What an interesting start to the year...

This is why I planted this lovely Japanese Quince.

Today.    The first of January, in Austin Texas (which is a totally Spring-like day), my Quince has given me a wonderful gift -- the first blooms of Spring.

I know it's technically not Spring.  And we'll have a few more cold spells and maybe a freeze or two, but very sporadically.  It's just that we have so many nice warm days that plants are fooled into thinking ... "Hey, it's time to bloom!"  

And that's what they do.
Here's  my daughter enjoying our beautiful 68 degree day looking for seeds and such in the garden.
A little Skullcap blooming and happy.
The Euonymous that likes slightly cooler weather and sunshine.
Mexican Mint Marigold that has totally redeemed itself by blooming since September straight.  And it's still blooming.  It has earned itself a solid place in that bed, even though this summer I was ready to rip them out as they were blocking the water from my vines.  I've worked around that, vines are getting watered again and the Marigolds are my new best friends!
And this is one of several blooms on the Helianthus Multiflorus Maximus that I planted last Spring and normally blooms in August.  Go figure.