Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

You are my sunshine…

…my only sunshine…you make me happy…SO HAPPY!  Helllloooo yellow and hello spring in full swing baby!Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage)Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa) is blooming and looking happy in my full shade for half the year /full sun for half the year bed from hell.  This plant has been EXTREMELY adaptable – what a gem!  The only negative I could say is that during the months this bed is in full shade it gets a little leggy – but after it finishes blooming (so pretty soon)  I cut it back fairly hard and it grows back quickly and compact again until the shady months return.  This truly is a bizarre and incredible plant – the other interesting thing of note is that it grows after I cut it back beautifully with the “normal size” leaves and in compact form.  It remains that way until this bed goes back into entire shade in the fall.  At this time the leaves get fatter and it still remains crazy healthy and only gets leggy before it starts to bloom again in the spring.  Then I cut it back, and the leaves grow “normal size” again.  And the cycle repeats.  It is so neat to see this plant take on such different looks- It has been a staple in this bed!  And believe me, I have tried several things in this bed and failed miserably.  But I think I finally have it figured out!!!!

so dainty!In this same garden bed Dahlberg daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba) has also demonstrated it is an incredibly adaptable plant.  Normally grown as an annual in Central Texas, this year was mild and it remained green and put on a lot of growth throughout the fall/winter months in full shade.  Parts of this bed are still currently in the shade and even those ones are flowering. dalberg daisy living mulchI use dahlberg daisy as a living mulch in this bed with a few ‘Angelina’ sedum as well.  My hope is that if (when) the dahlberg daisies freeze back, the sedum, being evergreen, will take its place.  The daisies give the sedum a little shelter from the sun in the 6 months this bed is SCORCHED.   That is the plan anyways.  Although this year I never got to find out as it never did freeze back, and instead it is already a  fluffy green carpet adorned with cheery yellow daisies.  Dahlberg daisy seeds out easily as well, I have several little seedlings so my guess (although I don’t know from personal experience yet) is that even if the daisies did freeze back, their seeds would have quickly replaced themselves.  BEAUTIFUL!

Does anyone out there have a similar bed from hell?  What has worked for you?

Note:  You would normally not cut Jerusalem Sage back hard after it blooms like I do.  I only cut it back because I want to get rid of the legginess and enjoy its compact, beautiful, silvery-green foliage for the 6 months this bed gets full sun.


  1. Your Jerusalum Sage looks so beautiful. I had one planted at our former house. It grew in a location where it got only the afternoon sun. I love the look of the large, green and fuzzy leaves.
    The Dalberg Daisies look so cute and cheerful! I just planted some of these, so it is good to know that they reseed. I really like them – the more the better! Happy Friday:)

    • Me too – the big leaves are very attractive. And oh yes…expect TONS of reseeding of the dahlberg daisies. I agree with your assessment of that too! Cheers Steph, hope you are having a lovely weekend. -xericstyle

  2. I love that cycle of exploration, trying to find the right anser over time. Looking for the right plant partners that can take what you give them and find a way to thrive.

    • I love it…and I hate it….but it is necessary. Mostly I love it! … though it can be annoying ;) – Thanks for sharing Charlie! -xericstyle

  3. Salma

    the dahlberg is so pretty- wonder if it’ll survive up here in deer central? does it like part shade, or full sun?

    • Hey… I read it is “deer resistant” – although in your area, it’ll probably get eaten. Your deer are nuts. I would certainly try one or two small plants, a $4 investment to test. Mine have done incredible in full sun and full shade. I would give them a try. Like I said though, just one or two spread out in different areas on your property to start to avoid losing too much $. Jerusalem sage I have heard over and over the deer won’t touch. Try that for sure. -xericstyle

  4. LuLu

    I believe I have an Xylosma Congestrum tree in the back of my Mom’s house where I now live. I love the tree and its architecture. It has been there a long time. The new leaves are a lovely color. I have been trying to find out what it is off and on for about 1 yr. I am sure it is the Xylosma. However, new shoots coming up from a root or out of the trunk have 1″ long thorns on them. Not one person has mentioned the thorns. Does your “tender” growth have thorns? The new growth up in the tree has none…it is just the new sprouts.

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