Sunday, June 12, 2016

Workhorse Plants in My Garden

Kimberly Fern

In order for a plant to thrive in my garden it can not be

high maintenance or faint of heart.

When the temperature reaches 100 and

above here in South Texas, these workhorses hang in there and

are very forgiving.

Kimberly Queen Fern (above)

I buy my Kimberly fern at WalMart each spring, and a healthy, large plant costs about $12.00.

Boston fern don’t like me ,

and although I like Asparagus fern, I made the mistake of

using them in flower beds where they are a prickly mess.



Are you tired of hearing me talk about my love of bougainvillea?

When they bloom, they are simply glorious,

and the hotter the sun the better.

Airplane Plant

Airplane Plant

Airplane plants don’t mind a good drenching with a water hose,

which makes them especially easy to keep. 

We also get to celebrate together when they start having

babies that can be re-planted. 



My fondness for Portulaca has grown over the years because of where I usually buy it-

at the flea market.

There is usually a grandmotherly aged vendor who is selling small cuttings planted in coffee cans.

I get to ask her simple questions about her plants in Spanish, and I leave there smiling.



Begonias are deceiving. They look fragile- and to a certain degree they are-

but they will bloom with the rest of my workhorses as long as I do my part.

They thrive in partial shade, and they like to be groomed periodically.

White Plumbago

White Plumbago

I first wrote about white Plumbago here,

where I referred to it as my form of a perennial border gardening girdle.

I enjoy it for its uniqueness (because white is hard to find in my area) and because it

thrives on neglect.


Do you have workhorses in your garden that you can not live without?


Brenda Pruitt said...

I have several "work horses" I guess. Purslane and mint and lemon balm and most any herb. Hey, I love your new design!

Laurie said...

Your workhorses are so pretty. I really need to try a couple of yours....the bougainvillea for one. But for me, my geraniums just keep on giving.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your work horse flowers are beautiful. I love Kimberly Queen ferns they are so tough and forgiving. I used to bring mine in for the winter, but it is just too large a plant for my indoor plant space. It makes me sad to wee it finally succumb to the cold weather here, but it hangs in there until everything else was gone. Kimberly's are good investments for lots of luscious, cool greenness for months on end, and they don't shed and shatter off leaves like the Boston ferns do.

Pat said...

Although I live on the Prairie, I, too need plants that will take extreme heat and sun.
I found a fern at our Lowe's Garden Center last year called African Queen!
That beauty lasted into January!
I'll try some of your suggested plants!
thank you!

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

I grew blue plumbago for a number of years and enjoyed it so much. I also enjoy ferns in my shadier areas. It gets so flaming hot here it remains a challenge come July.

Theresa said...

I love ferns on my country front porch:). Enjoy your beautiful blooms dear Laura! Hugs

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I just am in awe of your bougainvillea. When we lived in Southern California (18 months) I grew one and I was so happy! I have never had luck with them again.
Love ferns too and they love me.
Great collection of working plants!
Happy Monday,

Lincuden Cottage Life said...

Hi Laura! I love the bougainvillea! We have cold summer nights here in New Brunswick Canada, so I need plant that can handle the cold! ;) Hosta's do well here! ;) Have a great week!

Michelle said...

Ferns are also a workhorse for me! You have some beautiful plants!

Elizabethd said...

White plumbago is most unusual, I've only ever seen blue.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

My Rare One and I have planted begonias and portulaca in the past, and loved them both. We had an elderly friend (now passed on, alas) who always swore by begonias as the best plants!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Beautiful flowers! I grew up in Southern California and the bougainvillea was gorgeous, just like yours! What a lovely fern, and amazing that it holds up in those temperatures!

I like plumbago too, didn't realize it came in white!

My work horses would be purple coneflower, hollyhocks, feverfew to name a few.

RachelD said...


I dropped in for the first time in seems-ages---I've been so wrapped up in this new kitchen and Grands and a book, I've neglected my Happies and Go-Tos online.

And this is a bit of serendipity---I just called Chris over to look at your fern, and gave him her name---he's on his way to Sam's for some cucumbers and paper products, and he'll happily come home with one of these (knowing him, if he has to drive to every store in town). This week is my dear neighbor's 90th birthday, and we've had a tradition of a patio Strawberry Breakfast with her for the past fifteen years or so. This will make a lovely addition, for we've sadly neglected that wonderful space out there for a couple of years.

And with a Harry Potter Birthday Party coming up in a few weeks, well, this was just what I wanted for a bit more GREEN to the scene.

Hope you're all well way down there---we've been up to 90 a couple of days, but the last two are rainy and cooler. Best from the Heartland,


Cecilia said...

Oh, I had no idea your fern wasn't a Boston fern. Lantana is a workhorse plant for me. It loves full sun and will bloom and bloom all summer. The butterflies adore it! Then there's Four o'Clocks and Cannas. Tough, hard to kill but spread like crazy. Good thing their blooms are pretty! My bougainvilleas will only bloom if I leave them in the greenhouse. I guess they like the heat! Thanks for sharing your workhorse plants. They are beautiful!

Pondside said...

Ferns thrive here in the Pacific Northwest. They stand up to our chilly and rainy winters and then somehow survive the summer drought. I would love to have a bougainvillea, but don't know if they grow here. Perhaps it's worth a try!

Eilis said...

You are right - we must be twins. I love many of the same plants as you for the same reasons. I didn't know why sometimes ferns have done well for me and other times they haven't. It must be the Boston Fern vs. Queen Fern. I don't have any airplane plants at the moment. We always called them "spider" plants. I used to plant all the little ones and use them for vacation Bible school projects and prizes at the church bazaar. I need to get me one...

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I remeber seeng your Kimberly fern in an earlier post, Laura, and remarking that I love them, too. I love many of your same favorites, but have never tried the plumbago, and it's so lovely. I did try a bougainvillea, but it didn't get enough sun where I had it. For the first time, I'm trying an oak leaf hydrangea, and I hope it works! said...

I appreciate the info on heat loving low maintenance plants, my gardening skills are iffy at best and Alabama is almost as hot as Texas!

AJ said...

What a beautiful garden. I would love to have an outdoor space, but since we're living that apartment life, we're slowly bringing the outdoors in. Just out of curiosity... any difference between a spider and an airplane plant, or is that a same plant by a different name sort of thing?

Lisa said...

You are a wealth of gardening info and I count on you for it! I love bougainvillea and the begonias remind me of my grandmother who always planted several varieties in her garden. I'm going to pi this so I'll remember the others.;-)

xinex said...

Your flowers look so healthy and so pretty. I loce all your containers too...Christine

Nikki said...

I love the added story about the grandmotherly lady that you buy your portulaca from.
:) gwingal


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