Bloom Day, November 2014–Dodged the Frozen Bullet

After a chilly week and our first real touch of winter, there are still blooms in my gardens. Lucky gardener!  Lucky pollinators!  I live in central Austin and those supposedly in the know predicted our temperature would fall to the high 20’s by early Friday morning.  Well there was no freeze for me and mine.  Outlying areas received their first freeze, but much of  Austin was spared–this time. To celebrate those lucky blooms, I’m joining with Carol at May Dreams Gardens for November Garden Blogger blooms.

The Coral Vine, Antigonon leptopus, bloomed its signature fuchsia necklace  rather late this year.

Now with colder temperatures and shorter days, the blossoms are fading on the

I think my honeybees will miss this favorite nectar source.

The native Texas CraglilyEcheandia texensis,  still blooms,

…though it’s going to seed. One patch blossoms in tandem with the blue Henry Duelberg SageSalvia farinacea,’Henry Duelberg’.

A freeze would have quickly ended that pretty pairing.

Rock RosePavonia lasiopetala, sports flowers this November and that’s unusual–they normally stop production by late

Heavy with seed, I’ll expect more of these lovelies in seedling form next year.  Any takers?

And GoldeneyeViguiera dentata?  It just won’t quit.  This most photogenic of flowers, has bloomed since September.

This is one of my two last blooming Goldeneye plants.

The Goldeneye plants in the back garden bloomed first, then set seed and were followed by others throughout my gardens, each individual plant taking turn at adding cheeriness and wildlife goodness to the world.  I’m glad these hardy natives have planted themselves all over my gardens.  Bees, butterflies, birds, as well as this gardener, enjoy and appreciate a long season with these pretties.

The last FrostweedVerbesina virginica, is in flowering mode.

While most of that species are setting seed.

A few Turk’s CapMalvaviscus arboreus, still bloom.

Yellow BellsTecoma stans, ‘Esperanza’, are available for passing bees and butterflies.

Blue MistflowerConoclinium coelestinum,

and Gregg’s MistflowerConoclinium greggii,

…are toward the end of their season.  A true freeze will force the blue blooms into a tawny fluff, ready for dormancy.

Red YuccaHesperaloe parviflora, blossoms on its long bloom spike until a hard freeze.

This hasn’t been a banner year for my salvia species.  They’ve bloomed, but not regularly nor as fully as usual.  But they aren’t quite ready to close up shop, so bloom they will until it’s just too chilly and dark.  Salvia like this red Tropical SageSalvia coccinea,

…and this Purple Sage, S. greggii x mycrophylla,

…and this red Autumn SageS. greggii,

…and another,

…and this coral Autumn Sage.

They’re determined, if not prolific.

The remains of Fall AsterSymphyotrichum oblongifolium, are tired of blooming and ready for seeding themselves.


When I thought there would be freezing temperatures, I cut the last of the fall blooms of Purple ConeflowerEchinacea purpurea and Tropical Sage and did this:

As well, I cut a few Goldeneye and basil and did this:

I’m not much for cut flowers in the house (I much prefer a garden full of blooms), but they are nice when it’s gloomy outside. I guess November in my garden and my house is not so barren after all!

Pop on over to May Dreams Garden and enjoy a show of November blooms from all over


Foliage Follow-up, April 2014

Spring has definitely sprung here in Austin and though blooms may be foremost for most garden lovers, foliage loveliness deserves a shout-out.   Here are my foliage favorites for April.

The summer and fall blooming Gregg’s Mistflower (Conoclinium greggiisports deeply lobed foliage, giving rise to one of the common names for this hardy ground cover, Palmleaf Mistflower.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has beautiful foliage year-round.  It’s delicate, fern-like and spreads well (sometimes too well).  Yarrow is evergreen, hardy and drought tolerant.

It brightens this shady spot.

A perennial favorite of mine and one I’ve profiled before, Mexican Feathergrass (Nassella tenuisima) is at the zenith of beauty in the spring.

The lone green Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)  in my back gardens apparently wasn’t decimated by butterfly larva last year.

With soft, graceful foliage, it’s a wonderful addition to the mixed perennial garden.

Globe Mallow (Spaeralcea ambigua)  is such a show-stopper with its combination of orange blooms and arresting, pale gray-green, fuzzy leaves.

I like this combination of  Pale-leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida), Heartleaf Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata) and the bright green Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii).

The Pale-leaf Yucca appears blue against the backdrop of the greener Skullcap ground cover  and the Autumn Sage’s is a bright green punctuation situated further in that same ground cover.

The Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) not only has beautiful blooms in spring, but interesting foliage year-round.

New growth from a young American Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus), promises more beauty as it matures.

Lastly, I can’t resist the photo of the Scarlet Tanager, Piranga olivacea, who has visited my garden this past week as he rests on the green branch of Retama (Parkinsonia aculeata).  Plumage and foliage–you can’t beat that!

Thanks to Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-up for April.


Native Texas Plant Week and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day–October 2012

For Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and in celebration of Texas Native Plants week, I’m posting some pics of a few currently flowering beautiful native plants in my garden.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting–check out her site to enjoy photos of blooms from many places.

One overview look at a group of Gregg’s Mistflower (Conoclinium greggii),

and a close up of this great native perennial ground cover.  The Gregg’s Mistflower is native to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), is always a winner in my gardens.  Its main bloom period is spring through mid-summer, but I always have some blooms in the fall until a hard freeze ends the glory.

A larger view of another perennial, Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum),

and its closeup.

The two mistflower species are related, but they are a little different. It’s difficult to tell from my limited photographic abilities, but the Gregg’s Mistflower is a lighter blue, while the Blue Mistflower is much darker.  Also, the leaf characteristics are different in the two plants.  Both are perennial ground covers with the main blooming period occurring from September through November.  Both are also favorites of the butterflies and bees.

The Goldeneye (Viguiera dentata) brightens the roadsides and my gardens in October.

At its peak of beauty now, Goldeneye blooms in the spring and sporadically in the summer months and is an excellent wildlife plant.  It provides for pollinators and birds, alike and it’s pretty for people to enjoy too!

Fall Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) is a relatively new addition for me.

I’m glad I have a place for this hardy and sweet little aster.

A nice combination of plants:

From left to right in the photo above are Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea), some overhanging blooms from a Red Yucca (Herperaloe parviflora), at the back, some Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii), a Pale Leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida), the yellow daisy, Zexmenia (Wedelia texana) and Red Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii).

Another nice mingling of native perennials:

more Coneflower, more Turk’s Cap, more Goldeneye.

The Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) is a plant with shocking yellow flowers paired with striking dark, green foliage.

Damianita blooms on and off for the growing season and is native to Central/West Texas and New Mexico.

Texas native plants fit well within the palette of a large mixed perennial garden.

Natives that are blooming are White Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Henry Duelberg Sage (Salvia farinacea, ‘Henry Duelberg’), Yellow Bells (Tacoma stans), Big Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri).

Wherever you live, plant natives in your gardens.  They’re easy, hardy and reliable and attract wildlife to your gardens.

For more information about native plants of North America, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site.

Go natives!  Go garden bloggers!