A little garden trip down the road…

Last week I went on a jaunt to visit some of our blogging friends in San Antonio. They’ve come to Austin periodically, so it was time to venture south to see them. Our first stop was Melody’s beautiful and spacious garden. After a treat of delicious mini muffins and ginger cookies baked by her lovely daughter, we stepped into her sanctuary. The first view is a wonderful pool, surrounded by pots and plants that gave it a rustic, more natural look.

To deal with foraging deer, this fence guards Melody’s vegetables, herbs and some perennial favorites.

Garden art like this gazing ball catches your eye as you meander through the perennial garden.

Depending on which way you walk, this beautiful arbor marks the beginning or the end of a delightful path.

A shroud of vibrant green vines clothe the wooden structure.

This long view emphasizes the beautiful, though tough-to-photograph day with its bright light and deep shadows.

And then there were the gorgeous plants, like this salvia madrensis, one of my faves.

And then there were the gorgeous plants, like this salvia madrensis, one of my faves.  Clever uses of ordinary things added such a nice touch, like this cracked cement birdbath repurposed as a planter with a small figurine in the center.

Carrying on with the wooden theme, this vignette beckons deep in the path and offers a place to sit and ponder the garden.

Pots like this one, overflowing with bougainvillea, are scattered throughout the garden landscape.

Another striking salvia, Wendy’s wish stands out among lower layers of perennials.

From the distance, the arbor is quaint, but standing underneath, it’s quite grand.

I almost passed this dragonfly by as he was well camouflaged by backdrop of the fence and the surrounding plants.

Another long view across the landscape.

Across the yard, this rustic trellis serves as a home to a vine and a birdhouse.

Coral vine adorns this rustic limestone wall to the tool shed…though it’s really more like a tool house.

Inside the safety of the high fence, a collection of tasty hibiscus grow with impunity.

Sunlight streams in to light up this seating area.

More friendly and welcoming plants in the garden.

My tools don’t look like this!

While not a blogger, we tried to convince Melody to blog so we can keep up with her garden, but we didn’t succeed – yet!   Pam Pennick, of Digging, and our hostess, Melody, as we’re saying our goodbyes.

Thanks to Melody for graciously opening her home and garden to us for a wonderful morning.

A few early bloomers showing their colors…

This Garden Bloggers Bloom Day finds my garden rather sad, covered with the dreary blanket of winter that’s covered us for quite some time this year. In spite of that, Carol, of May Dreams Gardens, invites us to brave the cold and see who’s popping up in our gardens for a little bloom.

This Autumn Joy Sedum really should be named, Winter Joy, because she seems to love this winter weather. In spite of a freeze last night, today she’s still bright and perky and posing for me.
My grape hyacinths from last year’s indoor arrangement are still blooming strong, with lots of other bulbs yet to come from the original 3.
Ms. Phoebe Hellebore is still a sleepy little bud, but she’s so close, I decided to stretch it a little and let her join in our bloom day fun.
Several more Daffodils have opened up, but the best is yet to come.
The Japanese Quince is in full bloom and beautiful.
The Leather Leaf Mahonia still has the most interesting blooms on it — even more unusual with a reddish spent bloom on the stalk when the yellow bells are done blooming.

That’s all that’s blooming outdoors in my garden.

But I haven’t shown you the greenhouse this winter, so I thought today would be a good day for a little tour of what’s blooming there.
This Rose Kalanchoe has sent up a giant stalk and is blooming like crazy! And I have thousands of babies — that fall off the ruffle-edged leaves into every pot I own. (Austin gardeners, if you want one I’ll be bringing a bag ‘o them to our design event.)
This is the annual impatiens plant that my Mom and Dad gave me 2 years ago in March when our beloved Sierra dog died. I’ve managed to keep it alive this long and it is amazing to see it in bloom like this.
This is the Bougainvillea given to me by Robin, of Getting Grounded, so it would have a sunny home in which to bloom. It misses you Robin, but its happy!
This is a Cowslip that I bought a few weeks ago at the Natural Gardener. I have no idea if it will survive the heat or the deer in my garden, but I had to have it.
Here’s another close up of the Rose Kalanchoe – look at all those blooms!
And now we’re indoors. This is the bouquet that my son (26) brought me for Valentine’s Day. He came over yesterday and took his little sister (7) out to dinner for Valentine’s Day — just the two of them — as a special treat, and they brought me back flowers. So sweet, those two.
And this is a rose from the stunning bouquet I got from my husband for Valentine’s Day, along with chocolates and a singing card. I’m eating my chocolate right now as I post! I am so blessed.

Our temperatures have been about 10 degrees below normal on average here this winter, which put us down to freezing for several nights this week. Spring may be a little slower arriving here this year, but we have so much to look forward to.