Last shots for April

A selection of shots to end out April:

red phlox II

The combination of California poppies and red phlox is one of my favorites:red phlox and poppy

red phlox

This week, I cut back some of the sweet peas so I could enjoy them inside the house
sweet peas

These have sprouted up from seed:yellow bloom

orange bloom

A final glimpse of blue bonnets in the background as they begin to seed out:

purple blue and yello

Looks like my lambs ear is going to bloom (shame it’s going to hide the shasta daisies trying to show off behind it):

Lambs ear bloom

Side views

I can see some of the spots where I underestimated the amount of spring growth I would see at this time of year. In October, as I was planting seeds, I tried to recall where all the bigger shrubs were located. I can see from some of these side views that I miscalculated how quickly some of the shrubs (Pride of Barbados, Esperanza, American Beauty Berry, and Rock Rose) would grow. An added bonus to keeping this blog is that I will be able to look back and see where I can throw a few more packets of seeds:

Side panoramic

side vertical II

side view

side view III


In honor of the Georgetown Poppy Festival, here are some shots of the poppies currently blooming in my garden. The california poppies that I posted earlier are still filling the garden with bursts of orange, but this week a couple of more traditional poppies started to appear: Poppy bud

Poppy bud II

Two poppies vertical

Two poppies with red flox

Two pretty poppies   This is my favorite picture. It looks as though the red edges have been painted on: Poppy close up We didn’t see that many actual poppies at the festival, but we did have a lovely brunch and a quick walk around all the stalls: Poppy festival

Tom in the garden

Well, Tom seems to love gardening as much as I did at his age. This weekend, however, he was a good sport while Chris was away. He feigned enthusiasm during a trip to the Wildflower Center plant sale (along with his friends, Ellie and Eva), and even helped out a bit by mowing (although he was saved by the battery going dead after a couple of stripes). What a trooper!

Wildflower Center plant sale

Wildflower Center cart kids

David Austin update

Well, buying a trio of Molineux roses seems to have been a good omen for the Wolves. And, it looks as if the bare root David Austin roses are happy in their new home as they are already budding some leaves. As suggested on the DA website, I’ve planted them in groups of threes hoping that they will look like one large plant when they grow. I’d cleared out the bed just for the roses and a surrounding wall of rosemary, but a few stray sunflowers, feather grasses, and bluebonnets can hang out there for a while:

David Austin bare root week 2 II David Austin bare root week 2



Thought I’d share a few photos of some plants that tend to takeover in the summer months. It will be interesting to see how they look in April compared to June. One thing about being new to gardening is I’m still hesitant to pull up anything green even though I know it may be running rampant within weeks. Maybe that will come with time and more confidence.

Sunflowers takeover the garden in some sections. Apart from the plants that Mickey eats before they have a chance to bloom, they get a bit gangly in the summer and I probably have way too many, but they bring so many bursts of color it is hard to pluck them out at this point. The purple basil also goes barmy once June hits:

Sunflower takeover

Sunflower takeover II

Come July and August I probably pull out 10-15 cosmos plants per weekend. Their orange blooms remind me of marigolds but I need to investigate what I can do to stop them growing to the size of sunflowers prior to blooming:

Cosmos creep

Although in March it never looks like they are going to make a comeback, by April it’s clear that the lantana, leopard plant, hostas, moon flowers and blue salvias are back in action:


Lepard plant

Moon flower

Purple blue sage

And even though each year they come out at least three weeks later than my neighbor, Sandy’s, my daisies are about to pop:

Late blooming daisy

Last year, I realized the red and white Texas Star Hibiscus plants were too close together but I don’t want to risk moving them as they look fantastic when fully grown:

Texas Star Hibiscus Red

Texas Star Hibiscus White

And finally, the pomegranate trees are starting to bud albeit a little later than usual. Another tree that I think I butcher back each winter but when they start to bloom I realize I wasn’t really tough enough:

Pomegranate buds

Gruesome Gardening

This weekend involved a bit of the boring side of gardening. I had to dig up multiple root shoots of the trumpet vine that I am battling to remove. It looks so pretty when it is in bloom, however it is so invasive and is attempting to destroy our fence. Rookie mistake planting that when I first moved into the house, but at the time, it seemed a good fix for the wire fence that we used to have. Now, the roots are so solid that we can’t even get it out with a pick ax. I’m left with the only option of stripping all the greenery off any stumps and pulling up shooters at least once a week. It grows so quickly.

Gruesome gardening

Gruesome gardening II

And a hazard of gardening in Texas is never knowing when you may come across wildlife hidden in the foliage (or when your neighbor Trish decides to play a bit of a prank):

Gruesome gardening III

Mystery Plant Part II

A selection of plants around the garden that I cannot identify (or have forgotten their name). As hard as I try, I think every time I remember a new plant name, I have to clear a spot in my brain and therefore have to forget an old plant name. And don’t get me started on those folks who can rattle off all the latin identifiers without hesitation. I’ve got a long way to go until I can even read the latin name, let alone remember it!Mystery plant II


Mystery plant III



Mystery plant pink

In the pink

It seems as though all “the pinks” have exploded this week. Lots of blooms from pale salmons to hot fuchsias.  The knockout rose that survived multiple tramplings and abuse during last year’s hardscape project seems to come back better than ever on Cloverleaf Corner:

cloverleaf corner pink rose lighter

Knockout pink

Pink knockout close up

Pink knockout

 It does make me realize that I need to learn how to prune roses a little more severely at the end of the season. I need Luce to come over and butcher them as I don’t yet have the confidence to cut them back enough to reshape or retrain them. 

The sweet pea in the experimental seed garden seems to be doing well but I think it will be a goner once the summer heat hits:

Pink sweet pea

And the dark pink knockout rose looks darker than ever this year:

Dark pink knockout rose

(Apologies for the photo quality. Chris has been out of time so I’ve been having to provide the piccys)