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

Friday, February 10, 2012

This week in the garden - #3

Sweetly fragrant Carolina jessamine is at its peak of bloom in the garden this week. 

Here we are at the tenth day of February, not even halfway through the month, and already this month we have received more than twice as much rain as we did in the whole month of February last year. So far this month my backyard rain gauge has measured 2.24 inches. Last year for the entire month we had .67 of an inch. What a difference a year makes!

Thanks to all that rain and to the mild temperatures we have had, everything looks lush and green, especially the weeds. It is quite unlike the gray and brown landscape that we normally see in early February.

The rain has left the ground completely saturated and not conducive to many of my normal gardening tasks, but at least I was able to continue with my pruning. I got most of the rest of the roses pruned this week, including the 'Radazz' Knockouts which grow along my neighbor's fence that extends along part of my front yard. Those shrub roses had grown rampantly last year when they got only minimal pruning. Knockouts don't really have to be pruned except for shaping, but these were out of control and needed to be reined in a bit. It was difficult to cut them back though because they were full of fat buds that were just about ready to burst into bloom. Nevertheless, I steeled myself and made my cuts. I expect it will benefit the plants in the long term. 

I still have a few more roses and a few more shrubs to prune and shape. My Felcos are my most useful garden tool these days. By the end of next week, I hope to have this particular task completed.    

As I was walking around the garden today, I noticed this sweet little dianthus in bloom. It had been beaten up by the rain but still offered a splash of fuchsia amid the green.

Elsewhere, 'Old Blush' has been in bloom since mid-January. Very little daunts this old rose.

I am sorely tempted to start planting some of my spring  veggies in the garden, but I keep reminding myself that there are five more weeks of winter left and we may still have some freezing temperatures. I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to hold myself in check. I am longing to get those vegetables growing!


  1. I know exactly what you mean! I’m in northwest Houston, not too far from you. I am so ready to plant some tomatoes or peppers, but I know I should wait a bit longer. I’m so tempted! Everything looks like it is ready for spring, even though we were in the 30’s in my garden last night. Love your blog!

  2. Thanks, Lucy. I just keep repeating to myself, "Late winter weather can be very deceptive and can change quickly." But it's getting harder and harder to convince me!