Bloom Day, February 2015

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens where we celebrate flowers that may have been given to a Valentine’s crush. Whether planted in the garden or gracing a vase after Valentine’s Day,  flowers of all sorts are always worth gushing ‘n crushing about.

It’s been a mild winter in Austin, Texas–a very April-esque  February, in fact. However, winter is apparently on her way back, reminding us that it’s not quite spring yet, folks. There are blooming lovelies though, ramping up with the longer and warmer days.

Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, a beautiful native-to-Texas vine is showing off the first of its pendant-like bloom clusters,

…there will be more to come in the next months.

By March, this vine will be loaded with glorious, tubular goodness and hummingbirds (hopefully), as well as other assorted pollinators will be all over it.

Honeybees are still working the Leatherleaf MahoniaMahonia bealei, on warm days.

The blooms will fade soon and that’s when the bees will move on to other nectar/pollen sources. The resulting fruits are just beginning, …and will fully develop in the next few weeks.  Birds will swoop in–primarily Blue Jays and Mockingbirds in my garden. They love juicy Mahonia fruit.

 Four-nerve Daisy or HymenoxysTetraneuris scaposa, has blossomed all winter. There are definitely more dancing daisies as the days lengthen,

…and visitors are stopping by for a sip of nectar or bit of pollen.

This lone bloom heralds the start of Purple ConeflowerEchinacea purpurea, blooming season.

Yippy!  I can hardly wait!

Valentine’s Day is behind us and spring (or fall, depending upon where you live), is almost upon us.   May Dreams Gardens showcases plenty of blooms from around the world on this February bloom bouquet–check it out.


Bloom Day, January 2015

My garden in Austin, Texas finally received its first hard freeze of this winter, so there’s not much in the way of fanciful flora to share for this first of 2015 Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting this blogosphere bonanza for blooms, even if some of us in the Northern Hemisphere are a bit bloom deficient.

Four-nerve DaisyTetraneuris scaposa, requires more cold than what it’s seen to render the dancing daisies dormant for winter. This little group of hardy and pretty Texans still bloom and the flowers are available for pollinators who might stop by for a sip.

The Mutabilis Rose, Rosa ‘Mutabilis’, flowers during the cooler seasons here in Austin. Some of the open flowers, damaged by the freeze, …hang on and there are others, awaiting their time to open.

Leatherleaf Mahonia, Mahonia bealei, is a slow-growing evergreen shrub with racemes of bright yellow flowers during the winter months, which are followed by denim-blue fruits in early spring, gobbled up almost immediately by hungry birds. Tagged as an invasive species in other parts of North America, it’s not considered an invasive here in Texas. I planted my three shrubs many years ago (they’re very slow-growing).  I wish I’d planted the native Agarita, Mahonia trifoliolata, at that time, but didn’t.  I do have one Agarita, but it’s tiny and not ready for blooming, berrying, or any extolling of its virtues. I always forget that these blooms appear in the shorter and darker days of January and February–but the bees remember.

When the sun is out, so are the honeybees, working these blooms for nectar and pollen for their hives.   Unfortunately, the sun seems to be on sabbatical in recent weeks, so the bees remain warm and cozy, consuming their winter stores of honey and not visiting these blossoms.

And that’s about it for my garden!!  It’s time for the garden to rest and the gardener to prune, mulch, and prepare for the long blooming season ahead.

Please check out May Dreams Gardens for January blooms from all over the world.


Bloom Day, December 2014

Celebrating blooming things with Carol of May Dreams Gardens on this last Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day of 2014, I’d like to share some currently flourishing flowers from my gardens.  It’s been mild here in Austin, Texas, though a few light frosts have come our way, none were significantly cold enough to dampen the blossoming spirit.

Wonderful native perennials continue strutting their blooming stuff late this growing season. Two native salvia species are providing nice nectar sources for passing bees and butterflies and a color show for the resident gardener.   The Tropical SageSalvia coccinea, …brightens the garden with its scarlet blooms, while Henry Duelberg salviaSalvia farinacea, ‘Henry Duelberg’ provides spikes of blue.


Planted near to those two perennials is a group of  Texas Craglily, Echeandia texensis. There are few blooms left, but many seed pods readying for future golden lily loveliness.

Some of my GoldeneyeViguiera dentata, still bloom.

I don’t really think I need to add anything to that!  These individuals face west and receive the warmth of the afternoon autumn sun.

A few Turk’s Cap, Malvaviscus arboreus, flowers grace the gardens as well. I don’t recall ever seeing this plant bloom so late before–I’m not complaining.

Native to areas west of Texas, but not specifically Austin, is the Globe Mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua.

In my gardens it’s a reliable cool season bloomer–at least through the beginning of summer.  The one mature Globe Mallow in my gardens is beginning a nice bloom production and that’s likely to happen throughout winter.

There are always a few Purple Coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea, charming the gardens. This one is planted with an unknown variety of basil-in-bloom,

…which I’d know the name of if I’d bothered to keep the tag.  Ahem.

And here, Coneflower is partnered with the equally sweet Four-nerve Daisy or Hymenoxys, Tetraneuris scaposa.

I love native Texas plants.

As for the non-natives, well, they’re pretty cool, too.  The Firecracker or Coral PlantRusselia equisetiformis, requires a hard freeze to knock it back. Obviously that hasn’t happened yet.

I feel good about this plant–it has such a tropical look, but in reality it’s water-wise and tolerant of the cooler season.

Roses are responding in kind to our temperate December by blossoming again. Whoop!

Glorious in vibrant red are these blooms of the Old Gay Hill rose.

Finally, the Potato VineSolanum laxum, has entered its bloom time.  This vine twines up one side of my swing beam and blossoms primarily in the cool months here in Austin. It’s a timid vine in my garden, never growing too large.    I forget about it during our long, warm  growing season–it’s there, but unimpressive. Once the temperatures cool, its lovely clusters of dainty, creamy-bell flowers provide interest for my honeybees, still foraging on warm afternoons.

Enjoy whatever blooms you have–indoors or out.  Then check out the many bloom posts by visiting May Dreams Gardens.