Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bountiful blooms and a bright day ...

It's a beautiful Bloom Day in Austin, Texas, full of bountiful blossoms bending toward the springtime sun.

A little (read, little) bit of rain has coaxed our annuals and perennials into bloom throughout the garden.

Our friend, Carol, of May Dreams Gardens arranges this little gathering for us on the 15th of every month.

So, come take a tour with me, won't you?
These are my blooming African Hostas. Aren't they cool? Drimiopsis maculata.
What precious little blooms they have on top of leather-y and speckled leaves.
Marigolds to protect the tomatoes in the garden.
The Cilantro has started to bolt here because it is so warm already. It's almost impossible to grow it here in the summer.
Slightly sad Stock in the new Greenhouse bed.
Purple Penta.
I can't remember the name of this little one for the life of me...ideas?
Texas Primrose or Sundrops -- Calylophus drummondianus.
Sedum Mexicanus in the rock path -- it likes being mistreated in the crushed granite!
Skullcap - yellow -- Scutellaria.
Pink Skullcap - Scutellaria -- this is very common around central Texas, while the yellow above is rare. I also have 9 new lavender plants that I put in a few weeks ago and they are just on the verge of blooming -- they will have to wait for another post!
Wine Cup blooms dot the rock path, too -- Callirhoe involucrata. Sssshhh- don't tell the bunnies that they are there!
Two different colors in this little Lobelia - Laurentia - fucsia and periwinkle.
Maggie roses just a-goin' to town! They have more blooms than I can even count.
Aren't they precious? How I wish you could scratch and sniff your screen, too!
And as I rounded the corner to capture the Maggies, lo and behold, the first Canna bloom of the season. (Nevermind that I dug these all OUT last fall...they are coming back anyway!)
African Yellow Daisy, or Euryops love this spring weather
The potted Orange honeysuckle - Lonicera ciliosa - is happy with our recent rains.
These Chrysanthemums were in the greenhouse over the winter and are still blooming -- totally out of season. I guess I thoroughly confused them!
Beautiful bougainvillea passed along from Robin, or Getting Grounded.
This precious little Vinca bloom is from a hanging basket given to my by my parents when Sierra died last March. I worked very hard to keep it alive in the greenhouse this winter and am so inspired to see it alive and blooming happily.
Mexican Heather, or Cuphea hyssopifolia loves our climate, but the deer love it, too, so I only have a little in the back yard.
This festive Texas Betony - Stachys coccinea - was a passalong from my neighbor. It is the sole survivor of three -- thanks to our "deer" friends!
Prairie Verbena - Glandularia bipinnatifida -- grows wild all around here, but I paid to plant mine!
More perky Daffodils -- Narcissus pseudonarcissus 'Yellow Fortune'

I'm cheating ! This is actually Kallie's cactus with its pretty blooms.
She is so proud of it. And those are my little bug friends!
Thanks to a macro lens you can actually see this teeny-tiny bloom of the Grace Ward Lithodora - Lithodora diffusa - that I planted last spring. It's peeking back out of the mulch, but it's a struggle.

White Potato vine -- Solanum jasminoides is so perky in the partial shade.
And the Japanese Quince -- Chaenomeles japonica - still has a few lingering spring blooms on it.
Salvia Greggii is a staple here in the Southwest.
Clearly someone is happy that the Damianita -- Chrysactinia mexicana - is in bloom.

Four-nerve daisy or Hymenoxys texana are blooming all around -- my garden and all along the roadways.
Salvia Indigo Spires bring such beautiful blues into the garden.
Daffodils -- Narcissus pseudonarcissus -- I think this is 'Dutch Master'
Verbena canadensis - 'Homestead Purple' (I think...)
More bees - I'm seeing lots of them these days - like this one in the Anacacho Orchid tree - Bauhinia lunarioides.
A few Bluebonnets - Lupinus -- are still in bloom. And no, it is NOT against the law to pick them!
My Trailing Lantana - Lantana montevidensis - has been blooming all year long.
These Blackfoot Daisies - Melampodium leucanthum - are always a pick-me-up.
Some sort of Lavender -- I have no idea what kind, though...
Society Garlic -- Alliaceae Tublighia violacea -- is always a reliable little bloomer.
Snapdragons and window box art in front of Kallie's window.
A geranium keeping this dragonfly company.
Bi-color iris - Dietes (Moraea) is always happy here in our hot weather.


Pam/Digging said...

Looking good! I'm surprised you still have daffs in bloom, Diana. I really like the look of your mystery red-and-yellow rock garden plant. I'll check back later after Annie IDs it for us. ;-)

Karen said...

Good gracious, what a plethora of blooms! It's all the plants we might get here in a good hot summer, if we're lucky. It's so cool to see the seasons unfolding at their different paces on Bloom Day and beyond. Congrats on all your beauties.

Diana said...

Pam -- If I could remember when I planted it, I might have it in my blog, but I'm stumped! You're right = Annie will know! The daffs are surprising me, too, and I have more shoots coming up, but the heat may get them.

Karen -- It is so fascinating to see how plants handle different zones -- we had almost no winter here, so all our plants are confused and ahead of schedule. Happy GBBD!

Janet said...

My goodness what a variety of blooms! The Drimiopsis maculata is really interesting! Eye catching. Love the two different colors of the lobelias.

Diana said...

Janet -- I love that African Hosta, too. They are so different. I have them in a nice shady bed and they come back year after year and they spread! Happy Bloom Day.

Gail said...

What a fantastic show you have today Diana! Beautiful blooms...some favorites that are only happy in Texas and some I can try...I've gotten wine cups and a scutellaria after seeing them in the Austin Gardens! There are more on the list...thank you very much! Have a great day of garden visiting! gail

Diana said...

Gail - yes, it makes you smile to know that other gardeners are growing the same things you do, doesn't it. Guess that is part of what brings us together. And I can't wait until I can get back home this morning and go on my garden tours! Happy GBBD.

Frances said...

Hi Diana, what a riot of blooms and color! You have every season of bloom covered in this post, with the mums, salvias and daffs! Good work with four season interest all in one month! :-)

Samantha said...

This is a great post! I love your blog, I"m in Austin also. The plant you don't know is Linaria Toadflax I'm pretty sure!

Hope that helps

Diana said...

Frances -- You're right - lots of seasons here -- thanks to our non-winter and the greenhouse. Not sure I had much to do with it, though! And the daffs are late because I planted some of them well into January. See what you get when you don't follow directions! Happy GBBD.

Diana said...

Samantha - thanks. Wow - that's a fast ID on my little plant...I'm not sure if that's it -- it seems shrubbier than the Toadflax, but I'll keep looking at some Google photos to see. Where in Austin are you?

sweet bay said...

What a gorgeous post. So much vivid color! I have not seen African Hostas before. They look so unusual. Love Maggie. She is beautiful.

Diana said...

Sweet Bay -- It's fun to have exotic stuff like the African Hostas, isn't it? And I love my Maggie -- she's my favorite new "baby!" Happy Bloom Day.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I've never seen an African Hosta, at first I thought that flower was some kind of Muscari. It is a very cool plant. Your garden is just brimming with blooms. Kallie is justly proud of that little Cactus. I've had 2 for almost 15 years and they still haven't bloomed yet.

Sherri said...

Beautiful pictures! I am really envious, I'm in NC and my rose buds are itsy bitty :(

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OMGosh you have a garden full of blooms Diana. Wonderful! Tell Kallie thanks for letting us see her cactus. It is beautiful.

healingmagichands said...

Wow! Your place is beautiful. You and Annie make me want to move down to austin!

Diana said...

MMD -- You're right - it does look a lot like Muscari. Kallie planted that little cactus at school and decorated the pot and she is just tickled that it bloomed.

Sherry -- It will be spring in NC before you know it -- your roses are just gearing up for a good show a little later. Hang in there.

Lisa - I told Kallie what you wrote about letting us all see her cactus and she really liked that. She's gonna be a gardener, for sure. She loves wildflowers and plants and talks to the garden fairies.

Healingmagichands - well, come on down! At least for a visit - it's a great place with lots to offer even if just for a fun long weekend. But it is a gardener's dream 10 months out of the year. (If you don't mind a high water bill!) Aug & Sept, not so great - a wee bit too hot!

Lancashire rose said...

An incredible number of blooms. I noticed some daffs just flowering in my garden today. I noticed they were late last year too. I wonder if it is a certain variety?

Diana said...

Lancashire Rose -- That's a good question. I know that I have several varieties, but only recorded the names of two - Dutch Master and Yellow Fortune. I also have some tiny ones, but no idea of their names either. There are so many, it's tough to ID them. Maybe next Spring I'll make that a post. (Right - like I will remember that!)

Layanee said...

So many blooms! Do the bluebells and the Damianita like the same conditions? I don't believe they will thrive for me but the colors are so vibrant they would look nice together.

Lori said...

Boy, you have a ton of flowers blooming! I'm so glad that Maggie seems so happy at your house. Your African hosta is really cool, too, and the flowers remind me of muscari. Does it need a lot of extra water?

As for the orange canna, is it "Wyoming?" I'm a sucker for purple-leafed canna varieties, but although I usually hate orange flowers, I really like how the orange looks like a watercolor wash on yours.

lleller said...

Very cool pictures Diana! I love the African Hosta....can they grow in Illinois? I love the color of the snapdragons!!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

The lavender is Spanish lavender, Lavandula stoechas. I just bought some last week. It must be popular in Austin right now because everyone I've visited this GBBD is growing some.

I can't believe your canna is already blooming especially since your yard is so much colder than mine. Was it in the greenhouse? And how is it that you manage to have daffodils blooming still. Mine gave up weeks ago.

I knew you'd have a bunch of blooms and you certainly didn't disappoint. Thanks for sharing.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Diana - my guess would have been Linaria/toadflax, too. A few years ago I found some new hybrid at a local nursery and the flowers were smaller and in intense colors - quite different from the old 'Butter & Eggs'!

As expected, you have a fabulous bloom day assortment- loved the bee on the orchid tree. You're such an adventurous gardener and that can be dangerous for me. You see, when Northern gardeners show fields of tulips and Mertensia and scilla it makes me sigh, but since I can't actually buy any, they're safe to admire.
But when other Austin gardeners show plants, there's no zonal reason not to covet them!

Which leads me to ask where the heck you found that yellow Scutellaria? I have a couple of the bluish-purple ones but have never seen yellow! (rubbing hands together in greedy anticipation like Scrooge McDuck)

Happy GBBD,

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Lori said...

*points to Annie*

Exactly what she said! Dude, just the number of plants I've bought in the last 2 months because you or Pam or another one of the Austin bloggers posted flower porn on her blog... It's getting ridiculous.

getgrounded said...

Diana, I'm exhausted just looking at all the amazing pictures of your flowers. I can't imagine taking care of them all! You are an amazing gardener, and I appreciate your introducing me to new delights all the time. Wow, what a bloom day post, your garden fairies have really been busy, haven't they?

Meems said...

Hi Diana,
I'm so happy to know that last flower is what is called the bi-color dietes. It is so different from the fortnight I grow and I've always wondered what it was called. Thank you.

You have so many great blooms. Great colors and shapes and your garden must be fully alive with spring! That African Hostas is VERY cool.

Don't you just love having all the buzzing critters gracing the garden!
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

Diana said...

Layanee -- Yes, the Bluebonnets and the Damianita like the same conditions -- they don't mind the heat or the drought and are FULL sun lovers. If you had a dry, rocky or scrubby spot where they could be abused they would feel right at home!

Lori - You're the second person to say the African Hosta looks like Muscari - it does, and it's not a true hosta, either. They do get mostly shade and a fair amount of water. As for the Canna, I don't know the variety, but I got it for the purple/red leaves as contrast around the pool. You made me LOL talking about my flower porn on my blog - I feel the same way about your roses - you keep making me want more and more!

Diana said...

LlEller -- no, I'm sorry to say that the Hosta can't grow up there -- it's a hot weather/drought tolerant plant that grows in zone 8-10 -- and we are 8 here -- so it's here or hotter (if you can imagine!)

Annie -- I think you are right about the Linaria/Toadflax -- and the name would surely have made me buy it anyway! I am always coveting things in YOUR garden, so we're even! The Scutellaria source is a mystery. I have to admit I had NO idea it was yellow. I bought it somewhere with a few other 4" pots for the rock bed and was totally shocked when it bloomed yellow. I had previously only ever seen pink ones. Chances are good it came from the Natural Gardener or maybe Barton Springs Nursery. I did order purple ones online last month from High Country Gardens. Good luck!

Diana said...

MSS - thanks for the Lavender ID. There are so many varieties and I haven't a clue about any of them! This is the only one that's left - my other two died - I water them too much, I think. The blooming Canna was a shocker for me, too. It's out in the open beside the pool totally unprotected. And the Daffodils are still coming because I planted them last January!!! They were an experiment -- interesting, huh?

Diana said...

GetGrounded -- Thanks - and lots of weeds, I have, lots of weeds! But I don't normally show you all those. Ha. This mild winter has everything topsy turvy. I have plants leafing out that don't normally start until July, like Pride of Barbados and the Candlestick Tree. Weird. How are your Daylilies doing?

Meems - So glad to have answered a question -- it's cool to have a gardening AHA moment, isn't it? The Hostas are so cool - I'm going to have to do a bigger post on them to answer everyone's curiosity.
I do love having the critters - especially the bees -- since they are in danger these days. I'm doing my part!

Carol said...

The African Hostas are very cool. So many blooms. April is definitely a great month in Austin for gardeners.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Diana said...

Thanks, Carol, and those Hostas spread, too, which is always nice -- free plants! April is the first full gardening month for us here. If we're lucky, May will bring rains.