January blooms brightening the garden

I’ve been amazed at the lack of a freeze this late in the season, but Facebook reminded me with a photo of brilliant variegated shell ginger that we only had our first freeze here at the house on January 4th last year.

While there aren’t as many blooms as in the summer months, it’s still delightful to find flowers in the garden now, especially these coneflowers.  

 These Pam’s pink Turks caps start blooming late but keep on going.

 The cape honeysuckle are a bright burst on the increasingly grey days.

 Another late summer/early fall bloomer, Mexican bush sage is prolific.

 As are the Mexican mint marigolds.

 In the pots by the front door, these begonias are refreshed after some cooler temps and rain.

 And next to the begonias, these Mexican honeysuckles are about to bloom for the third time.

This Royal Queen, or Iochroma, is stunning.  Bar none, my favorite in the garden these days.  It’s a mid-fall bloomer, but oh-so-well-worth the wait.

In the granite and flagstone path out back, the sweet alyssum are perky as can be.

Even the neighboring pink skull cap is starting to bloom again.

I posted these on my FB profile last week – this abutilon is bursting with blooms.

Unruly, but showing deepening purple colors, indigo spires salvia is tough-as-nails.

The lion’s tails are still showing off — I’ve brought them in and arranged them in vases with other late bloomers.  You can see those arrangements here and here.  They include many of these blooms.

As I write this post, I realize that I’ve left a few of these bright blooms out of those arrangements, so I’m feeling inspired to make another arrangement today.

THIS is what I love about living in Austin, Texas.

Are you making bouquets from your garden?

Early bloomers are putting on a show in the spring garden

Even though it’s only March, it’s already spring here in Central Texas.

After our exceptionally mild winter and welcome rains, the early bloomers are already hard at work in my garden.

In addition to the daffodils I included in my last post, many of the other perennials are already flowering.

This loropetalum is bursting with hot pink fringe-like blooms.

It’s the one I’ve pruned to become a small tree.

These pretty little blooms below called to me at the Natural Gardener last week.

And as soon as I started typing, the name flew out of my head! I’m sure you know just what they are – they aren’t mums, they might be gaillardia.

The wisteria is starting to bloom. Like last year, there is some growth on the back side of the fence, but there are plenty of buds for me to enjoy inside the fence.
I love looking at the Mexican plum tree buds against the pretty blue sky.
The stone wall makes a nice backdrop for the trailing lavender lantana behind the pool.
The hellebores would have preferred a colder winter, but some of them are giving me some blooms — this is ‘winter’s wren.’
The strawberries are blooming their ever-loving heads off! Soon we will be able to eat more than one ripe one at a time. I long for the day when we get a small bowl full.
My absolute favorite low-grower is ‘homestead’ verbena. That bright purple color is just stunning.
All of my blackfoot daisies are back again from last year. You just can’t beat these little guys for drought tolerance.
The alyssum is mounding up all over along the rock path already.

‘May night’ salvia can do great in the garden here, but my luck with them has been hit and miss. I love their low-growing form, but they are hard to get established.
Kallie’s window box is full of little pretties that I got last weekend at the Natural Gardener.
After some slacking last year, many of my irises are showing off for the first time. I don’t know the name of the purple or the white iris, though I believe the white one may be a pass along from Pam of Digging or Annie of The Transplantable Rose.

As always, Fletcher wanted to know what I was doing in the garden with that camera around my neck, so he had to come check out the salvia, too! I’m sure he thought there must be something edible in there!