Seeing Red

April is typically portrayed as a month full of pink, lavender, and yellow.   This pastel pulchritude reflects traditional concepts of new and fresh, infant and innocent.  My garden currently provides this zeitgeist of spring hue, but what grabs my attention in mid-April are the vibrant hots in the garden.

I’m seeing red.

Many years ago, a German friend gifted to me a handful of poppy seeds. Since then,  these harbingers of spring and symbols of remembrance pop for a month or so, usually March to April.

The blooms keep honeybees busy,

…and sway in gentle breezes.


As the poppies are showing off in sunny spots, a native Texas woodland perennial, the Cedar sage, Salvia roemeriana, also rocks its red.  Cedar sage are happier nearer to the ground and they bloom in shady parts of the garden.


There’s some vertical hot rocket red, too. Climbing up a fence, is Coral honeysuckle vine, Lonicera sempervirens, decorated with clusters of tubular crimson, with a flair of yellow.  Native green metallic bees and my honeybees vie for nectar-slurping positions.  If there are hummingbirds who’ve already arrived from Mexico and Central America, they’ll also buzz for these yummy blooms.  But so far this spring, it’s just the insects that I’ve seen at the honeysuckle blooms.


April love is like a red, red rose–or, as it happens, many Martha Gonzales roses.    The two shrubs–side-by-side buddies–sparkle with red petals, rich with deep green foliage.  They welcome walkers to my garden.

Fragrant blooms, each with a dash of bright white, are dramatic foils to the more delicate spring blooms.


Okay, it’s a cheat, but this Texas Beargrass, Nolina texana, sits blooming in a red pot.  The bloom stalk is akin to the April pale pinks, but the pot is hot.

Soft and pastel, or loud and hot–blooms are boss and you can see more beautiful blooms by checking out May Dreams Gardens and her Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

Happy April blooms!

19 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. I’m so glad to see my identification of bear grass confirmed! I found it on the Willow City loop, growing just as wild as can be, and it took me a good bit of time to come up with a hypothesis.

    When it comes to red, though, I found something at the Rockport cemetery that really has me stymied. I haven’t been able to find anything like it in my books or online. It was a smallish tree or large shrub — and beautiful. Have you ever seen this?


      • Wow–I don’t know what it is, but it’s a looker! It almost looks begonia-like. It has that fleshy look and the vibrant color. Funny, it’s kind of ringing a plant bell for me. I grew up in Corpus Christi and like most coastal places, there’s a wide variety of plant life, lots non-native, of course. I wonder if it’s something from my childhood. Thanks for sending it.

        Bear grass! It’s easier to say (and spell) than Texas sacahuista). 🙂 I don’t know why, but I never thought it would bloom in the pot. It’s almost done, so I’m a little sad about that. I also have a Nolina lindheimeriana, Devil’s shoestring– — in my back garden. It bloomed once, and only once. It’s in too much shade, but I think I’d loose it if I transplanted, so it remains where I orginally placed it.

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      • The next time I’m down there, I’ll get a photo of the complete plant. I’m still bad about not doing that. As I remember it, there were three of them, about 4′-5′ tall, with a somewhat woody trunk. I’ll check it out more. But it is red!


    • Yes, you’re right! They do look similar. I grew a pineapple sage long ago and loved it, though it wasn’t particularly happy where I planted it. Though lovely, it’s not quite as hardy here as the tropical sages–I require hardy in my garden! 🙂 Happy blooms to you, as well.


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