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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: May 2011

Come and walk with me through my garden and let me show you some of my blooms.

You may have heard that we are suffering an exceptional drought in Texas, but it takes more than a little dry weather to daunt the heirloom "ditch lilies."

In the wildflower bed, a purple liatris blooms among the Mexican hat flowers.

Nearby, blanket flowers lift their colorful faces to the sun.

As do the flowers of tickseed.

In the wild hedge along the back fence, the elderberries are blooming and are frequently visited by butterflies like this Tiger Swallowtail.

When she finishes with the elderberry, she moves on to a pink buddleia.

Flowers in the herb garden are often overlooked because they tend to be rather inconspicuous, but I quite like the dainty little blossoms of the Mexican oregano, blooming here in front of the parsnips.

And what could be prettier than these little blooms of the citronella-scented geranium.

The African blue basil is not a culinary basil, but its blooms are very attractive to bees and other pollinators and I love its distinctive basil scent.

Surprisingly - to me at least - the Hinckley columbines are still sending out these lovely yellow blossoms to wave in the wind.

All over my garden, the many varieties of Salvia greggii plants have been blooming their hearts out for weeks.

The species cannas in the bed along the fence are sending up their flames of bloom.

And the yellow cestrum has bloomed continuously for weeks now.

I've shown you several of my daylilies recently. Here's a new one that is sending out its first blooms just in time for Bloom Day.

Yellow poppies and purple verbena make a nice combination.

Nearby, the Texas primrose adds another accent of yellow.

The 'Montrose Purple' vitex is covered with these not quite yet completely open lilac-like flowers.

One of the knocks on Knockout roses is that they lack scent, but when I walk past this bed of 'Radazz' I receive a wave of heavy sweet rose scent.

I find the same to be true of the pink variety, but I haven't noticed it with the yellow.

More sweet scent wafts up from the 'Laura Bush' petunia.

The gerberas turn their happy faces to the sun.

The Turk's cap 'Big Momma' is a great attractor of hummingbirds and butterflies.

These blossoms of the almond verbena shrub are not very showy but the scent is heavenly.

Also sweetly scented are the 'Meyer' lemon blooms. The tree already has several small lemons from an earlier flush of blooms but now it is full of flowers again.

The yellow bells of Esperanza are "ringing." The plant died back to its roots during the winter but lost no time in getting up and growing this spring.

Let's end our tour this month with the queen of the May garden, the Southern magnolia. My two large trees are covered with hundreds of these creamy white blossoms.

I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit. Please come back soon. And don't forget to visit our Bloom Day hostess Carol of May Dreams Gardens for links to other participating blogs.

Happy Bloom Day and happy gardening!


  1. Beautiful blooms! Love the African Basil.

  2. There's lots of beauties showing off in your garden despite the dry conditions. Loved your Magnolia shot. Your African Blue Basil caught my eye ... that is very pretty, so are the flowers on your citronella scented Geranium. I really enjoyed taking a virtual walk through you May garden.

  3. That Southern magnolia looks every bit worthy of its royal title. Great photograph!

  4. Beautiful images, blooms and butterflies. Hard to say more and beat that.

  5. Love the long tails on that columbine and the beautiful pale yellow color.

  6. Thanks for dropping by, Megan. That blue basil is a special favorite of mine and the bees.

    So glad you came by, Bernie. That scented geranium blossom really is a pretty little thing, isn't it?

    Thank you, queerbychoice. The old magnolias are messy trees, but every May, they remind us of why we love them.

    I garden for the butterflies and the birds, gardenwalkgardentalk, so it's always gratifying to have a beautiful swallowtail flitting around my garden.

    That columbine has been a revelation to me, Carolyn. It's been in bloom for weeks now. I love those tailed-blossoms, too.

  7. Good good. Sorry about your drought. Lived in San Antonio during the last big one. Guess what follows a drought? A flood...lol

  8. I really like all of the colors in your garden! I'm still waiting for my daylilies and buddleia to bloom. I enjoyed my stroll through your garden!

  9. You obviously know your Texas weather, greggo! Drought or flood - that about covers it.

  10. The daylilies tend to laugh at the drought, dorothy. Come to think of it, they laugh at the flood, too. It's just really hard to discourage them. That's why I have several in my garden.

  11. Man Dorothy! You've got a lot going on! I love the Mexican hat...there is some in the greenbelt behind my house and it is one tough plant because there is NO irrigation out there and we are DRY! I would love to try the almond verbena in my garden. The flowers are sweet. Surprised your turks cap is blooming already...haven't seen any blooms on mine yet...

  12. I specialize in tough plants, Cat. They are the only kind that can survive my gardening "skills"!

    This is my first year with the almond verbena and I'm loving it. I planted it near my front entry so every time I approach my front door I can enjoy its sweet scent.

  13. Just to let you know... there is a major case of magnolia envy happening here in Wisconsin just now! The evergreens are just too tender for us I'm afraid... love the photos! Larry

  14. Gorgeous magnolia. They're able to make them limp along in Seattle from radiated sidewalk heat in some outdoor shopping centers, but they don't look happy or natural. Yours is gorgeous.

  15. You've got tons of great blooms. I've noticed that my knockouts have a nice scent as well, I especially notice it when the bushes are full of blooms. It's surprising that the lemon and columbine is blooming again. I suppose that's part of the fun, you never know what you'll find when you walk around the yard for bloom day.

  16. I'm making a mental note that the butterflies like elderberry. Your Mexican hat flowers are delightful! Happy GBBD!

  17. Magnolias are tough, but they do have to have their heat and humidity, something I guess Wisconsin doesn't have much of, Larry. Ah, but you have other gorgeous plants to compensate.

  18. Yes, they are at home here, Kelly. There are several newer varieties that are bred for smaller gardens and to be less messy than my old gals, but when May comes along, there's just nothing to compare to them. That's when they earn their keep.

  19. I've been pleasantly surprised by the scent of the Knockouts, HGG, as I was led not to expect it. I don't really understand the complaints that they have no scent.

  20. The wildflowers, including the wild elderberry, have really come into their own this year, Kate. Nothing like a drought to bring out the best in tough plants.

  21. Gorgeous!

    Your esperanza is already blooming! Mine came back after our three-day freeze but are just knee-high.

    Wish I had ditch-lily blooms. The deer ate all but one bloom stalk (which I've put in a tomato cage). And my Valentine Rose is nibbled nightly, in spite of stakes to poke their faces. In fact, almost everything is nibbled now--a number of sages, Turk's Cap, Texas Persimmon leaves, dwarf barbados cherry. I cannot WAIT for El Nino to break and the drought to end.

  22. This particular esperanza always blooms earlier than the others, Kathleen. I don't know if it is a different variety...or what. But my others don't start blooming until later.

    I'm grateful that I don't have to deal with deer. I imagine they are especially voracious because of our dry conditions. We got just a taste of rain last week, enough to whet our appetite. Let's hope there is enough to sate us soon!

  23. Hello Dorothy.... I love the Turk's cap and the yellow Cestrum..lovely garden you have there".

    There is a scented "knock-out" called "Sunny" it smells like lemons. I discovered it when I was drawn to it's scent while browsing through a garden center. I plan to purchase one in the near future.

    Happy gardening to you.