On this beautiful January day I took a break from pruning to photograph the blooms that had, in my absence, missed Bloom Day.
This is the first time my yellow bulbine, Bulbine frutescens, has survived and bloomed with great vigor in January. Admittedly it is in a sheltered spot against the wall of the house and protected from the frost, which rolls down the hill, by the high retaining wall. A deep freeze would have killed the South African plant but I think what it really liked was a dry winter, and that it has been.
The viburnum,Viburnum tinus Spring Bouquet, in the English garden, looked as though it would not produce blooms this winter but here it is. It really looks its best before the flowers open as the pink turns to white once the flowers open.
I am concerned for our spring wildflowers. For the first time ever I have not one bluebonnet in my sunken garden and only a handful in the front garden. So many times I have been annoyed by being unable to walk though the area for bluebonnets, but now I have only two or three plants and they are right under the little table! Did they hear my grumbles?
This was the front garden in early April, 2011. I think I may need to do a little transplanting from the outside. I find I do need bluebonnets after all.
Another first for me is the bloom on the kalanchoe, mother-of-thousands. While other gardeners show off their pretty blooms mine seems to reproduce without blooming. Hundreds of babies along the edges of the leaf but not a single bloom-until this year. Maybe I really stressed it out by forgetting to bring it in from the cold. Returning home from our trip I discovered the plant had succumbed to frosty nights. The plant itself is a gonner but by golly the blooms were still there so I cut them off and brought them inside. No need to worry about new plants here. Their offspring is growing in every pot I have!
Spring will not be far behind if we continue to have the unusually high temperatures of the past week. I remember attending a gardening seminar shortly after I came to Austin, where the lecturer warned about feeling the warm sun on the back of the neck in early February and rushing out to the nurseries to buy and plant annuals. Just what the nursery business wants. A freeze comes and wipes them out and now you have to buy again. Oh! but it is so hard to hold oneself back when the days are warm and balmy.