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Enchanted Part II

Linda has done such a beautiful job teaching us how to bring our gardens indoors. We have several more arrangements to show you. Feast your eyes and learn about the plants that you can grow in your own backyard.


You might think of this arrangement as something akin to the “moody blues”. Drooping, berry laden branches create a somewhat mystical scene captured in this nighttime photo. Aralia and elephant ears leaves lend the right amount of weight needed for balance. FYI…this arrangement is best used in an outdoor setting. Beauty berries inside the house aren’t worth the worry.

Beauty berry growing in the Raincatcher’s courtyard

Grow It, Use It –At Raincatcher’s we are growing Mexican Beauty Berry, commonly known as black beautyberry, in a shaded part of the courtyard that receives some morning sun. It has a sprawling habit with woody, multi-stemmed branches and large, toothed, green foliage. Leaves appear in late April followed by small pinkish-white flowers in July. Late summer and into September the dark mulberry fruit on arching stems makes a dramatic statement in the garden. Wildlife, including a variety of birds, raccoons, squirrels and some rodents, enjoy it as a food source. Master gardeners at Raincatcher’s rush to get berries harvested ahead of the critters so that our jelly making can begin. After making multiple jars, we are sold out for this year.

“A tisket, a tasket, a green and purple basket”. My slightly modified version of this late nineteenth century nursery rhyme was inspired by a trip to the aster bed in the north garden at Raincatcher’s. Just a few snips later a simple, green, ceramic container filled with purple asters served as a perky little centerpiece for the dinner table.

Asters exploding with blossoms in our fall garden at Raincatcher’s

Grow It, Use It – Daisy-like flowers blooming from August until early November are superstars in the fall garden. As other flowers are fading, asters give us their most spectacular performance. It is recommended that potted nursery specimens be planted in a loamy, well-draining soil in full sun sometime in the spring. These fast-growing perennials will be ready to put on a good fall display in their first year.

 The bold strokes of a Russian painting are repeated in a treasured collection of chinoiserie pieces. Mexican Mint Marigold is nestled inside a cherished blue vase from my late grandmother. A delft blue vase brought back from Holland and given to me by my mother holds a small bouquet of fall ageratum. A trip to Istanbul, Turkey yielded this unique hand-painted, glazed vase holding a cluster of small blue flowers. A combination of purple fall asters and orange zinnias draws your eye to similar colors found in the painting. Lastly, while on a trip to the mountains of West Virginia, our visit to a glass-blowers studio resulted in the purchase of this adorable trio of miniature vases. Individual Mexican Mint Marigold blossoms give them a stronger presence.

Blue Ageratum, love it!

Grow It, Use It – Blue Ageratum (Mist Flower, Wild Ageratum) is a vigorous perennial bearing fluffy-looking, bluish-purple flowerheads. It grows in a large stand, reaching 2 to 3 feet. Bloom time is July – October. Sow seeds after last frost. Attracts bees. Orange zinnia is an old-fashioned annual that is easy to grow. Seed directly into the garden after the last spring frost date. Summer blooms continue into fall. Wonderful cut flower to use in garden-type arrangements.

An old, tarnished copper vessel gives flowers and foliage in this arrangement a place to shine. Except for Firebush, all plant material listed above has been carefully gathered and rearranged into this spectacular fall display. If possible, take a tour of the Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills in the next few days where you will see most of these plants in their best fall wardrobe. Don’t delay as some are starting to fade while others will soon succumb to the colder nights of November. And finally, remember to use your garden to grace your home with the gifts of the season. Let nature be a treasured friend.

Firebush glowing

Grow It/Use It-Firebush is a perennial semi-woody shrub that can grow about 5-10 feet tall. It’s bright red-orange tubular flowers bloom from late spring till the first frost. They attract butterflies, including zebra longwing and gulf fritillary, as well as hummingbirds. Plants grow well in a range of soils, both alkaline and acid. Firebush will grow successfully in part shade or full shade but likes full sun. This trouble-free shrub does not have insect or fungus problems and thrives without fertilizer.

Linda Alexander

Dallas County Master Gardeners love having visitors (masked and socailly distanced) at our garden. We are located on the campus of Midway Hills Christain Church, 11001 Midway Road, Dallas, Texas.

Come take in the beauty of our fall garden and learn about our carefully selected plants.





About Dallas Garden Buzz

Dallas County Master Gardeners growing and sharing from The Raincatcher's Garden.

2 responses »

  1. Shanti Suryadevara

    Hi Dallas Garden Buzz ,

    I just love love the buzz that happens here , I have been following you for sometime , and I feel I am at the right place to learn more and be inspired about Texas gardening .

    I want some advice for my home yard , as I plan on changing my front yard to low maintenance , native landscape , whom can I reach out to , please let me know .

    Gardening Rocks 😊 Shanti

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Shanti there are so many resources on the Texas A&M website. Look under water university.
    And would it be possible for you to visit our garden on a Tuesday morning?
    You could talk to one of us and of course, we will be wearing masks. As I write this, Dallas County cases of covid are on the rise so if it is not safe for you to be out and come to our garden next Tuesday, we will have to think of another way or time to give you a personal tour.

    Several of our local garden centers have well priced landscape advising sessions.
    You could take a photo of your yard and sketch of it and talk about low water, wildlife habitat friendly options.

    Our garden at 11001 Midway Road in Dallas has so much to see. I truly hope you can make a visit to us, but if not some of the other options would be a good start.

    Good luck and you are right, Gardening Rocks!


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