Gray Days of Winter Around the Corner

Enjoying a few more days of some color in the yard.

A few Jackman Clematis purple flowers hang on the vine.

Although all the foliage is gone, some Whirling Butterfly Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) still  waves in the wind.  Behind that are some red blossoms on a Flame Acanthus.

Henry Duelburg Mealycup Sage (Salvia farinacea) doesn’t want to say goodbye just yet.

This year the Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio confusus) won’t be carried inside, so it may pass away completely.  Each year we haul it in and each spring it takes forever for it to recover, and it seldom blooms.  So I give up.  It belongs in zones 10 – 11, but I was trying to push the envelop.

On a misty, overcast day, native Flame Prairie Sumac (Rhus Lanceolata) looks like it’s on fire.

This year the Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) has lots of tiny orange red berries.  I love the fact that it’s an evergreen tree.

Possumhaw Holly (Ilex decidua) berries are a little bigger and redder.  A winter treat for the birds. It’s a Texas native and a very hardy small tree with multiple trunks.

The tree/bush is very full of berries.

A few buds have shown up on the Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) .  It quit blooming months ago when the heat got too intense.  It’s also called Apricot Mallow based on the color of its flowers.

Maggie Rose (Rosa ‘Maggie’) just keeps on blooming.  It’s a fragrant bourbon rose that likes our climate.

Bought this bush a couple of years ago and kept it in a shed until I had a place for it.  It has surprised me because the limbs have grown so long and gangly, and the magneta globe flowers are so tiny.

Have lost the tag and can’t identify it.

It has a tendency to spread out.  So it’s really too close to other plants.  I’ll worry about that next year.

Several of the David Austin roses I have don’t flower very well.  But this Thomas A. Beckett blooms often and the bush looks healthy.

Duranta (Duranta erecta) flowers last a long time.

I moved this Mint to a container because it was taking over a flower bed.  Even in tight confines, it’s doing well here.

“One kind word can warm three months.”  Japanese proverb

More Ice Pix

Everything looks picture worthy as I tramp around the ice covered yard.

Ice gives Yaupon Holly a sparkle.

Brr.  No one wants to live here in this cold.

Snapping off of the frozen branches from the Texas Kidneywood bush would be easy.

Possum Haw berries in a globe of ice.  Possumhaw Holly is a great small native tree with multiple trunks.

Icy Red Yucca branches under an overcast sky makes me shiver.

The two preceding pictures show Blue Mistflowers.

At the tip of tall trunks of Desert False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa), heavy ice keeps the branches from swaying in the wind.

Ice covered rose bushes have an ethereal look.

Spaghetti strands of Dried Mexican Feather Grass flops on the ground.

Dwarf Indian Hawthorn is one of the few evergreen bushes in our yard.  The frosty ice coating is gorgeous.

Tall, thin stems of Obedient Plant form upside down icicles.

Bright red Rose Hip with copper colored Rose leaves provides color in a drab wintry scene.

I enjoy some winter when the harsh weather only comes a few days at a time.  But basically, I’m a warm weather person.

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”  Percy Bysshe Shelley

Pops of Color

The warm weather continues with some record-breaking highs.  Still no rain.  Both of these circumstances are cause for concern around here.  And yet, some flowers in the yard are still hanging on.

This Bottle Brush Bush (Callistemon) was planted in the spring.  When it blooms, it is covered with bright red blooms.   But there are long periods in between these flowering times.  I’m not sure if that is characteristic or due to weather conditions here.

Today the blooms are not as full and colorful as they were earlier in the year.

The flowers really do look just like a brush used to clean narrow necked bottles.  It needs full sun, which is perfect for my yard.

Early in autumn, the first noticeable change in the Chinese Pitasche  (Pistacia chinensis) tree is the appearance of orangish red berries.

Then the leaves turn this golden color.

Finally,  the leaves sport a bright orange hue before they turn brown and drop off.

The golden leaves of this small elm have defied the wind and remained on the branches.

A Chinapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) in our yard is covered with orange and yellow leaves.  The color is seen on the branch in the left of the picture.  In the distance the burnt orange tree is a sumac.The blooms on this False Foxglove (Agalinis) surprised me the other day.  In the spring I transplanted it from a bar ditch on our county road.  Late spring is the normal blooming time for this wildflower.  I guess this warm weather and water from the sprinkler system has confused it.  But I’m so glad it survived the move.

Most of the leaves and blooms on this Morning Glory Tree (I. arborescens) bit the dust after the first freeze.  Just one branch bravely blooms on.

A Spanish Oak looks like it’s on fire in the late afternoon sun.

This is the third autumn for this Possum Haw, and the first time there have been berries.  I was beginning to worry that it was a male plant and wouldn’t produce berries.  They are smaller than I expected but a nice sight.

I wish I knew what kind of tree this is.  This one grows beside a county road near a dry creek bed.  I love the yellow berry clusters.

Update – a couple of readers tell me that this is a Chinaberry Tree.

The berries actually look like dry pods. It’s a smallish tree.  When you look up, it has great composition with a clear blue sky behind it and bunches of pale yellow berries at the ends of the branches.

“The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.”  Hans Hoffman