My husband and I rescued these last year after I noticed a familiar crown shape off to the side of the road. I joked then that being moved from blazing sun and neglect in a former pasture to a place of honor in well amended soil and constant attention in my garden would probably kill them. Instead, they've quadrupled in size and rewarded us with the most interesting blooms. Many of them have petals that are exactly one half purple and one half white. I've started calling it Night and Day, both for the change in their growing conditions and for their unique coloring.
Another interesting iris blooming right now is one that develops absolutely NO stem. It's hard to capture in a picture, but here's my best effort. The blooms are silvery white with a small amount of purple deep inside. I've looked everywhere to find if it's symptomatic of a disease, but everything just says that some dwarf varieties don't form a stem.
Here's Old Blush - my nominee for hardest working rose in the garden. It has so many blooms, its stems just faint under the weight.
I once overheard other members of the Austin Iris Society talking about silly people who try to grow irises and roses in the same bed. They must not have been talking about Earthkind or antique roses, because my irises seem very happy growing among them. They're all in raised beds, receive full to part sun, and require very little water or fussing. This one is called "Royal Knight", and it's done surprisingly well with morning sun only.
Scattered among the white irises are poppies and the larkspur seedlings that are coming up all over my garden thanks to the seeds MSS of Zanthan Garden gave me. The poppies weren't quite ready for bloom day, but I decided to give you a preview.
The Martha Gonzales rose in that bed is blooming fairly well, but the Marie Pavie, Old Gay Hill, Lindee, and Franziska Krueger have just produced single bloom previews of what is to come.
Martha Gonzales (right) and Franziska Krueger (below)
Marie Pavie (right) is the most fragrant rose in my garden, making up for its demure blooms. When in full bloom, it scents the entire back yard.
Also on that side of the garden is the Tulipa Clusiana "Cynthia" that I discussed in my previous post. Here's another picture. They began to bloom March 8th, and are still at it.
Moving to another area, the Loropetalum chinense "fringe flower" is still blooming, but I didn't take another picture to leave room for the new additions. Demonstrating favoritism, however, Marilyn's Choice abutilon blooms all year, and I still couldn't resist giving you another look.
Keeping the Marilyn's Choice abutilon company are Gregg's Mistflower (Eupatorium greggii), pink Texas rock roses (Pavonia lasiopetala), yellow cestrum (Cestrum elegans), and two colors of shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana). The abutilon and chartreuse/pink shrimp are the only two in bloom right now.
This rose is called "Colleen's Climber". It's a found rose named after my friend, Colleen Belk. Those of you in Austin may know her from her many years at Barton Springs Nursery, one of the best in our area in part due to her hard work.
Orange Bulbine isn't producing flowers right now as well as the yellow variety, but both are blooming. Yellow is pictured at the beginning of this post, and here's the orange.
A new type of lavender I'm trying this year is called "Blueberry Ruffles", a lavandula cultivar. It's supposed to have early and repeat flowering, with very fragrant large flower spikes. This teeny bloom may not look like much, but none of my other lavenders has produced any flowers at all this spring.
Moving toward the other side of the house, Old Blush, Lady Banks and Cecille Brunner roses are all in bloom.
Lady Banks (left)
Cecille Bruner (right) started from a 4" cutting two years ago.
The snow peas are still producing flowers and peas.
Usually the wisteria threatens to take over its side of the yard, but this time of year it seems fairly tame. Its clusters are just beginning to open and the branches are still bare.
In the front yard, the only things blooming right now are the white spirea, a Mutabilis rose, and a yellow columbine called "Hinckley's" (Aquilegia hinckleyana).
When looking for the botanical name for the spirea, I found lots of websites saying it should be blooming in June and that it has low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions. Mine defies such thinking, blooming like crazy as soon as the weather warms consistently above freezing (usually late February to mid-March) and flourishing without supplemental watering.
I realized I also have purple spiderwort, asparagus, and a succulent named "Ghost" in bloom but didn't get their pictures. In the greenhouse, a miniature yellow rose and several of the scented geraniums are blooming. There may have to be an addendum in a couple of days for all the things that were overlooked. It's great to have so much going on out there!
Hinckley's columbine (left) and Mutabilis rose (below). The Mutabilis is covered with blooms of pale pink, coral, peach, and fuschia fluttering like its namesake butterflies.
I also have another yellow columbine, locally called "Hot Mama" that has larger blooms but contrary to her name isn't showing her goods yet.
Once again, I thank Carol of May Dreams Gardens for inspiring me to look more closely at the beauty in my own back yard. I hope you enjoyed the visit.