Thursday, March 12, 2009

Flowers Upon Arrival

After arriving back in Austin from Seattle I immediately went outside to check on my garden and water the hanging baskets (OK - so it was midnight by the time we got back to the house and it was dark, but my plants needed me!) Although it was in the 40's in Seattle, it was in the 80's all last week down here! I was hoping I had not lost all the hanging baskets I just purchased (our trip was the result of a last minute family emergency). I watered the plants, which appeared to have survived with only a little wilting, and noticed that many things looked like they were blooming. I absolutely new the Texas Mt Laurel was in bloom because the backyard smelled like a big vat of grape soda. Here are the images I took the next day once it became light outside:

The Mt laurel has many blooms again this year, but they are significantly smaller than the ones last year. Clearly, the extended drought is affecting the flowering of the plants:

The butterflies love the blooms:

They kept at those blooms until sundown:

And then the Hummingbird moths came to visit:

These are the wild snapdragon vines I have planted just under the Mt Laurel (I grew them from seed since I couldn't find what I wanted in plant-size). As the season progresses, they climb up into the Mt Laurel and provide these pink blooms at nearly eye-level. They Mt Laurel looks like it is blooming with a flush of hot pink flowers throughout the summer - Plus, the hummingbirds adore them:


Swallowtail on Salvia:

California Poppy:

Texas Scarlet Quince (this is the plant that seduced me at the nursery last year when in bloom and I was forced to buy it):


Texas Redbud:

And I saw that male Black-Throated hummingbird again today - but he won't let me get his photo! I am going hummingbird hunting....


RainGardener said...

Glad everything made it ok for you while you were gone. The Laurel is beautiful and I've never seen a Texas Redbud - what a pretty tree. You have those cute little hummingbird moths. I've only seen them in Eastern Washington where my sister lives. Wonder if it's too wet over here for them. Great post and lovely pics.

Tatyana said...

What beautiful, beautiful pictures you have in this and the previous posts! I laughed when read about you liking that rainy cloudy weather! I love moss too, and ferns growing on the trees...

Lancashire rose said...

So many butterflies. I have seen one or two swallowtails and some sulphurs. Poor hummingbird- I hope he found somewhere warm to roost in this cold weather. I want the sun back!

east-side-patch said...

Great pictures of the Sphinx moth!Not easy to catch! The butterflies are starting to filter in. Todays nice weather and next weeks great weather should help bring them in.

My mountain laurel did pretty much the same as last year, I just wish the blooms lasted a little longer! Mine has already formed tiny seed pods. This year we are going to drill holes in the seeds for my eldest to string a necklace with, native indian style.
Nice photos,

Lee17 said...

Rain Gardener,

Thanks, Yeah - I love those hummingbirds moths - they are really cool. I guess they only like it where it is really warm.

Lee17 said...


Thank you! I do love the clouds and cool weather! I grew up with it and I can't help myself :) The ferns on the trees are really neat - I miss those down here...

Lee17 said...

Lancashire rose,

I have so many butterflies floating about my yard! I must have the only yard full of flowers in our neigborhood right now or something. I think that hummingbird found a nice cozy place to hide - I see him in the morning, then off he goes!

Lee17 said...


What a good idea to make a necklace out of the seed pods! I threw all the ones from last year out. I will be sure to save the ones this year - my kid would think making a necklace out of those would be great fun!

east-side-patch said...

Just be careful on the necklace front, you know those mountain laurel seeds are poisonous. My daughter also loves anything beadlike so yes, I think it will be fun. I have a small vice ready and waiting.