Tag Archive | Ivy Geranium

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.

If you build it, it will come

Previously, I mentioned this new bed that was calling out to be created once I moved my fenceline last year. As the vision came together finally this spring, the hardscape was completed with much digging of grass, removing of rocks, amending of dirt, and adding Benda-board edging.

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I’m letting the bed tell me what it wants. I’ve done this same process with all my planting beds so far; each one has its own personality and color scheme, and each one was created as a blank canvas germinating inspiration.

While far from complete, the color scheme is underway with warm pinks and creams contrasting sweetly with the greens and purples of the leaves.

Warm pink is a color I adore but for some unknown reason haven’t yet put anywhere else in the yard. With the unexpected purchase of the Canna Lilly Pink Sunburst and a few gorgeous pink/cream Tropical Sage (Salvia Coccinea) for shade, I was off and running.

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Canna Lily Pink Sunburst

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Tropical Sage (Salvia Coccinea) Coral Nymph

I found this little Ivy Geranium (a tender perennial) with blooms that are cream with warm pink edges.  The purple in the leaves also echoes the color in the Canna leaves.

Since I’ve fallen in love with my other lavender Ivy Geranium, I thought this was a good addition that I will enjoy. However, I put this one in the ground while my lavender version is in a container that gets protected in the winter. Perhaps I’ll uproot this one and pot it for the cold weather as well.

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Two white Salvia Greggii blend easily in the small part of the bed that gets a bit more sun. I’ll see as the year goes on if they get enough hours of sunshine to be happy or will need to be moved to a sunnier location.

A Mardi Gras dwarf Abelia was in another bed and not doing well, and I realized its pink-edged leaves would work in the new bed, so up it came and changed neighborhoods to the warm pink zone.

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Pink Turk’s Cap went into the shady areas, of which there are many. An aggressive grower, it should flourish and cover many of the shady spots fairly quickly.

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A few annual pink-blooming begonias fill in the bare spots while I wait for the perennials to grow. Bamboo Muhly is getting started in a part shade location for background interest.

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Evergreen shrubs are next on my list, and again, I’m waiting for the bed to talk to me. So far, I’m loving this one a lot. It has been fun, and the color is soothing and exciting all at once.

What do you suggest adding to this bed? I need shade-loving evergreens of varying heights, and perhaps some new warm pink blooming plants that I don’t know about? I’m considering adding a Rose Mallow. What would you use for contrast? I would love some winter-blooming warm pinks, but I can’t think of any. This bed is under deciduous Cedar Elms, so winter plants would get full sun, while spring and summer plants are morning sun or shade only. Suggestions please, everyone?

Purple, Lavender and Amethyst

Pam/Digging assured me this Amethyst Flame Iris was a hardy producer when she passed it along to me last fall. I anxiously awaited the spring to find out if there really is enough sunshine for blooms in my newly planted bulb bed.

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Apparently, there is enough!


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So far, my variegated Souvenir de Bonn Abutilon purchased along with Diana, Sharing Nature’s Garden, at Barton Springs nursery, is blooming happily away. Lori, Gardener of Good and Evil, tells me she’s heard the variegated form isn’t so hardy, so I suppose I’ll soon find out how it handles our Austin weather extremes. (And aren’t I feeling like the name dropper…the other day, when I was having lunch with Michele, you know – Obama – she mentioned how much she loves the Austin Garden Bloggers. Oh yeah, I’m totally full of it.)

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It seems that this Ivy Geranium was really happy in my tiny portable greenhouse through the winter, and began blooming last week. I set it out this past weekend to get some air in the 80 degree temps we’ve been getting, uncharacteristically, in March.

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And just in case I was continuing to worry about not having enough sun in the bulb bed for hardy blooms, the Iris is showing me signs of things to come soon. So many buds for her first year in my garden!

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And this Purple Heart bloom, along with unpictured Oxalis, lavender Trailing Lantana and Spring Starflower, is hitting hard that all early spring blooms in my garden are all some shade of lavender to purple. Note to self: enough already, add some yellow for contrast (Narcissus and Daffodils) and some pinks for softness during our next planting season, next fall.

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I spent many hours in the sunshine on Saturday doing jobs other than planting and enjoying the garden. I put 80 feet of new edging in all around using Benda Board (recycled plastic that is easily molded to curves), and recycled the recently removed kitchen tiles as step stones into the recycled glass mulch obtained free from the city of Austin.

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And I can’t help it; I have to end with one more look at the Amethyst Flame!

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Is Spring happening yet in your garden? What colors do you notice the most of in your early spring blooms? And what do you wish you had more of?

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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New stuff I forgot to post

I have some new Garden Art. Many of you in Austin will know the artist – Dale Whistler. He created most famously the dancing frog band on top of the original and subsequent Whole Foods (the new one just doesn’t have the same soul) and our wonderful Bat Sculpture on Barton Springs Road and Congress, near Congress bridge that houses the largest bat colony in North America.

I am the fortunate recipient of two of his pieces, the dog and cat chasing each other above, which can be reversed to be all purple if I want. It was originally a hanging mobile, but the string broke and I haven’t decided whether to rehang them as a mobile or let them run on the fence.

I have another mobile he created on loan from a friend – it’s one of my favorite pieces, but ridiculously hard to photograph. All the pieces are made from 1/8 thick metal, and painted with metallic auto paint to give them a great shine. It’s my kind of art – whimsical, colorful and fun.

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Dale Whistler garden mobile

Okay, stop laughing! I KNOW it’s a horrible picture, and I KNOW you really didn’t want to see my neatly covered outdoor grill, but dangit! it’s the only way I could get it to hold still and have the colors sorta show up. There’s more color, too – the opposite sides have some turquoise, reds and other colors that spin around in the breeze. How awesome is that???

I’ve had several projects going on during this cold snap – only 90 degrees now. But last week, with that lovely north breeze and days in the 80’s, I really did get a lot done.

I finally planted this bed near the infamous outdoor grill. It took a long time for me to get a feel for what I wanted there. It’s completely in the shade, so my options were limited. Several people kept saying “Put ginger there; it’s a great place for some ginger” so after much consternation, research, dream therapy, freudian analysis, prayer to the great Garden Fairy, and reading every shade garden book I could get my hands on, I decided to put Ginger there…with a gaggle of Holly Fern to keep it company.

My Ivy Geranium is certainly enjoying the weather, if I must say so myself.

I saw this planting below at a local retail store, and fell in love with it. It’s so hard to find nice plantings for shade, and this really brightened up a dull corner in an unfinished part of the yard. I already had the empty planter, looking lonely and empty.

So I copied what I saw and put in black and green Sweet Potato Vine, Crotons, and Cordyline, which you can barely see because the one I found wasn’t quite big enough. Assuming I can protect it through the winter, next year its soft spikes should shoot upthrough the middle, giving the planter some much needed height.

And this isn’t a new project, but I haven’t yet posted a picture of it. I found this awesome Garden chair in an antique store in Salado, and snagged it (especially since it was half-price, always a great thing). This corner of my yard needed interest, and my budget wasn’t ready for something permanent. This grouping is very happy under the ancient Cedar Elm (I love the semblance of autumn with the yellow leaves on the ground from the Elm. I’ve actually had years when this huge tree has turned bright yellow and been quite beautiful.) Look at those blooms – I’ve never had that succulent in the chair seat bloom so much, and I’ve had it for 8 years now.

(by the way, I need suggestions as to what I should put behind that chair to cover the fence? An outdoor screen of some sort? What can I do – it’s a totally shaded area in the summer because of the elm, and sunny in the winter once the leaves are gone.)

And get ready to laugh again, but don’t tell me you are laughing cause it might hurt my feelings. My yard has been very green and lush since I bought this place, but without any colorful blooms. I spent so much time and energy working, I never got around to correcting that situation. Finally this year, I’ve had the luxury of time and energy to add blooming plants to my shady garden. So this is the first time I’ve been able to actually have flowers to enjoy, and about a month ago, I was able to create this small vase of flowers all from my garden. I know you have all been doing this for years, but I’m celebrating my first homegrown indoor flower cuttings!

As you can tell, I am a fan of tropicals. I also have planted many natives, which I’ve shown in previous bloom day pictures. Once they get established, I’ll probably let many of the tropicals go, since they are higher maintenance. But they certainly do give me a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to adding color quickly in my green garden. And I am a tropical kind of gal – send me to the blue water anytime and I’ll be happy!