daffodils

Itching and inspiration in the garden…

It’s that time of year when I’m just itching to get into the garden.  Our yo-yo weather has vascillated from 90-degree days to drenching and seemingly endless rain.  My spring flowers are performing as predicted and I’m enjoying the bright blooms of Japanese Quince, daffodils, and bletilla.

Japanese Quince

The ornamental cabbages in the giant pots by the pool have never looked better, but I’m already eager to get started on starting the summer container plants in there.  I’m suffering from that in-between indecision about the timing of out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new.

Bletilla Striata – Ground Orchid

And the wisteria is starting to bloom on the back fence.

Wisteria

A few days in the 80s and even 90 and the variegated shell ginger and esperanza, Tecoma stans, are growing by leaps and bounds.  It won’t be long before they will form a beautiful wall along the pool and cabana walkway.

 Variegated shell ginger and esperanza

Daffodils dot the landscape like pinpoints of summer sunbeams.

Daffodil

Daffodil

I’ve also been planting on these gorgeous days.  I’m eager to see the structure that these new Mexican tree ferns will add to this mostly shady spot.

Mexican tree fern

The promise of spring and foreshadowing of summer energize me to dig in the dirt now, while the days are warm and welcoming.  So many projects…so little time!

Spring has sprung in the garden…

It feels like spring here in Central Texas, with sunny, 85-degree days dotting our early February weeks.  That might sound  more like summer to gardeners far north of here, but it’s heavenly spring for us.

The Japanese Quince has been blooming since the cooler, late-fall days, drawing butterflies to the sole flowers in the winter garden.  I’ve had a few white cemetery irises bloom and the peach irises opened up this week.  When I checked early this morning, I did detect the faintest sweet scent in the peach ones.

A few daffodils have opened.  A labeling failure two years ago is to blame for my not knowing each variety, since I do collect new ones each year.  But I recognize the Tete-a-Tetes and they’re starting to open in different parts of the garden.

Then yesterday, the Mountain Laurels burst forth.  I’d been eyeing the buds for several days, and trying to catch a whiff of the grape Kool-Aid aroma they dust on the breeze.

I banned myself from Facebook this morning because it’s been eating my mornings.  So, what do I do then?  I take the scissors outside and look for blooms to bring indoors!  I tried to put a peach iris with this little posie, but it was too big and didn’t work with these delicate little flowers, so I put it in its own vase.

Now, spring has sprung in my kitchen and it smells delicious — just like grape Kool-Aid!

Dazzling color in the spring garden…

We all love the spring garden — the awakening of plants that herald the arrival of spring and provide a foreshadowing of more  to come.

As the sun shifts in the sky and the breezes begin to warm up, I’m enjoying some rejuvenating time in the garden.

I bought these sweet glass daffodils to bring a pop of color into the garden before the daffodils were ready to open up.

The ‘Kate Izzard’ irises are loaded up and several of them are opening every day.  You can tell that I should have divided them last fall, which I fully intended to do, but I seriously need to do that this fall.

Just gorgeous.

Even though traditional tulips aren’t in our Central Texas plant palette, these species tulips, cluisana ‘Lady Jane’ are sweet substitutes in my garden. 

This little patch of phlox disappears entirely in the head of summer, but I can count on it to emerge in spring with loads of little blooms.

My cemetery irises are also popping open all over the garden.  Our winter clearly made the irises happy.

Bluebonnets are covering my decomposed granite path, and even Kallie’s playground filled with pea gravel.  Fletcher enjoys a peaceful moment with them here.

While most of the buds on my monster wisteria were frozen in our last freeze, there are still some opening up and draping delicately from the fence.

And then there is the homestead verbena.  What a powerhouse.  In the cooler spring and fall, they thrive and liven up any spot in the garden.  They will shrivel and look poor in the heat of summer, but just shade your eyes and pretend not to see them until they return again in the fall.  Even though many of our bloomers start now and run through the fall, homestead verbena is well worth it’s little summer break.

Now that the threat of freezing is past (I have my fingers crossed as I type this), it’s time to fill in the rest of the garden with new and exciting plants that will herald the summer.

Signs of spring in the garden…

Like all gardeners, I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring.  While the calendar won’t declare it spring for some time, here in Central Texas, the signs of spring abound with the recent above-average temperatures.

 These aren’t new spring plants popping up, but I love the color in the winter garden.

 If you look closely, you can see the buds forming on the Mexican plum tree.

The new bark is emerging on my lacebark elm tree.  Beautiful bark is a wonderful sculptural element in the garden.

The bluebonnets are growing quickly now – getting ready to put on a real show in my crushed granite path.

My loropetalum has hundreds if not thousands of teeny tiny buds, waiting to turn into pink fringe flowers.

The hellebores are starting to bloom.  I have to go out and lift them up to see these delicious drooping flowers. Even though I can’t see them easily when walking down the path, the lure of these mysterious blooms makes for a fun garden game of hide and seek.

This one’s in full bloom.  It’s limey-green petals camouflage this flower even more than the others.  Helleborus ‘green gambler,’ is a fast grower and usually has some burgundy spotting, veining, or picotee on each bloom.   The picotee is the edge that is a different color than the flower’s main color.

These are very special little specimens — muscari golden fragrance. Unlike most muscari, these are not the tell-tale purple, but rather a soft yellow and they have a wonderful scent. They are very low to the ground – about 5 inches high – so I literally have to get down on the ground to get a whiff of them. But it’s worth it!

The primrose jasmine is about to burst forth beautiful yellow blooms.  This one is about 5 feet tall, so it will be brilliant when it’s covered.

These little daffodils are looking good.  Soon it will be time to blow away the blanket of leaves and let the flowers shine.

The deer have been checking things out in the almost-spring garden as well.  It’s ok, maybe they pushed down my newly planted bulbs since I know I probably didn’t plant them deep enough. (I don’t really worry about that, though, since they seem to come up and perform regardless of my late and lazy planting!)

My cemetery passalong irises are already blooming.  I believe these came from my garden blogger buddy, who blogs here about her garden, which is filled with many kinds of iris.

The loquat tree is sporting new foliage.  I love this tree and the lime-colored new growth that contrasts with the glossy, established dark-green leaves.
And, one last bloom – I bought 3 lovely glass daffodils at the nursery last week and put them next to the emerging real ones.  I wonder what the growing daffodils will think when they come up to find these imposters in their garden.
What’s coming up in your garden today?

Beautiful spring blooms and bulbs brighten the garden…

Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?

My bletilla striata, also known as ground orchids, burst into bloom suddenly this weekend and I almost missed them. I love their exotic form and stunning color.

These little blooms are jonquilla “baby moon” and are less than an inch in diameter. About 8 inches tall, they are miniatures in every way. Their stems are like long, thin, round blades of grass. They bloom last of all my daffodils, but they are my favorites because of their delicate form.

Although I’m saddened to mark the loss of some of my cilantro, thanks to the early and unseasonably warm temperatures, I do think the blooms are sweet.

This is an oops bulb. It must have come in a bag of daffodil bulbs that I ordered, because that’s what’s blooming all around her. But I love the swirling red, white and pink color combination.

These tulips were intentionally planted. My neighbor brought me bulbs back from her trip to the Netherlands in February and I promptly put them in the ground. They were up in no time, much to my surprise. Because I’m not willing to dig up tulip bulbs and replant them every year (which we have to do in our hot climate because we don’t have enough chilling hours), I don’t have tulips in my garden. But I might have to dig these up for sentimental reasons. They have special meaning for me — they were a gift from a dear friend, and I lived in the Netherlands for four years when I was a young girl.

The bright lime green of these daylily leaves make a pretty contrast against this purple salvia — sadly it didn’t come with a good tag when I planted it, so I have no idea which of the 200+ salvias it is. I just know it’s colorful and hardy.

This is hellebore ‘winter wren‘. It and ‘Phoebe‘ are both blooming. They were sad when the weather first warmed up and I thought the summer heat had zapped them. Then all of a sudden they had a growth spurt and put on a show.

The bluebonnets are bringing great color to my cutting garden (although I never cut them!). They also spread their seeds all over Kallie’s play scape. Those plants are a few weeks slower growing than these, so I hope to have fun pictures of them soon. They clearly love that pea gravel.


My Japanese Maple was miserable last summer, but is happy with this wet, temperate spring.

Are any of these beautiful blooms putting on a show in your garden yet this spring?

Daffodils and spring bulbs in bloom…


Almost all of my daffodils are up and putting on a spring show of blooms. Only one late-blooming variety is waiting to open. This one is a Double Campernelle, or Narcissus odorus plenus.
These are the ‘Yellow Fortune’ daffodils – I’ve lost quite a few of them in recent years – I suspect the drought has been hard on them.



I cannot locate the label for these pretties right now – they are packed away in a massive garage clean-out before installation of cabinets next week (cabinets to hide away all my garden *stuff* that seemed to have taken over the garage). These are my first pale yellow daffodils and I must say I like them. They seem almost illuminated on a pretty day.

I think this is Jonquilla ‘Simplex’.

These are the lovely and always prolific “Tete a tete” — a shorter variety — about 8 inches tall and very dense.

My new Muscari ‘Dark Eyes’ are all coming up and filling in nicely, making a pretty, purple textured carpet against the grey of the winter mulch.
Pretty in purple are the hyacinths of unknown variety, courtesy of HEB’s indoor planter two years ago.
This Hellebore is Helleborus x hybridus `Gold Finch’ with beautiful contrast. I just had to have this one since we have so many goldfinches in the wooded garden bed where this is planted.
Another unlabeled Hellebore (also known as a Lenten Rose) — I just love those wispy markings in the center. They are hard to see and photograph, though, because of their growth habit and how they demurely keep their blooms bowed down. It also means I have to lie on the ground and hold up the foliage to try to get a photo.
This is muscari golden fragrance. They are a delicate yellow and have a wonderful scent.