Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: April 2010

It is said that "April showers bring May flowers" and, if that is true, our May flowers may be a bit sparse this year for April has been dry in my yard. I looked back at my 10-year garden journal for last April and found that it was a very wet month. What a difference a year makes.

Oh, well, never mind. Why worry about May flowers when we've got plenty of April flowers to look at? As usual, Carol of May Dreams Garden is hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day where you can find extensive links to gardeners all around the country who are showing off their bloomers today.

But wait! Before you rush off to look at those gardens, let me show you some of the things that I've got blooming this month.

Okay, this is Texas, so let's get the obligatory April bluebonnet out of the way right up front! Haven't these beauties been glorious this spring? Even in my little wildflower bed in the backyard, they have put on quite a show.

"Belinda" has awakened from her "Dream" and is gracing my garden with the luscious blossoms for which she is famous.

Worshipping at her feet, the purple oxalis is just trying to keep up.

The 'Radsunny' Knockouts were a disappointment in my garden last year, their first year here. I moved them during the winter, seeking a spot where they might be happier and they have responded magnificently. They've been absolutely glorious this spring.

I even like the way the 'Radsunny' ages, from the bright yellow of its first blush to this creamy yellow a few days later.

'Rouge Cardinal' clematis has been the star all month on the trellis next to the back porch.

My Satsuma has put on a nice display of blooms. Does that mean that I might actually get more than one fruit from it this year?

The Dutch irises have been particularly nice this spring. If I can't have the bearded iris that I crave, these are not a bad substitute. I especially like this yellow one.

But the white and yellow one isn't bad either.

These 'Tangerine Dream' crossvine blossoms seem lit from within. This vine doesn't have much to recommend it for much of the year, but when it is in bloom - oh, my!

'Hot Lips' salvia has joined the spring fling.

In fact, Salvia greggiis all over the yard are bursting into bloom.

This little double dianthus, the name of which is lost to me, brightens one of my favorite sitting areas in the yard, along with her Talavera hen planter.

'Dortmund's" back and I am so glad!

The variegated potato vine doesn't seem to be as floriferous as its all-green cousin, but it brightens this otherwise rather drab corner of the yard.

The unconquerable evening primrose. Some of them always elude the mowers along the veggie garden fence and I'm glad they do.

The 'Emerald Snow' loropetalum has been in bloom since I brought it home from Mercer's March Mart.

Coral honeysuckle, a disappointment last year, is making up for lost time this spring.

At the honeysuckle's feet, this little osteospermum offers its happy blooms.

Meantime, in another part of the yard, the amaryllis blooms are late coming this year.

While the blueberries have long since finished their bloom and have moved on to the fruiting stage of their development.

Dependable 'Radazz' Knockout does its thing. Knockouts may no longer be one of the "in" plants, but then I'm not one of the "in" gardeners and I still love them.

In fact, I like them so much I have them in several shades - including this pink one.

No blooms here but the little Japanese maples still manage to bring color to their part of the garden.

'Hinckley's columbine,' in its first season in my garden, is performing nicely for me.

But 'Graham Thomas' continues to titillate me with these half-opened buds. Oh, Graham, you are such a tease! When will you relent and satisfy my desire for your luscious blossoms?

See, Graham? Even a "lawn" can do it!


  1. Oh, my! Lovely! I have a postage stamp size backyard with one knock-out rose that is gorgeous. My amaryllis are coming right along (they didn't do anything last year -- guess they liked the winter). My dragon lady crossvine was magnificent and has just finished blooming. Guess that's the difference from being outside the city (you) and in the city (me)!!??? Love your gardnen ... don't know where to begin! :D

  2. Thank you for your kind comment, Snap.

  3. That's a gorgeous clematis on the trellis! The purple petals, green leaves, and white trellis look amazing together.

  4. The clematis is new in my yard this year, Queer by Choice, and I quite like it, too.

  5. What a gorgeous array of blooms you have! We are much further behind in the Midwest, of course, but I won't complain about this spring--it's been beautiful. Thanks for showing the 'Radsunny' Knockout; I've been thinking about adding one to my garden, and it's good to know it's doing well now in your sunny spot.

  6. Oh my, Riches! And you have clematis!!! I thought they required more cold? Or is it that they like non-alkaline soil? What I know is that I've wanted clematis for years without find a variety that wants to be here...

    We have so many of the same plants, it's fun to see yours. You made me wish I had a deer fence. I can only grow roses if I surround them with rosemary...

    Great spring!

  7. I think you might enjoy 'Radsunny', Rose. They have all the good qualities of Knockouts, plus a very light lemony scent. Lack of scent, of course, is one thing that some people hold against the Knockouts, but maybe that will be addressed in future cultivars.

  8. I am lucky that I don't have to contend with browsing deer, Kathleen. There are certainly plenty of them around here but they are kept at bay by the fences.

    Clematis does seem to do pretty well here. I had one - a light purple - that came back from the dead after winter but hasn't bloomed yet. I've been very pleased with 'Rouge Cardinal' and I hope it will be a long-term survivor for me.

  9. Your garden is so much further ahead than mine. You have so many flowers blooming that I can't wait for, roses and Clematis especially.
    The Blueberries here are just about to bloom. Looks like you'll be eating yours soon.

  10. Yes, there are one or two blueberries already turning blue, Catherine. We grow the rabbiteye variety here which tolerates our climate well. I can hardly wait until I can pick enough for blueberry muffins!

  11. Your April is so like our May it's always amazes me. My 'Cl. Old Blush' just started blooming today. Your garden is lovely. Thank you for sharing all of your blooms and for coming by my blog.~~Dee

  12. Thanks, Dee. In fact, I often stop by your blog, but usually I just lurk!

    My own 'Cl. Old Blush', which I moved during the winter, has pouted all spring, but is finally getting over its hurt feelings and is beginning to bloom. I'm very happy to see it because it is a favorite of mine.

  13. What an amazing collection of blooms! Love the rose with the purple oxalis at its feet. And the clematis. I didn't realize they would work in TX. But then Houston is more humid. am definitely going to try them in Austin! congratulations!

  14. Thanks, A Ellis. Clematis seems to do well here - at least in the microclimate that is my yard.

  15. I can return the compliment, ConsciousGardener. I am so glad to have found your blog today!

  16. Oh so pretty! You have quite a bonanza of blooms there! Talk about being behind the times, I finally planted a Radrazz for the first time this year. I love it and I love them wherever I see them. Oh, I like your seating area. Very pretty color on the chair and table.

    Re: your rat snake. He would've given me quite a start but I know they're good for the environment.