Saturday, February 14, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

In the three years Carol at May Dreams Garden has been hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, this is the first time I've managed to take pictures and get them posted in time. When I first heard of it, I had the impression it only happened once a year; but eventually I caught on that the fun happens every single month. So welcome ... here's what's putting on a show in my Zone 8 garden in Austin. Thanks for stopping by. That's a red shrimp plant to the left. I think the frost damage makes it look like chintz.

Frost damaged, but still covered with blooms and reddish new growth - "Old Blush" rose.

Bulbine frutescens, yellow (above) and orange varieties (below)

Meyer lemon getting a start on this year's Meyer Lemon Ginger Marmalade.

Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense)

German Iris "Feedback" with MSS' larkspur seedlings in background.

Chandler variety strawberries - here in Austin, we plant our berry plants in the fall for a full crop the following spring and summer. These guys have been blooming a little off and on all winter, reflecting how crazy our cold/hot cycle is with 80 degrees and freezing weather in the same week.

In the greenhouse, the pelargoniums (scented geraniums) are putting on their dainty blooms. This is an apple scented one.

This abutilon has the common name of "Marilyn's Choice" and mine looks like this all year. If anyone has the botanical name of this variety, please let me know.
That's all that's blooming today, but the garden was full of promise as I was snooping around for blooms. Thanks, Carol, for getting me back outside.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wow ... it's really happening!

Just made my hotel reservation for this year's Spring Fling to be held in Chicago and had a few thoughts that actually apply to the bigger picture:

1. It's possible to trust other people to get things done - at the first Spring Fling in Austin, the Chicago gardeners were telling us that we'd be gathering "next year in Chicago". Honestly, it was hard to imagine they'd go home and not get so busy gardening and being regular folks that it wouldn't slide to the bottom of the "to do" list.

2. Sometimes others do a better job than I ever might have done - This is probably something I should engrave on a metal disc and wear around my neck. I mean, just look at the Chicago Spring Fling website! They have a logo, and hotel info, and links, and lions and tigers (well, okay, no lions and tigers but there IS a borzoi!)

3. There are people you just met (last year or last week) but feel you've known your whole life and your life is actually better for knowing them - whether it's our common interests or what we learn about each other by reading blogs, I don't know. But, in these times when so much talk is about what's wrong with everything from the economy to politics to the taste of tomatoes, it's refreshing to remember the world is full of things and relationships that are absolute perfection . Without exception, the Spring Flingers are amazing people with talent, people I'm proud to call friends, people I want to hate because their gardens are so much better than mine. See for yourself - visit every link over there on the right under "Their sites are prettier than mine" and go to Chicago Gardeners at blogspot dot com. There's worse ways to spend your time.

Purple Martin Party Time!

Travis Audubon hosted a Purple Martin Colony visit this past Saturday next to the historic home of Laura Joseph.  Laura started...