Bloom Day, March 2015

March is here, blooms are here and Northern Hemisphere gardeners are grateful that winter is (for the most part) taking a hike.  Done and done with winter 2014-15! Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting this monthly musing on blooms.

There’s not a lot of flower power wowing my Austin, Texas gardens for this bloom day, but what is blooming is very, very welcome and the yellows currently rule.

Carolina Jessamine,  Gelsemium sempervirens, is a new vine for me and it’s making its presence

For now, it’s hiding behind a White Mistflower, Ageratina havanensis, because the vine is small and not yet grown to its height and width.

By this time next year it will crown the Mistflower shrub, full of early spring sunshine-bright blooms as it clings to its trellis.


Golden Groundsel, Packera obovata, is another ray of cheer gracing my March garden.


This Columbine,

…is a hybrid of the natives Aquilegia chrysantha and Aquilegia canadensis, both of which grow in my gardens. This lovely displays the blush of pink in the sepals and spurs common to hybrids, rather than the purity of yellow seen in A. chrysantha (Hinckley) or the brick-red and yellow combination of A. canadensis.

For me, the blooming columbines, no matter what their color, herald spring’s arrival.

Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, is a tough Texas plant with eye-popping blooms.

This vine blossoms for much of the growing season, but March through June it drips with coral-red clusters.

Rosa ‘Martha Gonzales’ Rose, unfolded its first brilliant red-pink bloom this week–there will be plenty more of the same throughout the


And  the Rosa, ‘Mutabilis’ issued an invitation for pollinators to visit.

I find this rose blooms beautifully throughout spring, sometimes in fall and in  mild winters, but not so during our long, hot summer. Year-round though it offers cover and refuge for the various finches and wrens, as well as the Cardinals, so I’m happy to keep it in the back of the garden.

Potato VineSolanum laxum, gifts to gardens their sweet, dainty flowers throughout the cool season.

The vine will more than likely wrap up its blooming in the next month or so.

To see other beauteous blooms from all over the world, take a look at May Dreams Gardens and happy blooms to all, whether it’s spring or fall.

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.