Saturday, February 27, 2010

And the winner is ...

Does your garden have a signal of spring?  The first flower to bloom or tree to bud out?  In my little garden, it's often the "Homestead Purple" verbena or the occasional brave iris.  

This year the winner is an Avalanche narcissus (also called Seven Sisters)  that just joined my motley crew last fall even though it's been cultivated in this country since the 1700's.

There was a "Feedback" iris in the race, but it couldn't quite get opened in time to claim the lead.

  And as much as I appreciate the color it brings to the garden, my flowering quince is a dependable late winter bloomer so I don't really think of it as heralding spring.

Like a lot of other Austin gardeners, I'm grateful for any plants that have managed to survive a broiling hot, dry summer followed by a winter full of snow and sustained freezes.  All of the "antique" roses are happily putting out new growth, and most of the herbs appear to wonder what all the fuss is about.   I'm hoping the five Amarcrinum bulbs that were also planted last fall make it.  Three times they began to put out green shoots only to be slapped down by a hard freeze.    This one just keeps trying, but the others look like they've given up.  Oh well, what's a garden but a lesson in gratitude, resilience, and flexibility?

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...