Garden Bloggers Fling cottage-style garden of Casa Mariposa

Long, hot days and late nights aside, the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling, held two weekends ago in the Northern Virginia/DC area, had it all.  Surrounded by friends old and new, we toured botanical gardens, private gardens and the many gardens along the National Mall in D.C.

The Fling team did a fabulous job of hosting and things ran like clockwork.  Our chief organizer and hostess writes a garden blog at Casa Mariposa.  We were all excited to see her garden in person.

This quaint arbor and gate mark the entrance to the back garden.

The back garden was overflowing with a rainbow of blooms .

The back was a pollinator’s paradise,

Sweet birdhouses dotted the garden.

A collection of pots and garden art lined the back steps into the house.

A dry creek helps with drainage and provides a hardscape contrast to the delicate flowers.

The shady parts of the garden are brightened by variegated plants.

Bloggers, bloggers everywhere!

I may have to steal this clever idea.  Since dogs always want to run the fence line, we need to work with them, not against them! A cleverly concealed little fence gives the dogs room to run to their hearts’ content without tearing through the beds.

I loved all of the complimentary and contrasting colors in her garden.  I think this combination was my favorite. Opposites really do attract!

Stayed tuned for many more posts about the beautiful Fling gardens.

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?

In a Vase on Monday — still cheerily waiting for winter…

While our nights are now close to freezing temps, we still haven’t hit the hard 32 here at our house yet.  My dad was here today and returned the vase from the bouquet of garden flowers I took them a few weeks ago.

Since it was a beautiful, sunny day here (60F) and there are still blooms in the garden, I refilled the vase and sent it back again – with flowers!

Today’s arrangement included lion’s tail, coneflowers, indigo spires salvia, celosia, rosemary and duranta seeds.

To see what other gardeners are putting in their vases, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Blooms bursting in my garden on a chilly December day…

It’s been chilly here in Central Texas.  If you call 50s and 60s chilly, and we do.  All the potted tropicals and succulents are in the greenhouse with night time heaters running.

But the garden is still full of flowers – invigorated by lots of rain and cooler days.

I’m not spending time in the garden right now, so when I went to water the greenhouse plants this morning, I decided to bring some of these amazing flowers inside so I can enjoy them more.

I gathered Lion’s tail, celosia, indigo spires salvia and coneflowers and made a beautiful bouquet for my kitchen island.  There are many other blooms in the garden.

I might just bring in something else tomorrow.

Bringing in cut flowers for indoor sunshine, but leaving the heat outdoors

You wouldn’t believe it’s fall here in Central Texas.  The temperature today is supposed to be a whopping 95 degrees.  They keep promising us a cool front this weekend.  I’m not holding my breath!

Since I’m so busy with work and procrastinating on two designs, I decided to venture into the garden and see how I could waste some more time.  Ah ha!  I’ll pick some of these lovely flowers to bring inside to enjoy while I am chained to my desk.

Many things that I cut back in early August are blooming again, but most of these have bloomed all summer long.  This bouquet has echinacea, duranta, esperanza, some flowering basil and some Klondike cosmos.  The cosmos were all ripped out mid-summer and the remaining seeds have germinated and given me a brand new, monstrous crop.  They are very unruly, but I like them anyway.  I think of them like popsicle sunshine on a stick!

I was inspired to do this after reading Late to the Garden Party’s post for In a Vase on Monday, a meme started by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  I’m late to the meme, but I still wanted some flowers for my desk.  Better late than never, right?

Have you been bringing in any flowers from your garden?  Don’t you want to pop out there with the scissors and bring something beautiful from your garden indoors?

Bumper crop of coneflowers promising a colorful summer…

Newsflash: I’ve decided to see the garden as half full. Instead of crying over the spilled milk atrocities of our winter, I’m going to focus on the positive. Sure, things died. And buds got zapped. And agaves turned to mush. I can’t do a darned thing about it.

 I’m chanting my garden mantra: “I am NOT in charge.”

Ok. Enough said. So, what’s going to be beautiful in my garden this year?

Cone flowers. Echinacea purpurea is one of my favorites.  It’s just so perky all the time.

And from the looks of it, it’s going to be a banner year for them.  This is a cluster of cone flower plants that’s jammed packed — there’s just foliage growing in the garden right now, but soon they will be beautiful like the picture of last year’s in the pictures above and below. 

I need to thin them out and spread them around – I love being my own nursery!

While the most common color around here is the purple, I also have some of the white variety in the garden, too.   Don’t they just make you want to smile?

Here’s to a wonderful week!