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Bloom Day November 2009 (at long last)

Now that Summer of Hell II is behind us, I seem to be able to live in the present and forget the horrible drought and heat. Though we are still in the drought, rains in October made our fair city look like spring again. Now that I have a few blooms in the garden and the weather is humanly cool, the cloudy morning took me outside to once again participate in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

My new favorite plant, Clarodendrun Ugandense, is also known as Butterfly plant, because of  the butterfly shape of the gorgeous blue flowers. This one is planted in mostly shade, with about 2-3 hours of early morning sun only.

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Planted next to it is a sweet little plant called Cat’s Whiskers. You can see where it got it’s name.

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In the front sunny corner, the Lantana and Bulbine just won’t stop blooming.

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Copper Canyon Daisy was a tiny new planting last spring; I’m thrilled it likes my partial shade location for it. Behind it, a new Lantana called Lucky White was rescued from the clearance table at Home Depot last spring.

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And my  long-time favorite, lavender Ivy Geranium bloomed all summer and continues until a freeze.

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This cousin to Setcreasia was a passalong from Renee at  Renee’s Roots, and I can’t remember the name. I love how the blooms resemble baby’s breath, and I look forward to creating a lush hanging basket from it next spring. I also like it paired here with Sparkler Sedge as a bright spot in the shade.

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Here’s a new Stonecrop that I couldn’t resist at the nursery a few weeks back. I hope it will come back next spring as I like how it works with the limestone rocks.

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This is a new purchase for partial shade, called Salvia Honeysuckle. I know it has another name, but I’ve lost the tag. Can someone help with identification for me? I love the gray fuzzy leaves with the red bloom. I’m actually surprised that it bloomed as it was planted just two weeks ago in anticipation of next year’s bloom season.

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And it wouldn’t be fall without Nandina berries on my last remaining Nandina shrub.

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Garden Bloggers Bloom Day May 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day has become an international hit on the fifteenth of each month; created and hosted by Carol; May Dreams Gardens.

Double Delight, a fragrant passalong from Lori, Gardener of Good and Evil, gave me double the fun for bloom day.

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The Bicolor Iris is getting going, and should last through June.

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The Butterfly Iris have had a few more blooms than this, but nothing spectacular really. I may end up taking them out.

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So far, 2 of my new daylily purchases have bloomed. After agonizing for weeks over what to purchase so that I would have a variety of colors, so far everything looks just alike. Pretty, but not much difference really.

Here’s Byzantine Beauty:

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and the slightly pinker, Princess Ellen. Both are very large blooms, which is nice.

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The Pink Sunburst Canna is starting to bloom in the bed. I hope it continues all summer, I love it.

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I’m beginning to love geraniums. They are one of the few dramatic flowers that really like the dappled shade of my yard.

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A new purchase, Clerodendron Ugandense, also known as Butterfly Bush, has a spectacular bloom in mostly shade here. It’s a tender perennial, and supposedly I can cut it back in the fall and mulch over it for winter protection.

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Citrus Splash, a passalong from Pam/Digging has given me several blooms in this first year. They start with yellow streaks in orangish-pink, then fade to an all-rosy color. Quite fun!

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Moss Verbena is hardy and happy in several places in the garden.

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And I have several colors of yarrow, another plant I’m loving. I’ve heard it’s very aggressive, but so far it isn’t in my garden. Once it blooms, I can cut off the stalks and it leaves a hardy, yet fern-like, groundcover that attracts beneficial insects.

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And here’s the red yarrow. I didn’t picture the white.

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A neighbor gave me a passalong 5-gallon Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant. Hers have been in  her yard for years, and are spectacular every spring. This one looked a better a couple of weeks ago, but here’s the last blooms.

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Stella D’Oro Daylily, with Molly Ivans Salvia Coccinea in the background.

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Why is Copper Canyon Daisy blooming now? It’s normally a fall bloomer.

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I like how this shade container is turning out. Annual impatiens give bright color in the shade, and this is the first time I’ve used Spotted Dead Nettle as a trailing plant. I don’t know how it will fare through the summer heat, but I’ll let you know.

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I like the bright red of this Salvia Greggii against the white rattan.

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Persian Shield isn’t a bloom, but I love the purple color in the deep shade. If it were in brighter shade, the purple is almost neon bright and gorgeous.

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Other blooms, not pictured, are Verbena in various colors, Purple Heart, Lantana in various colors, Bulbine, dwarf Pomegranite, Bottlebrush, Pink Salvia, Oxalis, Pink Turks Cap, Petunias, Nemesia, Begonias and Society Garlic.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day- April, 2009

Many thanks, as always, to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for creating and hosting this monthly event in the world of garden blogging.

Many of you read my recent whine about feeling like my yard  looks just like the local Whataburger, so I set out today to prove myself wrong. With this bloom from a passalong rose from Lori/Gardener of Good and Evil, I think I achieved that!

Double Delight Rose is gorgeous, with a scent to match.
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The Primrose Jasmine is at its peak.

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The Mock Orange is just beginning. It will probably peak next week, especially if we get the “promised” rain in the forecast.

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I didn’t even know that this recently planted Pittisporum bloomed, but it was covered with buds a week ago and these sweet, light yellow blooms have a fragrant scent to boot.

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And I’m still loving my Double Ranunculus. It is going strong, with more buds to follow. These were bulbs picked up on a whim at Barton Springs Nursery last fall.

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This most recent bloom on the same plant, though, is a single form.

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This is my latest Ivy Geranium, a winter hardy geranium if I protect it from cold.

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Another look at Double Delight from the front.

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I finally got a decent photo of the bulbine.

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The Abutilon is blooming. I love the variegated leaves with the busy, veined blooms.

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And yet another Ivy Geranium. I love how you can see a bloom through the sheer curtains of the gazebo.

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The Byzantine Gladiolus, an indulgence purchase from Southern Bulbs. Great color, aren’t they?

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Coral Nymph Salvia Cocciniea. Molly Ivans is blooming in the front yard as well.

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White Salvia Greggii, Pink Sunburst Canna, and The Flash peeking at me.

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The Bottlebrush is just about to burst into blooms all over. I’m anxiously awaiting that, it’s a sight to see every spring.

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Spotted Dead Nettle with Impatiens; a nice shade combo in a container.

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A close-up of the Gladiolus.

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Verbena is blooming in several colors now.

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And this newly blooming plant just popped up as I was strolling through the garden taking pictures.

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Other blooms are a kolanchoe, an aloe, ice plant, ajuga, red salvia, pink salvia, purple heart, and society garlic, bicolor Iris and butterfly Iris are just beginning.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – March ’09

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This newly planted Columbine may not survive in the garden because it isn’t a native, but I added it to encourage my native Columbines to bloom. You know, set an example or something. And I adore looking at it!
(Update: I discovered this species is called Winkie, or Winky, a heat-tolerant variety that has been shown to be hardy here in Central Texas over recent years. There is the possibility that it might be a perennial after all!)
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I love the delicate flowers of the Columbine, and I’ve moved them into the new bed that I believe gives them appropriate sunshine and moisture; under a deciduous Cedar Elm so they can get a bit of winter sunshine and lots of summer shade. Perhaps next year’s blooms will be more prolific.

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The Amethyst Flame Iris is still quite happy in her new home, with only 4-5 hours of sun during the winter. I’m surprised she has so many blooms, frankly.

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I added this trailing lantana in a bright white to be groundcover in the bulb bed. I love the color, it’s such a true white. Difficult to photograph, though.

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The Ivy Geranium recently pulled from her makeshift greenhouse winter home is happy in her usual place over the waterfall, where she gets constantly splashed lightly and has plenty of humidity, even in the drought.

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In the front yard, the Mountain Laurel blooms are winding down. It was a lovely year for the Mountain Laurels, despite the lack of winter rain.

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I didn’t get this leggy trailing Lantana in purple trimmed back in time before it burst into bloom. I’ll let it have a nice bloom time, then trim it as the season heats up near summer to shape it up and help it bloom more. It’s part of my purple and yellow color scheme for the front yard.

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This Bulbine was moved into a new spot in the yard to get more sun. I’m creating a new bed around it, with plants that have yellow and orange blooms. Currently there is a Citrus Splash rose and a recently added yellow/orange Lantana. I plan to add a Pride of Barbados this year, and then perhaps an Agave for structure and contrast. I do like the silver blue of the Agave with the hot orange and yellow combination. It’s a slow work in progress.

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Thanks to Carol, May Dreams Gardens, for sponsoring GBBD every month.

Bloom Day, February 2009

Thanks to Carol, May Dreams Garden, for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

At first I wasn’t going to bother with bloom day, because I didn’t think I had much to post. Today is the final day prior to kitchen remodeling, which commences tomorrow morning, and much work still remained to get ready. However, in pursuit of a much needed break, I decided to roam around the garden with my camera. Pleasantly surprised, I found more blooms than I realized. Of course, each of these blooms is just one on the entire plant, so don’t get excited and think that spring has come early to Central Texas. I’m anticipating one last cold front or freeze before spring arrives in March.

A little cheat here; I purchased a new Abutilon with gorgeous variegated leaves last week with Diana, Sharing Nature’s Garden, when we went to Barton Springs Nursery. I love the combination of the variegated bloom with the variegated leaf. A busy plant, but I have just the place for her and her drama queen behavior.

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Tucked away into my tiny, portable and overcrowded greenhouse, this hardy Ivy Geranium has given me another sweet lavender bloom. I’m loving this plant more and more as I observe her survival instincts.

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The Chinese Fringe Flower, or Loropetalum, is just starting to bloom:

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Another recent purchase (perhaps a month ago) is this white potato vine that I added to the shady latticework intended for privacy between me and my backyard neighbors. If I can get this plant going, it will be stunning when filled out and in bloom.

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Technically not a bloom, but showing off some seasonal color is this Flapjack Kolanchoe:

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And my first true spring bloomer of the season, a baby Spring Bouquet Viburnum. This one was put into a container once I received the large viburnum passalongs from Diana last Fall. Those large transplants are still in a bit of shock, so I’ll look for them to be covered in blooms next spring once they have recovered.

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This little succulent certainly looks like a flowery bloom, doesn’t it?

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And I can assure you, when my newly planted bulbs bloom, I will be so excited that I will be posting pictures immediately! And I’ll probably even cheat, and put them on the next Bloom Day post, even if it isn’t the 15th. Here are the promises of things to come:

Grape Hyacinth

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Passalong Iris from Pam/Digging

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Byzantine Gladiolus from Southern Bulb Co. These were the bulbs that cost $10 EACH, so I only purchased two. I had been concerned that the squirrels had eaten one of them, but fortunately, it showed up as well as you can see. If I can get these established, it will be worth the expensive bulbs.

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At one of the seminars I took at Zilker Gardens last year, I heard that Guacamole Hosta might grow okay here. I purchased a bulb online (actually I purchased 4 others as well, but they aren’t up yet) and this one immediately went to town. I hope it continues.

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And then, of course, that bloomin’ cat!

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