Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, April 2010

Carol of May Dreams Gardens invites us each month to display what’s blooming in our gardens on the 15th of every month. Though I missed it by one day, belated still counts in the gardening world.

While my garden is still getting her adolescent legs under her, she has lots of showing off happening right now. With coltish smaller displays, there is room to grow in between plants. As always, just wait till NEXT year, right?

Starting with my favorites, (don’t tell the others), the Yellow Sunny Knockout Rose is knocking me out (below):

It’s her first year in my garden (a birthday present to myself last fall), and she loves her new location. Here’s a closeup of the blooms; they open quite lemon yellow and a day or so later fade to a lovely cream. Combined with her rosy fragrance,  she’s quite the gal!

I like how she combines with Senorita Rosalita Cleome, a proven winner trialed by Pam/Digging and made all of us Austin bloggers clamor for one of our own:

A better look at Senorita Rosalita, one of 5 (yes, I said five) in my yard. A great annual for filling in empty spots that will someday be filled by nearby perennials:

Another top-of-my-list favorite is  Marilyn’s Choice Abutilon. Hardy and showy, she’s very happy in her morning sun location with rich soil:

I hope those same conditions are right for the white-blooming Diamond Frost Euphorbia, because I like the two of them together:

And one of the great joys of Bloom Day is that I always find a surprise waiting for me. Today’s shocker is this newly-planted-last-winter Camellia in bloom now! And to top it off, the plant tag had indicated a white bloom. So she really is quite the off-color jokester:

Verbena in many forms is off-the-charts gorgeous everywhere this year. I have several colors:

I love this combo of native Moss Verbena and Daylillies:

Mock Orange is always a lovely spring show, giving me blooms for about 3 weeks. Here she is, right on time:

Nearby, this is the first time I’ve gotten these two plants to bloom together, and I’m lovin’ it! Coral Honeysuckle with Primrose Jasmine:

The Byzantine Gladiolus returned this year with long-lasting show-stopping neon fuchsia blooms:

My acid-soil, morning sun container is so far working to give me that southern garden charm. I hope I can keep the stock tank container watered enough through the hot summer to keep everything alive. Here’s Autumn Belle Encore Azalea going to town in her Sunday best:

Next to her is the new addition of Clerodendron Bleeding Heart Vine, also known as Glory Bower:

I’ll finish out with photos of the other blooms; it’s quite a colorful show this spring!

Blackfoot Daisy

Chocolate Chip Ajuga, past its prime

Pink Ranunculus, a happy return from last year

A few yellow Columbine, a plant I have difficulties starting

The first few blooms have started on Gulf Coast Penstemon

Salvia Greggii White form

A new pink Abutilon

A new pink Abutilon

Salvia Coccinea Coral Nymph

It seems the whole country is in bloom! From gardens to wildflowers, check out the blogroll at May Dreams.


Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 2010

After a year of harrowing weather for plants, animals and humans, Austin gardens are behind schedule by almost a month.

Last year at this time, the Mountain Laurels had finished blooming, the bluebonnets were in full swing, and we were headed to 100F days way too soon. So I’m not complaining that we’re behind schedule if it means a more tolerable summer.

The Loropetalums (Chinese Fringe Flower) (below) are having a great year.

And across the sidewalk, the Marilyn’s Choice Abutilon (below) hasn’t stopped blooming since it was planted in the fall. I’m loving this plant!

Newly-planted Blackfoot Daisies will be giving me a happy carpet of white this summer in the new Sun Bed.

I added Four Nerve Daisy nearby to add to the many-month display of happiness.

A plant I’ve been wanting for some time is finally gracing my yard in the new Sun Bed. This newly purchased Pink Double Knockout Rose shows promises of many more blooms to come. Isn’t she gorgeous?

The White Iris is a passalong (love that!) and is the first Iris of the season this year. I have many buds on purple Iris  Amethyst Flame, but no buds are showing yet on the passalong apricot Iris.

Meyer Lemon appears to be satisfied with remaining a container plant. After last winter’s record-freeze, I plan to keep it easily accessible for moving indoors in the winter as needed. Given the number of budding lemons, I’m hoping to gather fruit this year. Right now I’m enjoying the honeysuckle-scented blooms.

I KNOW this goes against the Austin Green Growing Guide, but ya’ll, I just miss seeing some southern plants in my yard! I’ve modified the soil in my stock tank and planted two Encore Azaleas. They might end up being considered annuals, but I’m going to give it a try. They are just starting to bloom.

I purchased a Hellebore last year from Natural Gardener. It is such a tiny plant, I had to lay on the ground to get a photo. It needs to be moved into a container where I can actually see it next year.

Had I known how small these Grape Hyacinth would actually be, I don’t think I would have bothered planting them (60 of them, no less!). After blooming this season, I believe I’ll dig the bulbs, save them through winter (chilling as needed) and put them in a container next year. They are about 4″ tall.

Not pictured today are volunteer Starflower (I love it), Homestead Verbena Purple, Moss Verbena, Oxalis, Alyssium, Diamond Frost Euphorbia, buds on the Mountain Laurel, and some annual Impatiens.

Though I have many single flowers in bloom, my garden still looks very brown. No perennials have started greening-up yet, and we are all still playing the “dead or dormant” game here in Austin. As Always, thanks to Carol, May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day Feb 2010

On yet another cold and blustery February day in Austin, Texas, I’m participating in the monthy Bloom Day hosted by Carol, May Dreams Gardens.

There were a few surprises as I strolled through the garden looking for any blooms. Mostly I found tips of bulb stalks peeking above the dirt, so the anticipation for the March bloom day is high. But I did find a couple of things for today.

First, this Marilyn’s Choice Abutilon has been in the ground for only a few months, and despite record low temperatures and consistenty lower than average temperatures at night, it has steadfastly held on to its gorgeous blooms. This species of Abutilon was found only a few short years ago at an old church site in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has quickly become a garden staple in Austin because of her hardiness and continual bloom cycle.

I apologize for the blurriness of the next several photos. The wind came in big-time with this current blue norther’, and the plants preferred dancing in the wind rather than holding still for their portraits.

The same Abutilon full size.

This tiny Hellebore in deep shade is only about 3 inches tall with maybe 6 leaves total; not much bigger than when I planted it. But it has 3-4 buds on it, ready to give me a show soon. This is my first ever Hellebore, so I’m excited to see what the bloom will look like. Found locally last year at Natural Gardener, I’m hoping they chose a hardy one for our climate changes.

Yesterday when I was pruning many of the perennials in my yard – we finally had a few hours of sunshine – I was surprised to see one of the many Loropetalums in the yard ready to burst into bloom. One of the buds is already open.

This ice plant was a passalong from a friend who found it abandoned at a rental home he moved into. It hasn’t stopped blooming since he gave it to me, and I love the blooms. Today, of course for Bloom Day, it chose to only have one bloom instead of the 5-6 it has been consistently having. (Sorry for the poor pic)

With all the freezing nights we’ve had this winter, my container Meyer Lemon has spent most of the past 2 months indoors. Despite that, I have buds, blooms, and even a lemon starting! The scent of the flowers is amazing.

Thanks for visiting on this cold winter’s day. Despite the colder temps, Austin is finally recouping some of the moisture we needed so badly after our 24 month exceptional drought. I’m crossing my fingers that spring is going to be lovely this year!