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

Friday, March 1, 2013

This week in the garden - #53

The changing of the seasons continued at breakneck speed this week. Even though we've had several nights of temperatures in the 30s and low 40s, and it looks like we'll have a couple more, the spring quickening was unfazed.

Spring, of course, means bluebonnets, and in my wildflower bed, mine are beginning to bloom. Among the blues, there are always a few pinks, as well.

   Among the citrus trees, spring means that the kumquats are almost ready.

And, nearby, the Mandarin orange tree is just about to burst into bloom.

Among the fruit trees and shrubs, Mother Nature staggers the bloom cycle so that all of the blooms do not open at once, just in case there is a late freeze. You can see this in the blueberries which have blooms at all stages now. Incidentally, I've been very interested to notice that the Rufous Hummingbirds that are overwintering in my yard love these little blossoms! They may not look like your typical hummingbird flower, but at almost anytime of the day, you will see one of the little birds sipping from these blooms.

Elsewhere among the fruit trees, the 'Red Baron' peach has its very first bloom. It won't be alone for long.

The 'Gulf Rose' plum tree has been blooming now - in stages - for almost a month.


Some winter blooms are still hanging on, of course, notably the pansies and these little violas.

 Love these sweet little faces!

The "autumn sage" should be called "all-year sage" because that's when it blooms.

And the purple trailing lantana has bloomed all winter long and is now putting on a whole new flush of blooms. I really need to prune it, but it's difficult to harden my heart to cut all those blooms away when the butterflies and bees love them so. The bees have been especially busy among the blossoms this week. You may be able to distinguish some of them in the photographs on the left.


Spring in Southeast Texas is azalea time. Unlike most gardens around here, mine is very azalea-deprived, but I do have one old indica that was on the property when we moved here in 1988. It is almost ready to burst into bloom once again. A few of the blossoms have already opened, but this plant always lags behind most of the other azaleas in the neighborhood by a week or two. Most of them are already in full bloom.


Our long-delayed patio project begins (Knock wood!) tomorrow! The workmen should be here to start preparing the area and then installing the pavers. This is the way the space looked this afternoon.

 It's a mess, isn't it? But I hope by Monday it will be a lot prettier.

Happy gardening and have a lovely weekend.


  1. Good luck with your patio project! I have never seen purple Lantana, it's lovely.

    1. It's quite different from most lantanas, in that it is a trailer, and also it has quite a different and not particularly pleasant scent. But butterflies and bees are wild for it!

  2. HiYa,

    I walked into my garden yesterday and found my bluebonnets in bloom (even though the green leaves were active all winter to make weeding the area easy peasy)... and I just about fell over as I saw that I have blooming Gladiolus!!~~~

    Looking at my Garden Journal, my garden is 3 weeks ahead of last year.. and I was amazed last year to see that things were three weeks ahead of the previous year!!!...

    Actually, ...looking at your photo's of the Patio area, your project looks really clean and nice to me!~~~I was thinking you'd have little hooved tracks in the soil from night visitors... or a covered up you know what ..... LOL!!!!

    The winds started up and it went from feeling nice and warm to OMG.. where is my sweater!

    Have a great weekend!!


    1. Hey Urs! Great to hear from you.

      Yes, everything seems to be proceeding at warp speed. Things are just so much earlier than previous years - birds, butterflies, plants. But, a blooming glad already??? Wow!