Spring Things

In this post, there will be no philosophical musings, no preaching about pollinators or planting for wildlife.  Spring is in full flush with fresh florals opening each and every day.

Spring being spring, it’s all about the flowers.

This cheery bit of yellow, Golden groundsel, produces a sprightly sprays of spring flowers and a year-round, drought-tolerant groundcover.

Golden groundsel (Packera obovata)

The Texas mountain laurel is famed for its beauty and fragrance.  Spring breezes carry the iconic bouquet throughout Austin for weeks, though I notice the heady grape juice scent mostly after nightfall.

Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

During daylight hours, I sigh at the stunning blooms and appreciate what it offers pollinators.

Migrating Monarch butterfly nectaring at the blooms.

The tubular flowers on Coral honeysuckle vine pop in spring, but there are always a few clusters gracing the vine throughout summer.

Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

I finally found a home for Carolina jessamine in my garden.  Requiring full sun, there is one spot in my garden–and one only spot–where this spring-only bloomer can grow successfully. Carolina is repaying me with a second spring set of blooms.

Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Trees bloom too!  The catkins of the Texas oak tree vie for attention with new green foliage.

Texas red oak (Quercus buckeyi)

I like the lone double acorn cap, affixed firmly to the branch.  It hung onto the branch through winter and is now keeping company with the catkins and the new leaves.  I wonder if it’ll still be there in mid-summer?

It’s been easy to spot native and wintering birds as they perch in the bare-limbed trees.  Going forward, those observations will become more challenging as the deciduous trees leaf out.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Of course, what is up must come down, and that is certainly true of the oak catkins.  I’ll be cleaning the pond when all the oak catkins and powdery pollen is down and done.  But walkways, patio covers, and roof gutters also need some tidying.  Let the sneezing commence!

Shooting stars?  Garden fairies?  Nope, these darling dancers are the Yellow columbines beginning their blooming season!   I’ll enjoy these charmers into late April or May, and so will their pollinators.

Yellow columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha)

Pink-tinged columbines, another Texas native, also provide a month or two of pretty pollinator action alongside their yellow compadres.

Wild red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Spiderworts dot roadsides, countrysides, fence lines, and my gardens with their purple-to-pink prettiness.  There are many varieties of these wildflowers, but I only grow the Giant spiderwort.  My specimens were on the verge of blooming when we were hit with a freeze–our only real freeze of this year–last week.  Still, quite a few are open for business and more are in the process of developing.  On the upside of enjoying fewer blooms this year is that there will be fewer volunteers next year requiring weeding. With gardening, it’s always good to take a positive spin.

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Giant spiderwort (Tradescantia gigantea)

 

I garden in Austin, Texas (zone 8b) with mostly, but not exclusively, native Texas plants.  It’s been a while since I joined in with Carol’s fun May Dreams Gardens GBBD, but I’m happy to renew my participation.   Happy blooming!

28 thoughts on “Spring Things

  1. I’m in 8b also, but my blooms are no where near as far along as yours! Well, maybe they would be if I grew the wonderful plants you featured! I love the Texas mountain laurel. The flowers are so wisteria-like.

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    • Hi Lisa! Everything I grow is easy, drought-tolerant, and perfect for the home gardener–you can grow them too! As for the Tx. Mountain laurel, maybe it’s the wisteria that is laurel-like. 🙂

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  2. So glad someone else likes spiderworts! They get no respect generally, but the husband mowes around big patches in our lawn every spring and the color , bloomsize, and rebloom make them awesome in my book

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  3. Spring is the magic season that rejoices your soul,loved the Texas mountain laurel and little birdies too.Our part is in mid spring too,I can totally relate to sentiments of spring.
    Happy Spring !

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  4. Spring’s really on a roll, isn’t it? I’m seeing lots of lyre leaf sage along the roadsides, and yesterday I spotted a pasture full of wild plains indigo. I have GOT to get out and about!

    I remember all my confusion about groundsel; when I was in the hill country, I found a different Packera — just now I can’t remember the species name, but I have it written down somewhere. And our Carolina jessamine is on the downhill slide. I didn’t realize it had been blooming for such a long time; I see more flowers on the ground than on the plant.

    What an exciting time of year it is. Now, if we could just get the tree pollen to settle down a bit…

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    • Oooh, my lyreleaf have gorgeous foliage, but not blooms stalks as yet. Yes, I’d like to get out, as well. There are a couple of the packera which bloom; around here, not only in my garden but along some Austin trails that I’ve walked, the P. obovata seems the be the one.

      I’m fortunate that I don’t have the bad allergies that many people experience. I’ll sneeze a bit, but not much else. I have noticed a sort of yellow film over thing–ick–though some rain the other day washed it away.

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  5. Hi Tina, i am sure every entity is happy when spring arrives in countries like yours. However, in our part of the world there is not much difference in blooms, we only have the dry and the wet season. Happy spring!

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  6. Goodness, a few that I find compelling, but have never grown. I just got my first coral honeysuckle last year, but it is not doing well. I started to grow Texas mountain laurel a few years ago, but lost them. (It is a long story.) I will grow them again eventually. I have never seen them here.

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