Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - January 2009

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Time for another installment of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, where Carol of May Dreams Gardens invites us to show others what we have in bloom in our garden.

We recently got an outdoor weather station, which informs me that the temperature dropped to 32.5F last night.  The night before, the temperature fell to 30F - not quite the hard freeze we were fearing, but enough to knock some of my blooms out of commission.

The other thing that complicates GBBD for me, particularly when it falls on weekdays, is that I have to leave the house before it's entirely light outside, and I don't get home until it's dark in the evenings.  I had just enough time this morning to search out a few blooms before the bus arrived to take me to work.

The strange light on this one? The sun was just rising over the fence when I took this photo of the lavender in my herb garden, which survived our long, hot, dry summer and seems to be flourishing this winter.  Why do I bother growing grass in my front yard, when I could grow lavender, instead?












I bought a small flat of sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) a few months back, and it has impressed me by taking neglect and drought in stride.  I put a couple of plants into this pot, and a few more into the square foot gardens in the front yard.  I bought a small flat of Alyssum 'Easter Bonnet Violet' at the same time and have found it not quite as tolerant.  That said, both seem to be thriving in my square foot garden in the front yard, though I didn't have a chance to photograph them this morning.

Please disregard my sad brown grass.  We're in a drought.




























I've had a great time learning to force bulbs this winter.  This is my second paperwhite project; I potted the first set of paperwhite bulbs at Thanksgiving, and by a week before Christmas, I was able to give them away to my grandmother.  I received this bulb and pot set for Christmas and planted them shortly thereafter.

I brought them to work with me, to take advantage of the giant windows in my office. 

I arrived at work Tuesday morning to see the bulbs capped with at least three buds, and by Wednesday, they were starting to unfurl. One of my cowokers took photos of the process, which I'll post if I get copies of them.

Today, my office is filled with the scent of paperwhite (Narcissus tazetta, according to the packaging).  I would characterize the smell as perhaps cloying, but sweet and perfumy.  So far, my office mate hasn't complained.














Stalkers take note: The Eyes of Texas are upon you.

Owing to the limited daylight I had to work with today, I didn't get pictures of everything blooming in my garden.

I'm using pansies heavily this time of year, to fill in spots in my square foot garden, as well as to add color to the back yard.

My bulbines, ever faithful, continue to bloom, despite our sudden descent into seasonal temperatures.

I've got some purple trailing lantana growing discreetly in the front yard so I won't be tempted to remove it, and some Salvia greggii still blooming, as well.  It's time to shear them down, I know!

And that's about it! I'm looking forward to the approaching spring.

8 Comments

Diana said:

Oh - I love the Sweet Alyssum in that blue pot - what a striking contrast. Happy Bloom Day!

  • Thanks, Diana! It's hard to find things that work in that little blue pot, but the alyssum seems quite happy there. Happy Bloom Day to you, too!

Your office plant with the UT tower in the background is a great shot. When I worked on the 13th floor of the old Frost Bank tower I would look longingly at where I imagined my garden might be across Town Lake.

What kind of lavender are you growing? The only one that's ever survived for me is "Goodwin Creek Grey". I love the ones with the big flower heads but I've never gotten any to grow.

  • I don't remember which variety of lavender this is, because I planted it in the spring and take horrid notes! I bought it as a small plant, from either Green 'n Growing in Pflugerville or the Natural Gardener. I've had very mixed luck with lavender plants in general, but this one in particular seems very happy, though it doesn't get as much sunlight as it would probably prefer. It's in our herb garden, which we spent a fair bit of time double-digging and working in compost, so it's a bit raised, which should help with drainage and keep it from getting soggy feet. ...As should our horrid drought year.

    I'll poke around out there this weekend and see if I can find the tag!

The lavender looks comparable to Spanish lavender-Lavandula stoechas. It is a great performer for our regions in Texas.

Lori said:

It looks like you have a nice view at UT! And I'm glad you found a non-smelly form of paperwhites to grow indoors. The ones I've been smelling in my yard and for sale at HEB have been way too stinky for me.

And if you find that lavender tag, let me know-- I've killed pretty much everything that I've tried. I have one that's alive, but the tag is mixed in with the tags of all the other lavenders I've killed (I swear, it's a tag graveyard in my shed), so I have no way to know which one it is. :)

Vertie said:

Lovely photos as usual! I too love the one of the narcissus with the UT tower in the background.

Hi Rachel - it's fun to have something to post in January, isn't it! Pansies, alyssum, bulbine, paperwhites and lavender are also color coordinated ;-]

There were a couple of faded flowers on my fern-leafed lavender (although half the plant is now brown) but it's out in the open with no shelter from cold wind. When the flowers were new they looked a little like yours.

Happy GBBD - Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  • Annie, I think you nailed the lavender. Looking at photos online, I think my lavender has the jagged leaves of fern-leaf lavender (Lavandula pinnata). My little lavender plant is in our herb garden, which is on the south side of our garden shed, protected from north winds. Everything in that bed has survived our minor freezes far better than I expected them to. In summer, they don't get as much sun as they'd prefer, but they seem to be doing alright regardless.

Rose said:

The first shot of lavendar is beautiful! Your blooms are a welcome sign to those of us in the Midwest who can only see snow and the remnants of the garden past:)

I appreciate all you went through to get some pics to post for bloom day. And I love the flowers over looking the buildings. That's a good picture!

Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

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