Despite a crazy weather year with records set on every front– high and low, dry and wet — my garden is valiantly springing back to life. Homestead Purple Verbena has never looked so vibrant.
Some bulbs returned from last year, and I planted many new ones last fall. It’s a bulb-fest!
I adore the newly-tried combo of the daffodils against the springtime-new burgundy leaves of the Laropetalum (Chinese Fringe Flower) below:
Another combo I’m really enjoying is the Homestead Purple Verbena with Powis Castle Artemesia: (in the foreground of the photo, you’ll see a native Moss Verbena snuck in the picture, too)
Amethyst Flame Iris, a steadfast passalong from Digging, got a drink of rainwater:
I miss childhood images of lush southern gardens from my hometown in North Texas, so last month I used a stock tank to create my version of it. I filled the large container with acidified soil for some Encore Azaleas and other acid-loving plants to be added later. I planted two, and the second isn’t fully blooming yet. I hope to create a corner of lushness in my otherwise mostly-native drought resistant garden.
While many of my perennials are still playing the “Dead or Dormant” game, it’s good to see that bulbs and tough natives are as hardy as ever.
Come visit me again soon; I have some images of mystery volunteer plants that I need help with IDs! I’ll post it in a few days.
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!
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Carol, May Dreams Gardens, for sponsoring GBBD every month.