Monday, March 30, 2015

The Springtime Switch Has Been Flipped!

It seems like it happens overnight.  The grass goes from dormant to growing like crazy, the trees and shrubs start to leaf out, and the spring flowers start their riot of color and fragrance.

These are the early bloomers.  First is my gorgeous jasmine.  It has recovered very nicely from a major pruning.  A few years ago it was trained up a light pole along the edge of the deck and patio.  I had to remove that light and pole and have a junction box buried there, so the jasmine had to be cut right down to the ground and then relocated a few inches.  I purchased a 4 foot tall domed conical metal trellis, pushed its legs into the ground straddling the jasmine root ball, and hoped for the best.  It came back last year, but didn't bloom.  I knew it had experienced quite a shock.  This year it has gone all-out crazy and is loaded with blooms.

Photo taken in mid-March; absolutely loaded with flower buds

Another view of the jasmine bush in mid March

Jasmine, photo taken mid-March.  Lots of buds, a few blooms open

Photo taken the end of March.  Absolutely stunning
and full of blooms.  The heady fragrance follows me
into the house when ever I walk past it.
One of the first things I planted when we bought this house new was a clematis vine.  Clematis has marginal luck here in South Texas, but if kept damp and given some shade in the heat of summer, it will survive.  This lives at the corner of my deck and gets full sun in the spring, but is shaded all day once the adjacent large Althea leafs out, just in time for when the summers start getting hot.

The first clematis blooms of the season

Another faithful plant, put along the edge of the patio when we first moved in, is Indian Hawthorn.  No-maintenance, slow growing, and blooms every single spring without fail.

Indian Hawthorn, along the edge of the patio
This Yarrow started as one little seedling, given to me by a friend who lives in Lufkin.  It has spread very nicely, filling a difficult spot in one of the flower beds along the fence.  I also have a pink Yarrow which is leafing out but has not yet sent up flower heads.

Yarrow, white variety

White Yarrow

My "can't kill" succulent.  I have yet to remember what this is called, but it is evergreen, spreads if I let it, and roots easily from cuttings.  I have planted several cuttings along a back bed and these are clumping very nicely and starting to fill in along the front of the bed.

The ever ubiquitous azalea...a staple here in the South.  These have been blooming on and off all winter, but the dark pink one has many buds so it may give me one good show before the hot weather sets in:

This pink variety of Indian Hawthorn has been struggling in the back bed, competing with a large crape myrtle for light, but now that I've had the crape myrtle pruned to remove the lower limbs, this little Hawthorn is starting to look healthier and just may grow into a nice specimen.  But it blooms every year without fail!

Indian Hawthorn, pink var.

My little ornamental pomegranate!  I gave it a good pruning a month ago and it's already setting buds.  I had 4 or 5 little pomegranates this past winter, the most I've ever had.  Seems like hard pruning is the key.

Pomegranate bloom and buds

Pomegranate bloom
One of the hardest chores for me is cutting back all of the roses.  I have several bushes and they are very thorny!  If I can find or save a really large cardboard box, it makes the job so much easier and safer.  Here, a very large box, saved from my new vacuum cleaner purchase, filled nearly to the top with pruned rose bush canes.

rose bush cuttings

And then there's this...a pecan buried and forgotten in my garden by a fox squirrel with amnesia.  Or just a glut of winter stash.  Lots of acorn and pecan trees in my neighborhood so the squirrels are big and fat and very well-fed.  Unfortunately for this little pecan sprout, it was in the wrong place with no good place to go.

Pecan sprout
Now that they've been cut back, the rose bushes are busy sending out new growth from the canes.  Another six weeks or so and they will have their first "flush" of blooms and they will be gorgeous!!

Yep, spring has come to South Texas!!

1 comment:

  1. All the blooms look so pretty. I love jasmine, I wish I had smell-o-vision.