Sunday, March 4, 2012


And I fear there will be more crazy weeks to come. This incredibly early spring where I prayed every day for the temperature not to go above 70. It took no notice of me, climbing into the 80s on Friday. What happens then. Everything starts blooming. Then that same night the jet stream dipped down into Texas and brought us a chilly cold front. It dipped below 40 last night. Even the plants in the greenhouse were wilting this morning because I failed to put the heater on.

There was horror on my face when I saw the species tulips, Tulipa clusiana, blooming last week. But then I suppose I should be grateful that it is blooming at all this year.  Although these tulips are known to grow well without the normal amounts of chilling that other tulips demand, this year they are blooming with less vigor. I suspect that this may be more due to their location where they receive no supplemental watering. Last summer's heat and drought may have taken its toll. I have several daffodils that are just producing leaves this year. They probably prefer a more northerly climate. They were a prize from a photography competition. I have to say admit almost all of the bulbs they sent me failed and I would hope it was because they were not suitable for Texas rather than my gardening skills.

Blackfoot daisies, Melampodium leucanthum, are in bloom. Some of the plants were cut back severely in the fall and are nice mounding shrubs. Others more lanky ones I will cut back after this first flush of bloom.

The Lady Bank's rose, Rosa banksiae 'lutea' has started its spring show by opening a few clusters here and there.

Likewise bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, here and there.

The trailing purple lantana, Lantana montevidensis, is full of blooms. I suppose I should be cutting it right back before it takes over.

California poppies, Eschscholzia californica, are everywhere.

Lemon trees blooming with still many lemons on their branches.

An unknown Mammillaria cactus joining the early bloom.

The yellow columbine, Aquilegia chrysantha 'hinckleyana' first flowers opened on Friday.

And the lovely peach iris much preferred the sun to the rain. And today is the perfect day we get after a cold front. Clear blue skies and hopefully not much more than 70 today.


  1. Rose,
    Some lovely photos, especially the Lady Banks Rose. We planted daffodil bulbs 2 and 3 years ago. Almost all did very well the first season. Now less than half will bloom this year, some are gone, maybe we did not have enough winter or too hot of summer. Either way I'm disappointed like you are.

  2. That is an early spring, but the boldest sign of just *how* early is the mammalaria cacti! Amazing. Sounds like a San Diego winter, fall to winter, without spring!

  3. I have some columbines which also opened on Friday. I guess if we have an early summer, the spring blooms might as well start now, before the heat sets in.

  4. I can't believe you have a cactus blooming!! Especially that variety! It's early here as well in Tucson. NO FREEZES at this point!! Everything is blooming and greening out....the peach trees, the persimmons....well everything is starting to come out of hibernation which is suppose is nice after last years terrible winter....but have to wonder....will we get hit with that random freeze? Bulbs. I don't think it's your gardening skills. You tried it out and it didn't work. I've done the same experiments and I just don't think we have the climate or soil for that stuff....the Crocus, Amaryllis, etc. did okay in the desert ground but the rest? Who knows? Love your pics. Spring has indeed arrived:)

  5. You've got some lovely blooms. I can't believe the cactus is blooming! Wow!

  6. very nice flowers - I hope my columbine blooms this year. I planted 2 when I first moved down here - red and blue, but I don't think either one survived more than that first year...but here I am with a columbine growing in my yard...

  7. We share similar fears, mainly that everything will bloom all at one time, and then what will we look at? (That's one reason I like summer annuals)

  8. My species tulips are not blooming yet. They performed poorly last year. I hope they will return now that we've had winter rain. I never have any luck with daffodils. No sign of mine still. Despite your worries, your garden is looking delightful as always.

  9. Crazy here too, crazy everywhere it seems. Couple days in the mid 80s but cooler today. The tulips I force in pots go over so quickly in these temps. And I've even had to start dragging hoses already!

  10. Well, right after I wrote that, my first Tulipa clusiana opened yesterday!

  11. It sure is an odd year.
    Everything is so early in your garden, Jenny! I waited to comment until I had an open Meyer's Lemon flower (finally happened yesterday). Your peach iris may have come from me - I've been handing them out for more than 6 years. But they only have bud stalks here, no open flowers. And my T.clusianas barely show buds at the base of the plants.
    The expected 80 degrees F after the rain may change that soon!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose