Thursday, April 18, 2013

April showers bring . . . April flowers

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day has come and gone, but since so much is blooming at my house right now, I’m posting for it anyway! I took these pictures on April 16, on a beautiful, sunny spring morning. It’s a good thing, as today it is drizzling and much cooler after the passage of a late cold front.

Although we are in the middle of a drought, we have received just enough rain to fuel my garden and wildflowers. The grass is green, and not just over the septic tank. The oak trees have leafed out for the most part (though a green haze of oak pollen continues to build up on cars and inside surfaces). In summary, it is a beautiful spring in Central Texas!

This scene is just purty:  Nierembergia (Nierembergia gracilis "Starry Eyes") blooming in the pond bed. Do you see the tiny yellow flower in front? That is common groundcover called straggler daisy (Calyptocarpus vialis). In places, it is my lawn – and it does not need mowing.

It's spring in Texas so there must be bluebonnets (Lupinis texensis). Our best bluebonnet patch is out by the burn pile. It was looking puny until a good rain three weeks ago. Now, as you can see, the bluebonnets are happier. Blooming alongside them is our main resident wildflower, the prairie verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida).

 On the left is some sort of wildly beautiful iris. My iris bed has donated and one-off purchased irises, so I’ve got no idea what this one is. That does not stop me from appreciating it. On the right:  columbines (Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana, I think)!

I’ve posted a picture of this area recently, but since then these Texas stars (Lindheimera texana) have taken over their corner of the bed. You get to see them again. These grow in uncultivated areas of my yard, also, but do not get quite so large.

Last year I noticed this plant blooming in the wild area in front of my house. On closer inspection, I realized it was a damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana). It was the only one on my property, to my knowledge, and I did not plant it. This year a second one has appeared in the same area. Yay!

The anacacho orchid tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) is lovely, as it is every year, with its spring blooms.

This little area is one of my favorites right now. In front, cedar sages (Salvia roemeriana) shoot up stalks of deep red, with yellow accents from the four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa, I believe) against a backdrop of white autumn sage (Salvia greggii cultivar).

Out in the rock bed (which looks rather grassy at the moment), a volunteer fragrant mimosa (Mimosa borealis) has put on its pink and white puffballs. This plant occurs naturally on my land. Yellow Dahlberg daisies (Thymophylla tenuiloba) are blooming all over my yard, as is prairie verbena. The daisies are not natives, but after I planted some one year, they have self-seeded all over the front yard. This is okay by me, as I like the wildflower meadow look.

Looking out my French doors yesterday, I noticed the sun shining through the fresh green leaves of the crape myrtle and ran for the camera. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), purple oxalis (Oxalis triangularis?) and wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida) live underneath. The red bloomer is tropical sage (Salvia coccinea). This and the following picture are really more foliage shots, so I will be posting on Digging's Foliage Follow-up, also.

Last but definitely not least, I present this grouping out by the parking area. The only plant blooming here is the Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa - not a native), but isn’t it pretty with the century plants (Agave americana), nolina (Nolina lindheimeriana), woolly butterfly bush (Buddleja marrubiifolia) and cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens)? 


  1. Everybody has more blooming, than we do here. Guess it's the 'valley effect'...we just get colder here.

    When I tried planting Bluebonnets a couple years ago, the deer ate all the blooms...well, the ONE bloom that showed up. I might try again.

    Have a great weekend.

    1. We avoided many freezes that those around us suffered. A couple of years ago was the bad drought year; those deer ate everything. You should try again!

  2. I'm jealous, though at least my Nierembergia (Purple Robe) in pots are mostly growing. I wonder if you gave the same amount of hand-watering as fell from the rain, if it would even have the same effect as the plants get from rain...I bet not. Rain = liquid gold!

    1. In my experience, well water keeps things alive and that's about all it does. You are right - rain is liquid gold!

  3. Yes, that last combo is indeed pretty! And I enjoyed the mental image of you running for your camera when you saw the light in the crepe leaves. Aren't we bloggers funny? I do the same thing!

  4. Brilliant the way you use the lovely native plants! They are so foreign to me though, here in rainy Oregon. Great spring post Cynthia.

    1. Thanks, Linnie. That is the fun of blogging isn't it - visiting other people's gardens, no matter how far away they live!