Wednesday, January 23, 2013


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.


  1. Wow! Your front yard is absolutely stunning. I love it!

  2. What has taken the place of the bluebonnets? (or what will?) Surely it's not just bare ground, is it?

  3. I hope your bluebonnets haven't abandoned you entirely, they are so lovely in spring.

  4. Oh my gosh Jen, how beautiful. It is soooooo cold here in Indiana!

    Thanks for sharing!
    God bless....Brooke
    My home and garden site...
    My Vintage Art and Printables site...

  5. These warm days do make us want to plant things. But, I've lived in Texas all my life. I know the weather can change in a heart beat. I've lost a lot of plants by giving in to that planting urge.

    Your lovely. Sorry about the Bluebonnets, though. This drought has been hard on everything.

  6. Lovely in your winter garden, even with this bizarre weather. It will be interesting to see what the spring yields.

  7. Oh no! I hope your Bluebonnets make a comeback...they are so lovely.

  8. Wow, no bluebonnets?! I remember seeing your garden swamped with them! Maybe all this crazy weather is finally getting to them?

    And I think you identified my mystery plants, as I did indeed winter sow some Gulf Coast Penstemons. Thank you!!

  9. I was about to envy you your dry winter, then I wondered whether the lack of rain was responsible for the disappearance of the bluebonnets. I always find it difficult to hold back when I feel that first ray of warm sunshine. Actually, i find it hard to hold back when it's snowing ...

  10. Pretty blooms, it's nice to post them whenever they occur. The bluebonnets must have heard you and I remember you were quite sure you wanted them out of the courtyard.

    I can't imagine it without them, they are so beautiful there and easy to transplant.

  11. Dry as it's been, we do have a number of bluebonnet seedlings, I'm happy to report. This shortfall of rain does not bode well for the wildflower season, however.

  12. My bulbine died out. I don't think it is the climate. I believe root knot nematodes did them in. I had both yellow and tangerine for a couple of years and then they just declined. Yours are so pretty.

    We had an unusually warm January. I expect the usual February freezes that always follow when we spend most of January in short sleeves and then, BAM!

    I saw a gardener try to grow bluebonnets in South Georgia when I first moved here. It isn't going to happen, they need that Alkaline Texas soil.


I love your comments unless they are spam comments which will always be removed in comment moderation.