Monday, April 15, 2013

April Blooms

I have been working dawn to dark (well, almost) in my garden lately.   Even though temperatures are still occasionally dipping down to almost freezing, I know Texas, and before you know it, it will be too hot to work outside all day.

So what have I been up to?  Of course, regular maintenance like weeding, mulching, transplanting, etc.  And I've been working on repairing the pond.  AND!  I'm also putting in a new garden area!  I can't wait to show it to you!

But for now, let's see what's blooming for this April's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Last April, I had a rainbow of colors blooming in my garden.  This year, things are just now beginning to emerge.  Take a look:

I purchased this clematis as Duchess of Albany, but I think it's Niobe instead.  Either way, it's quite pretty.

Clematis

The salvias are a hot spot for the bees.

Salvia

Another purple beauty is scabiosa.  This plant just can't be beat here.  It blooms almost year round in my garden.

Scabiosa

I love these Dutch irises.  Notice the red dianthus in the background.


The Dutch iris bloom below is my favorite color.  Again, dianthus (this time pink) in the background.

Dutch iris

I have a couple of surprise blooms.  First, a bleeding heart.


I have lamented for years that I have planted bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis), but have never had any come up.  I know why.  I weed them out.  This one was hidden behind a bush.  I hope from now on I'll remember to leave it alone and not weed it out!

And the second surprise is my Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum).


It was a surprise because I forgot I planted it!  I just love little fun surprises like this in the garden.

What else is blooming?  Hellebores are still going strong.  Hardy cyclamen still looks fresh.  Pansies are loving these cool nights.  Gaillardia is happily blooming.  And my 'Bay Breeze' hawthorn (Raphiolepis indica) has just started to bloom.  When they are in full bloom, they will be beautiful.

But for right now, these blooms are not making a big impact.  Except for one - the beautiful crossvine (Bignonia capreolata).
Crossvine

Covering one entire side of my garage, it's quite impressive.

It'll be fun to see the changes in the garden from now until next month.  I better get out there and get to work!








56 comments:

  1. You have lovely blooms. My US blogger friend sent me seeds and bulbs including clematis, unfortunately it can't grow in our type of tropics. So i am back to distant appreciation, or more precisely digital appreciation!

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    1. Oh, sorry that clematis doesn't do well for you. It really has become one of my favorite vines. Doesn't bloom long for me, but I just love the way it curls itself around to climb!

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    2. This is not a reply for you here, rather for your comment in my post about the shadows and heat. That is one of the most substantial comments i receive, so thank you so much for visiting my site.

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  2. Great post. I aspire to clematis again. The ones I had died out, not what one expects from clematis.

    Are you of the CLEM-a-tis camp or Clem-AH-tis? Even my mother and I were at odds over the pronunciation.

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    1. I used to say clem-AH-tis, but CLEM-a-tis sounded more East Texan, so I now go with that! :)

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    2. Actually, I meant the other way around! :)

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  3. Your crossvine is fantastic! Since I've never heard of it before it's probably one of the (many) wonderful plants not hardy in my northern area... oh well, I'll enjoy yours. Can't wait to see your new garden area!

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    1. No, I don't think crossvine is very hardy up north. So sorry!

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  4. Your garden is looking fantastic - some lovely blooms. Love the Crossvine!

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    1. Every year I fall in love with it all over again!

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  5. Oh how pretty everything is looking. Hope my Clematis survived last year.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I hope so, too, Cher. It's always so fun to see them coming up out of the ground!

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  6. Your new clematis is just gorgeous! I have a few picked out for my shade garden and I can't wait to plant them! I also really like your soloman's seal ~ that would make me happy to see that in my garden too!

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    1. Good luck to you and your clematis. I hope my solomon's seal does well and the bleeding heart, too! I was so thrilled to see it!

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  7. A lovely selection of blooms there! It may still be on the cold side there but at least spring seems to be in full swing too :)

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    1. Yes, spring has arrived. The forecasts call for one more possible freeze, so I have some plants that I haven't put in the ground yet, but everything else is venturing forth from the warm earth. I doubt the freeze forecast. It hardly ever freezes after Easter, but with this year, who knows?!

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  8. Nice variety of almost everything but roses (and from you?) - looks like spring has set in. Surprising you are getting that cold, but then again, April is still trying to be March some days, and we are 2-3 weeks behind your area, it appears.

    I need to check out the cross vines I used at a valley client's house...

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    1. I bet the crossvine looks amazing! I hope you'll post pictures of it, too. I can't believe I don't have roses to show off! Just a very few blooms, but most of the early buds were frozen. A very odd year indeed.

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  9. I don't blame you. I'd be working like crazy too knowing the hot weather is coming and you won't be able to enjoy your time out there. I love your blossoms. Those bright red Dianthus in the background--wowzers!

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    1. At least this year, with the extended spring, has given me time to work outside before it get so very hot. I suppose I shouldn't complain about the long spring we're having!

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  10. That vine is indeed impressive. How long did it take to reach this stage? And, you have a pond!! I love ponds. I don't remember seeing any pictures or articles about your pond in the blog. Please do some again soon :-).

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    1. The vine is fairly old. It only blooms after it reaches the top of whatever it's climbing, and that took 2 to 3 years. I have posted about my pond, but since nothing much happens there, and I don't take good fish pictures, it sometimes gets neglected, blog-wise.

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  11. Oooh, I hope that clematis really is Niobe. I just planted a Niobe to climb up a big full pine tree, and if it looks like your picture, I will be very happy. Your picture is intriguing and beautiful. How nice to see the pretty iris and everything else in your spring garden!

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    1. Good luck with your Niobe. I hadn't thought about planting a clematis to climb up a pine! What a great idea!

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  12. Wow, you have been busy! I'm surprised you're not farther ahead, but gosh it has been a weird spring, hasn't it?! Do you ever use Scabiosa for cut flowers? They seem like they'd be great in bouquets. Happy GBBD!

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    1. I've never cut scabiosa. I wonder how long they would last in a vase. I may have to give that a try!

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  13. You have such and impressive amount of bloom! All your hard work is paying off. I love Dutch irises too, but mine are done already :(

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    1. And my roses haven't started yet! But, soon! :)

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  14. Your blooms are lovely!! Oh that deep rich color of your Clematis is wonderful! I think surprises from year to year are some of my favorite things as well! I was jumping for joy today because my bleeding heart is finally poking its head up! I think we are making a turn here but I suspect that most of my garden posts won't begin until the end of April as everything is still moving slow! I look forward to seeing your new garden!! How exciting and how wonderful that you are able to work all day right now! I know those days won't come until my beans are in school but until then I am thinking of taking up night gardening!!! I will let you know how it goes...all I need is a head lamp!

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    1. haha - I have actually heard of people gardening at night like that! Not me. I'm too afraid I'd step on something, weed something I shouldn't, or plant the wrong thing! Although, if it goes well for you, let me know. It would be a lot cooler here to garden at night in the summer! :)

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  15. Everything looks lovely! My favorites are the bleeding heart, Solomon's Seal, and the Dutch iris -- so pretty! I wish you more cool, clear days and happy gardening!

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    1. I always forget that I have Dutch irises planted, until they come up. They really are sweet. I hope my bleeding heart does well. I have always wanted that plant in my garden.

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  16. Holley, You have so many pretty flowers in bloom. That clematis does look like 'Niobe'. I have one too and the blooms always remind me of red velvet. And congratulations on the return of the bleeding heart. I can never get one to return a second year!

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    1. Red velvet. That's an accurate description. I just want to pet the petals! I am not sure the bleeding heart will do well here, either. Supposedly it's too hot for it to do well, but I just had to give it a try!

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  17. Holley, your spring is on top now! Many flowers are blooming, especially the Dutch irises, I love them as well.
    Lovely pictures!

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    1. I love those Dutch irises, too. Since we've had an odd year, they are blooming before most of my bearded irises. It's interesting to see spring drawn out like this. Everything here usually all blooms at the same time!

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  18. That Niobe - if that's what it is - is stunning. Have you had issues with clematis (which by the way I always pronounce accented on the first syllable, because my mother did!) melting in the heat? I see several in my neighborhood but they don't seem to bloom very long.

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    1. Mine don't bloom long, but they do come back every year, so I feel like that's a win! They are so pretty while they are in bloom, I just take them as an ephemeral beauty.

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  19. So strange to see late spring and early summer flowers blooming in your garden while mine is still stuttering with the whole idea of spring! That is a beautiful clematis, whatever it is called. I plan to plant some clematis this autumn, all being well. You have me very intrigued about your new garden area...

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    1. My new garden area is going to be filled with grasses! Something I do not have in my garden right now. The challenge is to find them before autumn, when they are usually sold. Otherwise, I'll be looking at a big bare spot all summer!

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  20. Hi Holley, Gorgeous blooms. We too have been working in the yard continuously recently. My yesterday's blog shows some of our spring blooms so far..

    Love your Clematis.. Ours is just now beginning to grow some... AND--those little Irises are gorgeous.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. It's working time for gardeners! Of course, the work never completely gets done, but it's always a big push during spring. Enjoy it! :)

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  21. Loving seeing your blooms so far ahead in some ways. Great surprises too....I left you an email about winning some seeds :)

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I have emailed you back! :)

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  22. Hi there! I can't wait to see your new projects!! I love projects! Your blooms are so pretty and you have so many of them. I have a "Bay Breeze" Indian Hawthorne but dispite being about seven years old and very large, it never produces flowers...so sad! Your Crossvine is a beauty! I have several, but for some reason, one of them died over the winter...very strange. I'm going to replace it with a Clematis! I'm looking forward to seeing more and, of course, your new projects!

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    1. I'm surprised about your bay breeze! Mine are truly impressive with so many blooms every spring - and I totally neglect it. But - here's the secret - it must be in FULL sun! I have some in part sun, and they are very scraggly. Hope that helps! If yours is in full sun, I guess you just have a dud! Sorry to hear about your crossvine. I would be devastated if mine died.

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  23. What is your trick to growing clematis in Texas? I know its feet need to be kept cool. Haven't had luck here in the piney woods growing it, but I think it is my skill level and not the location. I, too, have crossvine but mine is not as thick and healthy as yours.

    Ann
    thejardinencantado.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, keep its feet cold by placing a rock on top. And it likes to be consistently watered. And most of mine are shaded from the west sun. Although, I'm trying a few now that will be getting sun from the west. It will be interesting to see if they like it!

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  24. The crossvine is a stunner and so early. I need something to cover a fence most of the year and that looks like a good candidate.

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    1. I think you will love having the crossvine on your fence. It's evergreen, too, and it always blooms early in the spring and then again in the fall, just as the hummingbirds are migrating. It may not bloom for the first couple of years, so be patient. As you can see, the reward will be worth it!

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  25. Scabiosa is a great perennial and should be used more. It's a prolific bloomer, and all it really needs is sun.

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    1. It really is a wonderful plant. I saw some at the garden center this spring, and ran over there to get more, but they were selling them in gallon size pots, and were asking much too much for them!

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  26. Great! I love that pale pink Dutch iris. And seeing your Bleeding Heart has reminded me what the new shoots in my garden are - I'd been puzzling over them!

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    1. Now, see - if I puzzle over something, generally I pull it out! I really do need to become not quite an aggressive weeder! I hope your bleeding heart is beautiful.

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  27. Beautiful! I had to laugh when I read you pulled up the bleeding heart because I have done that with Missouri Primrose! And I love your crossvine!
    Brenda

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    1. Yes, I'm bad about pulling up things that I've planted! I really should quit doing that!

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