Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 2014

So I've been lurking in the world of garden blogging, quietly posting, but more often, reading all the gardening blogs I can get my eyes on. I think it was probably Pam Penick's terrific blog, Digging, that clued me into the delightful monthly recurrence that is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts GBBD, in which she posts photos of what's blooming in her yard, and encourages other gardeners to do the same, and posts links to their blogs.

Being a novice gardener and blogger, I haven't yet had the audacity to post for Bloom Day... until today. Without further ado, onto the blooms!

As is the case in other parts of the US this year, the blooms here in Austin are a little behind. Maybe a month behind, if I reckon accurately.

The annual Gazania that I picked up recently sports a number of different colored blooms. At the moment, the only one opening during the day is this fetching maroon and white striped one, which my Aggie friends would love. I like that the maroon seems to be painted down the middle of the petal.

Purple Oxalis has been sending up dainty pale pink blossoms lately. These also seem to open just for the sun, then close for the day. They're in part shade here.

More annuals--Torenia 'Kauai Deep Blue' is strutting its stuff.

The strawberries the girls and I planted back in... November? They're regularly putting out charming white flowers, and even berries now. Can't wait to eat one--if we can get to them before the critters do!

Blurry close-up of a multiplying onion flower. My 3-year-old daughter loves these, but she can't muster the patience to avoid picking apart the flower wrapper to expose the circular head of flowers. At least this year she managed to do it gently. I see an Anole lizard photobombing this one, right above my older daughter's wall tag.

Crookneck Squash is putting out some bright yellow spring flowers.

Knockout Rose is back.

The first peak of the Yellow Shrimp Plant bloom showed up this week. This is a new plant in my garden, so I'm eagerly awaiting the show.

Salvia 'Mystic Spires' is putting up a pretty purple spire.

Martha Gonzales roses and Blackfoot Daisies are blooming in the front yard, along with Lavender and Salvia 'Caradonna Meadow Sage'. Here are a few pics:

Here's one of the two Martha Gonzales Roses in the parking strip, with its first blooms of the year. I managed to trim the other one, but didn't get around to this one (oops!) I might give it a light shaping this weekend.

A closer look at the merry Martha roses.

The Blackfoot Daisy I divided last fall--this is the mother plant. It's about half the size it was at the end of last summer.  This plant seems to love the hot, dry parking strip most of all. The babies are small, with just a few blooms right now. All in good time...

Here are some photos of the front-yard purple duo, Lavendar (I don't recall which species) and Caradonna Meadow Sage.

Here are the "twins", side by side in the front pea gravel bed.

Caradonna Meadow Sage doesn't bloom for very long in my garden, but those purple spikes are pretty, and the foliage makes an attractive mound for the rest of the year. This one is growing slowly, perhaps in part because I transplanted it from the parking strip last year.

Lavender -- this is my third attempt at growing this drought-tolerant beauty. I don't know why it took me so long to try it in the front yard, where it is decidedly sunnier, hotter and drier. I think the third time will be the charm, as this one already seems much happier than the previous two.

What has already bloomed and faded this year? Leucojum (Snowflakes) and my Texas Redbud tree.

What hasn't bloomed yet? Texas Mountain Laurel--and since it normally blooms here in February, we might have missed the opportunity this year. I saw one blooming at Springwoods Park here this past week, so I'm holding out hope.

Lantana, Pavonia (Rock Rose), Esperanza, Salvia Greggii 'Autumn Sage', and the crinum bulbs I planted haven't joined the party yet, but I wouldn't expect them to until the weather gets genuinely hot. Turk's Cap and Plumbago are still gradually recovering from the freezes, too.

Happy Bloom Day!


  1. Welcome to Bloom Day! I am a novice gardener and a sporadic blogger, but I think you'll find Bloom Day posts to be great. I've gotten lots of ideas from bloom day posts, learned what blooms in the fall and winter, found some great blogs, and the best part is I have record of what blooms when in my own garden, and where it was planted. It's so helpful in the wintertime when you are making plans for spring. (And since I'm a little OCD, I have an 'in my garden' pinboard, with the month in the description, so I really have an at-a-glance look at the year in my garden.)

    I can't wait to take a look around your blog, and see how your garden grows this spring.

    Happy Gardening!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Emily! I love the pinboard idea--I'll definitely give that a try. Happy Spring Gardening to you, too!

  3. Hello Mary and Happy GBBD! Your garden looks great already. I'm another Austin garden blogger (far NW) & although I still get a bloom day post up once in awhile, they're seldom on time.
    How interesting that you saw TX Mountain Laurels blooming at the park. The March 6th freeze killed the buds on my laurel and most of my friends lost the flowers on their laurels, too. Oh well, maybe we'll have better luck next year.

    Happy Spring!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Annie! I read up on your 3 gardens--wow, what a journey, and what a lovely legacy you left for whoever bought your former houses.

      I don't know whether our Mountain Laurels even tried to put out blooms this year--I saw the start of new growth back in late February or early March, but it was nipped by one of the freezes. Seems they're greening up nicely this year, though.

      Happy Spring to you, too! It's nice to have had such a long, slow Spring here so far this year.

  4. Welcome to bloom day. I adore the gazania too. It is such a faithful summer bloomer and I had one that wintered over for 4 years. Alas, this year it was lost to the cold. I am like you daughter. I like to pick off the sepals too, especially on the poppies so I can see the crinkly petals unfurl. I am interested that you managed to divide the blackfoot daisy. I get plenty of seedlings but have never thought of doing that. They have such wiry stems and I would be afraid of destroying.

    1. Good to know about the Gazania. I didn't know it could be more than an annual. Mine's in a pot for now. Maybe I should go ahead and plant it somewhere sunny.

      When I divided the Blackfoot Daisy last year, I wasn't at all sure it would work out, so I left about half the mother plant in the ground, and split the other two quarters into two different spots in the same hell strip. One is faring better than the other, but I'm happy to see at least a few blooms on both of them. Time will tell how well they coped with the transplant. I have been pretty neglectful with these, almost no supplemental water.

      Thanks for stopping by, and happy gardening!

  5. Welcome to Bloomday.
    You have a lot blooming, already.
    I'm Linda/patchwork @ Patchwork Garden, down in Wimberley. Good to have another garden to 'visit', in the area.

    1. Thanks, Linda! Looking forward to checking out your blog.

      My husband and I have been meaning to bring the girls down to Wimberley sometime, I always hear great things.