Saturday, March 31, 2012

Baskets of Nasturtiums

I adore nasturtiums, but they so do not adore the hot, humid late spring and summer of Central texas. This year, I started some seeds in hanging pots in the greenhouse. It worked great and now I have a couple baskets of nasturtiums hanging under the eve's necklace tree:

Oh, and Hey! Did you know you can make pickled nasturtium seeds? Yep. They're like capers, apparently:

Gulf Coast Penstemon and Columbine

Gulf Coast Penstemon and Yellow Columbine. These two are like peas and carrots - great alone but spectacular together. In the Spring the skinny and narrow side garden is where the big show is at:

I started with just one plant of each several years ago and they have reseeded themselves all over the side garden:

This side garden is on the East side of the house. Perfect for both the columbine and gulf coast penstemon whom prefer morning sun and afternoon shade:



Looking down through the garden gate, you will notice the pomegranate is in bloom:

This was supposed to be pomegranate 'wonderful' but I now believe it is a double flowering pomegranate. The blooms are beautiful, but extra fluffy and the bees don't seem able to pollinate them. This tree has never produced pomegranates for me. So last year I bought a second pom tree 'Amy'. Hopefully that one will fruit. Never-the-less, the flowers are still gorgeous:


Also, just through the garden gate is 'Duchess of Albany' clematis. It isn't in bloom yet, but I am really excited about how vigorous it is this year. It was newly planted last year, and barely eeked out a living during the terrible drought, but this year it is climbing like gangbusters up the garden arch:

I can't hardly wait until it blooms:

On the fence behind the arch I spied a garden visitor. Hello Mr. Anole!:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tulips all in a row

I'm the first to admit that I don't necessarily like flowers planted in a row like a line of soldiers, however I have this long, narrow side yard that had limited options.

I already had planted holly and sabal palms, blue salvia and blue pumbago amongst other things in this area and I really wanted some tulips in the spring in this space. I decided to plant some species tulips in clumps of five and about a foot apart all the way down and along the edge of the limestone border. I think planting them this way turned out great!:

Here they are open:


These clusiana tulips will gradually naturalize and spread, so as time goes on they will look more natural in this space.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Anacacho Orchid Tree

The Orchid tree is in full bloom today and the entire yard smells like one giant orchid. I love it!:

The best thing about this tree is that I almost never have to water it. I did give it a few drinks last year and that was it. It takes the droughty conditions like a champ and rewards me with this outstanding show of white flowers every spring and also a smaller show in the fall if it rains:

Pink Primrose grow unabated under the airy branches:

A closer look at the white orchid blooms. I would rather have this gorgeous tree than a boring, ugly lollipop bradford pear tree any day of the week. There is simply no comparison in my book:

An added bonus is that the hummingbirds adore the flowers of this tree. They fight wars over it. I currently have at least 3 of them fighting over rights to this orchid tree in the garden. Just yesterday I even witnessed a hummingbird go after a finch to get him out of the tree! He chased him out and using his beak, repetitively stabbed the poor finch until the finch flew off. To the victor go the spoils.

As the flowers age, the petals gently float to the ground creating a white carpet that almost looks like a soft blanket of snow in spring:

Best. Tree. Ever.

Quick update: Here are a few more photos I took today while the sun was out. I think they really show off the gorgeousness of the clustered white flowers:

Bluebonnets and Paintbrush

It's bluebonnets and paintbrush time in Central Texas. Here are a few blooming in my garden:

Both the bluebonnets and prairie paintbrush have naturalized in my front garden, so they are popping up everywhere:

Yellow paintbrush:

Here are some bluebonnets along with lavendar and damianita:

Bluebonnets, primrose, and species tulips:

It has been a most splediferous spring so far in Austin this year. Such a nice departure from the super-dry springs we have had the past several seasons. I'm gonna enjoy it while I can, since I'm quite sure it is gonna get really hot, really quickly beginning in a couple weeks. For now though, I'm basking in the spring rains and glorious flowers of the season.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crossvine fabulousness

The crossvine just looks amazing this Spring. It has managed to wrap itself around either side of the housing eves, which I keep in bounds by trimming, and is just loaded with blooms!

Just look at this:

It took it about 4 years to attain this size:

I really like the way it cascades down the corner of the house, softening the harsh brick edges:

You can see it up and behind the eve's necklace tree here:

and behind the redbud on the other side. The pink redbud blooms seem to pop out at you in from of the yellow-orangy crossvine flowers:

When I originally planted this vine, I thought it was the tangerine variety, but it turned out to be the native instead. I'm totally ok with that now, as the tangerine beauty one is so ubiquitous anymore. I don't see this native one around much at all.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Bloom Day - a couple days late.

OK, ok, so I missed bloom day. My camera broke and I'm on my backup camera. When I went to offload the pictures, I realized I had misplaced the cord and couldn't connect it to the computer. I picked up a new cord today and now I have the pics in my grubby garden fingers!

It has been raining quite a bit this spring so far in Texas. More than I have seen in years! The garden is looking fab due to this extra rain and super-extra mild winter. I am super excited about the garden this spring as I'm sure this very early warm weather is really a harbinger of evil death star drought and death for this summer and I am gonna enjoy the flowers while they try and bloom before it is 100+ degrees every. single. day.

What's blooming now:

Globemallow. Holy cow this is looking outstanding right now. Love, love, love this one:

Look how stunning it is behind the color guard yucca:


Another fav of mine is the original tulip clusiana with the magenta center:

They have been slowly spreading each year and so now I have several:

Side view:

In the back garden the tulip clusiana Cynthia and Tinka are blooming:

Closer of Cynthia:

Cynthia is all buttery yellow inside with yellow stamens and Tinka is buttery yellow in side with red stamens. Other than that, I think they really look about the same.

More Cynthia:

More clusiana under the weeping possumhaw:

Oh! The bluebonnets are blooming. I don't have as many this year as usual due to the extended drought of the last couple years, but here are a few with some prairie paintbrush:

A few more:

The white cemetery iris are blooming. I put a bunch in a pot so I could have them in my entryway where I can stop and give them a good sniffing now and then:

Ajuga is also blooming. They add some color when the canna are still coming back from the winter freezeback:

Blackfoot daisy is blooming. They survived a near death experience in the hellstrip last year, but they bounced right back this spring. Yay for drought tolerant perennials!:

The bulbine are enjoying the warm spring:

The columbine is looking and smelling wonderful:


The crossvine is just coming into bloom and looks splediferous above the coral honeysuckle vine:

Hoop Petticoats. So sweet:



Pink Primrose. A bit of a thug in the garden, but I just love these so much and they die back to the ground by the time it gets hot anyway:

The Texas Mt Laurel is finishing up blooming. Sure wish I could bottle the grape soda scent.:

And Thalia narcissus. I really love these. They come back year after year for me. I recently replaced some other narcissus that didn't make it through the drought with these guys since these don't seem to mind being baked hard at all (hippies!).

Wider shot: