Fabulous Flowers

Two months ago the temperatures were below zero, but today it will be in the high nineties.  Isn’t nature full of surprises?

There are still some questions about what will recover from that extreme cold.  However, flowers are appearing every day.

One of the showiest bushes in my yard is Bridal Wreath Spirea (Spiraea prunifolia).

Every year more and more clusters of flowers appear.

It may be a short-lived glory, much like a wedding day.  However, memories live on.

Plant in full sun and enjoy its beauty.

Native False Foxglove or Wild Foxglove (Penstemon cobaea) is stunning this year.  It is not related to the European Foxglove, but is in the penstemon family.

Native Columbine’s flowers are exotic.

Sorry that I haven’t quite mastered that magical photography hour just after sunrise.

Columbine or Aquilegia is evergreen and remained green under the snow coverage.  It prefers morning sun and afternoon shade.

Someone has compared the flowers to jester’s hats.  Not sure I see it.

Another native that survived the cold very well is Gulf Coast Penstemon or Brazos Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis).  Plant this where you don’t mind that it spreads.  It’s easy to dig up but will cover an area quickly.  Full sun and as for most plants, well draining soil.

Bulbs are one of my favorite types of plants.  Daffodils are still blooming.  Different types of daffodils or narcissus (not sure which one this is) bloom at different times.

Bulbs are unique in that they produce their own energy and food.  The bulb is like a battery.  Its recharger is the foliage.  Therefore, the foliage needs to be left until it fully dies.  It may look tattered for a while.  The dead parts in this picture could be trimmed off.

One of the bonuses of bulbs is that they multiply and need to be divided every few years for the best flowers.  Voila: new free plants.  Irises is one of the hardiest bulbs around.

Spanish Bluebells is another hardy bulb.  Their flowers don’t last a long time.  The foliage is attractive on its own.

Hope your spring is filled with beauty.

“Spring is painted in daffodil yellows, robin egg blues, new grass green and the brightness of hope for a better life.”   Toni Sorenson

Little Dabs of Color

Here at the tiptop of Central Texas, our winters are a little colder and our rainfall more sparse than most of the beloved tourist area that includes Fredericksburg, Austin, and San Antonio.

Although our winter wasn’t particularly cold this year, there were a few freezes.  So everything died back, and the yard has been a drab sight.

The first color that arrived about the middle of January was Texas Flowering Scarlet Quince (Chaenomeles japonica ‘Texas Scarlet’).  Except for the brilliant red flowers that last a few months, the plant is not worthy of much attention.

The Daffodils bloomed in mid February.  These has been in the ground for years.  Such a great return for your money.

New bulbs were planted last fall in a different bed.  These were all purchased at a Master Gardeners’ bulb sale in Tyler.

The one with white pedals and yellow cup or corona  is Abba (Narcissus tazetta).  To their left, yellow pedals with gold cup is Jonquil ‘Golden Dawn’.

On the left, behind the daffodils, is evergreen native Yarrow.  A wonderful spreading plant that sports white flowers.

Truthfully, I can’t tell the different in Daffodils, Narcissus, and Jonquils.

Direct from the internet:  “In general, “daffodil” refers to the large-flowered varieties, “narcissus” to small-flowered and early-blooming types bearing clusters of blossoms, and “jonquil” denotes N. jonquilla, often with fragrant, yellow flowers.”

Confused?  Me, too.

Dutch Hyacinth (Hyancinthus orientalis ‘Blue Festival’) grows low to the ground, about 8 to 10 inches tall.

A pretty little accent, these were purchased six years ago from Old House Gardens.

Great old standby, native Possum Haw produces lots of berries.  The birds don’t eat them until just before they’re ready to drop off.

Another great native – Orange Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) .  The small cupped orange blossoms stand out against the curly gray foliage.

Pollinators also love this bush.

So happy to see some color and spring just on the horizon.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”   Seneca