blue bonnets

Everbearing strawberries ready to eat…

Ahhhh.
The ever-bearing strawberries are bearing again. Kallie ate the first red, ripe, sweet, incredibly juicy strawberry from the garden this week. She pronounced it delicious.
I’ve eaten some of this broccoli, really I have. And I have another plant that hasn’t bolted yet, so I will be eating that one, too. But I love letting some of them bloom because I think they are so pretty and delicate. Broccoli isn’t something I think of as delicate. In fact, when Kallie was little we used to call them trees at the dinner table. But the blooms are so different.
So close…The bluebonnets are just swelling up with foliar pride with all this delightful rain. I can’t wait to see them in all their blue splendor. They have self-seeded throughout the playscape pea gravel — it’s going to be a show.
I’ve seen many Texas mountain laurels blooming all over town, but mine are holding back just a little. Buds abound, though.

The Italian parsley is huge. I’m sure that the caterpillars are going to be very grateful when I have to turn it over to them. I’ll have to get out there and sneak some for myself before they get here.

Blue bonnets ablaze…


It’s not a great year for wildflowers in Central Texas. Our drought has affected this year’s crop.

Roadways normally awash in a sea of beautiful bluebonnet blue are sadly green.

Some other wildflowers are popping up, but the bluebonnets are either absent or very small and scattered about in sporadic patches.

But in my backyard, there is water. A few early spring sprinklings gave my bluebonnets just enough to put on a spectacular show.

Well, spectacular for me. With a thick layer of mulch in most of my other beds, I haven’t been able to get planted bluebonnets to reseed. But when I planted them and seeded them in the unmulched soil of the cutting garden, they rewarded me with a pretty palette of blue.

I’m missing them as I drive along the roads of Austin, but I’m so glad I can walk out back and enjoy a few of them this spring.

Bloom Day Blue Bonnet …

It’s a sad state of garden affairs here in Central Texas as we celebrate Garden Bloggers Bloom Day with our friend Carol of May Dreams Gardens.

Earlier in the week, when the sun was shining on our cold winter days, there were a few perky little blooms hanging on. Despite freezes last weekend, some lonely survivors still brought us some color.

But today is dreary and rainy and the blooms are few and far between.


EXCEPT for one lonely blue bonnet.

I think this little plant must be confused. It certainly hasn’t been winter long enough for it to rise from its sleep. Winter only really arrived last week.

And it’s not inside the greenhouse, it’s outside where all its little friends are still nothing but slowly growing foliage…biding their time to bloom far later into the spring.

In fact, last year I was posting about blue bonnets on the April 15th Bloom Day, and here it is January and already this single blue bonnet has sent up it’s banner.

I’m not complaining, mind you. A bloom is a bloom. It delighted me when I first discovered it last week. And it held on for me to share it with you on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

I suppose it’s just a small reminder that spring really isn’t that far away.

By | January 15th, 2011|Blog, blue bonnets, GBBD, Sharing Nature's Garden, winter|0 Comments

The promise of things to come in the garden…

As gardeners, we think of the spring as a time of renewal.

Plants awaken from their long winter’s nap and begin the process of growing again.

But fall is also a time of renewal.

Here in Texas, our hot summer perennials are refreshed by ever-so-slightly cooler temperatures and a little bit of rain. Many of them begin a new bloom cycle until the first frost appears.

Fall bloomers, like fall Asters and Oxblood lilies also thrive.

And, our most precious Bluebonnets, the state flower and our February/March pride and joy, begin to grow delicate green foliage.

My Night-blooming Cereus is also experiencing a revival. This bud showed up 3 days ago and I’ve been checking it each night to see if I can capture it’s beautiful flower. The last time it bloomed in the spring, I actually missed 3 blooms at once because I forgot to check it one night. (There is little more disappointing as a gardener than missing such an infrequent bloom, only to find a limp little goose-neck looking spent bloom drooping down.)
These variegated dwarf Satusuma oranges are growing rounder and rounder and turning a little more orange than yellow. I can’t wait to taste them! (But it will still be a few months before our traditional citrus harvest here in Central Texas.)
And more Lycoris Radiata buds are forming in my flower beds. Some are hidden by other plants, and I have to push foliage aside to get a sneak peek at many of them.
I can only get a partial shot of this one, but isn’t she pretty?

There are many more promises of things to come in the garden. What are you looking forward to in your garden?

Blooms bursting out…

This Bloom Day, the Bluebonnets are bursting forth here in Central Texas. Even though we are behind in our blooms this spring, it seems things are finally waking up this month. All those fall rains are finally paying off. You can thank Carol, of May Dreams Gardens, for inviting us all to share our beautiful blooms with our friends on the 15th of each month.
My Tangerine Crossvine is absolutely out of control.
I’m very excited that I finally learned to plant Spiderwort INSIDE the fence so the deer don’t eat it and I get to enjoy it’s lovely blooms.
This pretty purple Vinca won’t be around long…it’s leftover from the previous owners (and we’ve been in the house almost 7 years!) and keeps popping up where I don’t want it – in my Abelias. But it is pretty…maybe I will try to move some…
I bought this perky Hinkley’s Columbine at the Wildflower Center Sale last weekend. I hope I have better luck this time – I’ve been unsuccessful with columbines so far.
My ‘Maggie’ rose has a hundred blooms on it, easily. And they smell heavenly — can’t you smell them?
Okay – back to the Crossvine – see how out of control it is? It’s climbing from the ground all the way to the top of this big oak tree.

These two photos are the Carefree Beauty or Katy Road Rose. It’s full of blooms, too and is competing neck and neck with Maggie for the best scent ever!

These sweet little Cosmos are in the cutting garden. They’re only a few inches tall. My last Cosmos were the tallest ones – probably 3 feet tall!
Here’s another little Spiderwort.
The Damianita are starting to bloom and this one of several little pups that I’m going to dig up and move to expand my collection! I love it when I make new plants in my own garden — well, not me personally, but my plants.

One of many different colors of Alyssum…
Texas Primrose sundrops are so perky in the rock path.
The Homestead Verbena is a sea of purple in the path.
Carpet thyme in the path.
More Alyssum…
and more…
My tall winecups are blooming, too. The foliage is up to my knee.

The profusion of Maggie Roses again.
The Desert Rose is so happy with our nice spring weather.
The Phoebe Hellebore is still blooming – all the blooms have turned from pink to green now, but sadly, none of the other plants have any blooms. Next year.
I have lots of Dianthus scattered around the beds for winter filler — the deer don’t eat them and they perk up the garden when everything else is brown.
One of several salvias I didn’t label (bad blogger, bad blogger!).
The Four-Nerve Daisies are all blooming like crazy right now.
The itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie Daffodils are still blooming. The stalks are like standing pieces of twine, they are so thin and delicate.
The first blue Salvia bloom opened today in the front garden by the driveway. This is Mystic Spires – which is a compact, clumping form.
Another Salvia…
A leftover Tete-a-tete Daffodil – I will definitely plant more of these in the fall – loved them.
This was supposed to be Homestead Verbena — hmmm…someone (not me) was color blind. I just made the mistake of buying them with no blooms and trusting the nursery owner!
The infamous Cleome Senorita Rosalita, made famous by Pam of Digging‘s trial and rave reviews last summer.

Louisiana Blue Phlox & Dianthus
Phlox – pink something or other!
Primrose Jasmine.
Potato Vine.
Mexican Flame Vine – I am trying a new one. First year I had one it did great, then I think Mexican Mint Marigolds stole its water. Gonna make sure it gets a little more this year.
One of my favorites – Blackfoot Daisies.
A volunteer Bluebonnet that seeded across the driveway from last year’s plants.
Diamond Frost Euphorbia. Look quick – I have 3. One has been eaten to the nubs. One is on its way out. This one’s days are numbered unless I rush out and move it to the back!
Prairie Verbena that I got at the Wildflower Center last weekend.
Something I planted and didn’t write down — rats!
Another something I planted and didn’t write down — rats!
Bletilla Striata – I now have 3 of them dotting the shade along the river rock bed and it is just beautiful.

This unusual spring has enabled me to inter-plant early and late spring/summer plants and to see where the holes will be when bulbs and early bloomers die back. For me, this is the biggest challenge — keeping the garden going year round with seasonal bloomers and interest.

Happy GBBD!

Happy Day…

Here’s wishing you a warm spring Sunday and a Happy Easter, if you are celebrating that today.

In the spirit of rebirth and renewal, I wanted to share with you these beautiful Texas wildflower photos taken by my sweet husband this week.

Even though we are weeks behind in the emergence of spring flowers, thanks to our unseasonably cold winter, most things are making up for it now.

With a wet fall, winter and spring, our wildflowers here in Central Texas are bursting forth right now.

They are prettier and more widespread than they’ve been in years.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.