Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bluebonnets, Paintbrush, and Primrose, Oh My!

The bluebonnets are in full bloom in the garden this weekend. The show is not as spectacular as last year's but I have more prairie paintbrush blooming along with them this year, which makes for a nice show:

Bluebonnets, yellow and orange Paintbrush:

Orange Paintbrush:

The Primrose are also looking quite spectacular today:

And new this year are poppy anemone Mr. Fokker. I am completely in love with these and I want more of them! They look like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors before they open:

Upon opening, they are so velvety-soft looking:

Also new this year White Cemetary Iris:

The Eve's Necklace tree is humming with giant bumblebees that are apparently heavy enough to open up the strings of dangling flowers to get at the nectar upon landing on them. As a side note, this tree also creates perfect dappled shade to hang the fuschia under:


The Crossvine is also in full bloom and humming with honey bees as opposed to the giant bumblebees:


These double daffodils are blooming. I'm not sure what they are called, but they sure are pretty:

Under the Texas red oak that is puking pollen everywhere...

grow the Narcissus 'Thalia'. These have been wonderful for me coming back year after year surviving through baking heat and drought and our as of late unusual arctic winters:

Speaking of our unusually cold winter this year, I thought I had lost my Texas Mt. Sage, but I spotting leaves popping out of it just yesterday. Woo!:

Now excuse me while I go plant some new flowers in the garden and string up the Scarlet Runner beans. It's Spring in Central Texas and the garden calls!

First Hummingbird of 2011

I spotted the first hummingbirds of 2011 yesterday. Well, technically the first spring hummers. We had a wintering rufous that was wintering in the garden until the 3rd week of January at which time he took back off for the west coast.

The returning hummers are a little later in arriving this year. Usually I see the first hummers around the first or second week of March. Yesterday was the 26th. I'm positive one was a ruby-throated hummingbird and the other was a black-chinned hummingbird. It's interesting that I first saw them both yesterday, but that's how it was.

I snapped a photo of the black-chinned hummer this morning. Here he is working his way around the newly-blooming orchid tree:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Red Passion Vine

I have been on the lookout for a red passion flower vine for a while now. Today I stopped by Lowes garden center just to see if they had anything new and interesting in stock. And in the very back buried amongst a collection of all various types of vines was the red passion vine I have been looking for! A Lady Margaret Passion Flower vine. Yay! Here it is:

I'm so excited! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why can't I just 'browse'?

I live just down the road from Hill Country Water gardens and last week I stopped in to just 'look around'. Why do I do that? I know I can't leave without something. Or...a gagillion somethings. That place is dangerous! It's even worse now that they have a ton of nursery stock, too. I tried. I really did. But alas, I couldn't walk away and I left with several purchases. Here are a just couple of the nifty plants I brought home:

Fan flowers! I LOVE these! They do great as long as you water them every day (sometimes twice a day) in the sultry summer heat (mine are right next to my porch to make watering easy):

And bi-color gazania. I saw these with their silvery foliage and they called out to me - 'buy me!, buy me!' - and so it was:

After leaving the Pond place, I stopped by Lowes to 'just pick up some potting soil, I swear that is all I need there'. Wrong. It's not my fault, though! They had nifty clearance stuff! And Fuschia! God help me, they had fushia!

Every year I simply HAVE to have a fuschia. They never grow into the ginormous gorgeous fuschias we had up in the Northwest in the summer, but I still have to have one. Even if they succumb to our hot humid summers by the end of June. I'm just torturing myself, I know. I just. Can't. Help myself. Fuschia:

And I got this Dwarf Puffball plant on clearance. I'm putting it in a pot and keeping it trimmed up to to keep it small. I've seen some amazing bonsai Puffball shrubs out there, so I figure it shouldn't be too difficult to keep it a manageable size:

And then I was perusing the Yucca Do Nursery site (see where this is going? I need help.) and found some neat cactus...which I ordered because I have no self control.

I then had to go to HEB to get some pots for them once they arrived in the mail and wouldn't ya know it? HEB was having a sale and I got 2 succulents for FREE! And, AND Yucca do sent me a free plant with my order (I love that about Yucca-do. They often throw in free stuff.) So 3 free plants! Yay!

Here they all are all potted up, two of the cacti will get white flowers and one red ones:

And then (yes, there's more), I found this keen nursery online - Brushwood Nursery - that sells all types of vines and they had the Clematis I have been looking for at a reasonable price. A 'Duchess of Albany' Clematis. Well, I had to order it. And when it arrived today, it was very lovingly packaged and arrived 2 days after they shipped it! The vine is in wonderful condition! Just look:

I will definitely order from these guys again!

Now I just need my bulbs to arrive from the various places I ordered them from and all will be right with the world. Well, until the next time I go 'browsing' in a plant nursery or online that is. *smile*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bloom Day March 15, 2011

It's Spring! A-woo-hoo!! I missed bloom day last month due to lack of bloomage. Everything was frozen! But it is warm now and the plants are making up time quickly and blooming on schedule for March bloom day.

Here we go!

Lotsa Species tulips:

Yellow and red ones (Tulip Clusiana Cynthia)-

These truly do naturalize down here. Every year I have more:

So very buttery yellow inside:

White and pink ones with a glorious deep magenta center (T. Clusiana):

Lavendar and yellow ones (Tulipa saxatilis):

New this year Anemone Blanda:


Many of the narcissus are finishing up blooming like Narcissus - Flore Pleno (I took this pic about a week ago):

But these guys are still going strong (Avalanche):

Sadly, one set of jonquils that I had planted - Narcissus - Sweetness - didn't come back but just for some sparse and fried looking leaves. It either got too hot last summer or way too cold this winter for it (maybe they started to come up then were frozen) or maybe a little of both. Anyway, those guys are toast. I'll have to re-plant that section this fall with another variety.

I have a few crocus in the garden - they never put on the kind of show for me they did back up in the Northwest (oh my, what a spring show!), but I do always have a few pop up here and there. These are Tommies:

Grape Hyacinth. I planted a TON of these by the garden path because I found a pack of 50 for 5 bucks at Lowes last fall and as I was walking along the path yesterday I smelled the most beautiful fragrance and looking around for a while, I finally realized it was eminating from these little guys! Wonderful!:

Freesia Laxa are also along the garden path. So tiny, but so pretty! They froze back in the deep freeze last month, but are making a comeback:

Oh, and my poor TX Mountaim Laurel. All the blooms froze off the front side of the shrub. I went out to look for blooms the other day and to my horror I noticed what looked to be grey bloom spikes scattered all about under the shrub. Sure enough, upon closer inspection, all the blooms were gone from the front of the shrub. Luckily, some blooms did survive being sheltered from the icy winds on the interior of the bush and along the back side very near the fence. So there will be some blooms, but only a precious few. No overpowering grape soda fragrance event in my garden this year.

The back side:

The few surviving blooms:

The flowering quince could care less how cold is was it seems. It is blooming crazy!:

A violet volunteer that finally bloomed! I think it must be the sun. This one seeded itself far enough into the sun that it actually produced a normal flower. The volunteer violets all initially seeded themselves in deep shade in my garden and all they ever produced before were cleistogomous flowers that pollinated themselves. But finally! An actual flower with petals:

And finally, the redbud is blooming:

Happy Bloom day everyone!