer Super Perennial Garden

What’s Blooming in Early June in Texas Rudbekia, Mexican Petunia, Crepe Myrtle, Home Run Rose, Oleander, Elephant Ears, Thyme, Spider Wort!

Add crepe myrtle, shrub size or full size, a gigantic oleander (give it lots of room for 12 foot in height and diameter), add a summer shrub rose and you will have summer color that is heat hardy, water thrifty and you returns every year. Be sure to add a hot poker or two and some perennial grasses. Spider Wort is really just a shorter version of Mexican Petunia.  Use both but Mexican Petunia is much easier to root and grow.  It can be invasive but it is so very easy in Texas.

Radescantia Virginiana Named for John Tradescant, the royal gardener of King Charles I of England. In 1637 his son brought the plant from North America back to England where it became a favorite as a garden exotic; the species name attests to its origin in the colony of Virginia.

Spider Wort and Mexican Petunia

Spider Wort and Mexican Petunia also known as Ruella  (below) are cousins, with Spider Wort being the tiny one, usually only a foot high, while Mexican Petunia can grow to heights of five feet. They bloom at the same time, with Rudbekia. These are three perennials to plant together.  The Mexican Petunia is very easy to root.  Break off a few branches.  Place in a glass jar of water, change the water every day and watch the little roots grow.  Then plant!

Spider_Wort Spider_Wort

Mexican Petunia  This is a perennial petunia. It can grow to five feet tall and become invasive. Still, I love it. It roots so easily. Simply break off about two feet, strip the leaves and stick it in damp potting soil. I purchase love pots for a dollar at the Dollar Store, fill them with Dollar Store potting soil, stick three branches in, place them on the breeze way with three to four hours of good morning sun and in a few months and I have a lovely gift. May to June is a good time to do this, before it gets too hot.


Also known as Ruella., Perennial Purple Petunia with artemeisa.

Artemesia with Ruella also known as Mexican Petunia and Perennial Petunia.

The Reliable Hardy Rock Rose

The Rock Rose I love this sweet, little self sufficient plant that grows naturally in Texas.  It is easy to root and a reliable, wonderful perennial.  Break off a branch, strip down a few leaves and stick it in a pot.  It will root!  The Texas rock rose  is officially known as pavonia lasiopetala.   That is autumn sage to the left of the Rock Rose.  The two work well together.

The Rock Rose a Texas Perennial

Lantana – The Old Fashioned Giant One

Lantana – Fundamental to any Texas Garden – This is Full Size and can grow to four feet in height

Lantana Lantana

That’s Tansy growing in front of the Lantana. Lantana roots very easily. Break of about six inches, strip the leaves half way down and stick it in a moist pot. More lantana!

Read more about Lantana here …

Texas Green Shade Loving Perennials

In Texas the classic shade loving combination includes:

  • Cast Iron Plants (Aspidistra)
  • Ginger
  • Mahonia
  • Ferns – Wood and Leather Leaf
  • Hydrangea
  • Hostas
  • Lenten Rose
  • Purple Shamrock

Lenten Rose April Bloom Purple Shamrock April Bloomer

Lenten Rose and Purple Shamrock are shade perennials in Texas with April Blooms.  More Purple Shamrock Here.

Woodland Iris Garden


Ginger is a shade loving perennial in north Texas. In south Texas where the freeze is lighter ginger grow much larger than in north Texas.

Ginger-Texas Ginger-Texas

Cast Iron Plant or Aspidistra

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra) – will survive anything. It’s just not Texas without a cast iron plant (or Louisiana). You see these all over New Orleans, where they are a bit more lush because of the humidity and more temperate climate. However, they do well in Texas in absolute shade.

Aspidistra Cast Iron Plant Texas Shade Perennial



Mahonia is really a shrub but it works well with this group.  Mahonia and leather leaf fern are the classic combination.  Consider Mahonia.  It is leggy but combining it with Leather Leaf ferns solves that problem.

Mahonia and Leather Leaf Fern

Read more about Mahonia here …

Wood Fern

Always a shade winner.  Wood Fern with Lorapetalum


Read more about ferns in Texas here …


Painted Japanese Sword Fern

Woodland Perennials


Hostas in Texas do well!
Classic fern / hosta combination.
Variegated Hydrangea
Hostas, hydrangeas and ferns prefer the same soil and shade.  There are natural companions.Read more about incorporating Japanese Maples with your perennials.  Recommended are the rounded dwarfs, particularly those that are wider than tall.  Green Leafed Japanese Maples are beautiful in a shade garden as well.  (More Here)
Green Lace Leaf Japanese Maple
The Texas Lilac Vitex Tree was developed for Texas by Texas A&M Don’t Miss this Great Blooming Tree


The purple flowering shrub, lorapetalum, has stopped blooming and turned a bit green in the Texas summer.  You can see it in the third image.  The early Texas perennial garden is beginning to go to seed. However the Texas summer perennial garden is coming on strong!  It is important to know which perennial.




Rosemary and Crimson Skullcap
 Rosemary taking front stage as a hedge.  

Read more about Rosemary here.

 Spring Phlox (More on Phlox Here)
Yellow Columbine blooms with Spring Phlox

Texas Gold Columbine

(More Here)  Developed by Texas A&M for Texas

  Texas_Columbine-4 Texas Gold Columbine Perennial
Texas Gold Columbine and Julia Child rose with accent colors has always been a good combination until Rose Rosette disease.  Crape myrtles bloom too late.  If you lose your early roses consider a combination of Texas Gold Columbine and shrub, miniature crapes.  I know, I know … but what to do?

These roses in this bed are victims of Rose Rosette disease.  So many gardens are impacted.

 The yellow rose above is a well pruned Julia Child.

Julia Child Yellow Rose

has leathery leaves and is extremely hardy.Early bloomer as well for the early spring garden.  (More Here )

Julia-Child-Texas-Rose-11 Julia_Child_Rosel_Texas_Lee_Ann_Torrans
  Purple Daisy = Osteroposis and other purple perennials here.

Blue Star on the right does best in full sun but will grow in partial shade.  These

Purple Daisy Osterposis   Blue_Star_Lee_Torrans
  Pin_Cushion_Shade_Perennial_Texas_Lee_Ann_Torrans Purple Pin Cushion Texas Perennial Scabiosa
  Purple Pin Cushion Woodland Planting
 Purple Pin Cushion will grow in sun or partial shade.  These are April blooms.   Purple Pin Cushion Shade or Sun Perennial
  Hardy Amaryllis
Hardy Amarillys.  Mealy Blue Sage, Salvia Gregii blooming in the background.  Purple Petunia not yet blooming to the right.

 Mealy Blue Sage Year Two.  Established.

  Hot Pink Autumn Sage - Salvia Gregii

Salvia Gregii:  Multiple shades from deep red to fuscia.


Scarlett Salvia Gregii in Texas

Scarlett Salvia Gregii in Texas

 Aspidistra.  Love it.  Significant perennial if you are a serious gardener.

  Aspidistra Cast Iron Plant Texas Shade Perennial
 The live oak tree is underplanted with Aspidistra also known as the cast iron plant.
Dogwoods with Azaeleas and Phlox

The red ‘bush’ you see to the right at the end of the planting is a Lace Leaf Purple Japanese Maple.

Read more about Japanese Maples Here.

  Dogwood Trees in Texas