Aloha from my corner of Katy on a breezy December bloom day! I had a hard time taking photographs this afternoon, thanks to wind gusts of up to 20 mph. It was a very blustery day but I persevered so I could participate in the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day celebration, the brainchild of Indiana gardener Carol of May Dreams Gardens.
Leon, the armadillo named after my favorite columnist, appears to be investigating the Swiss Chard 'Bright Lights' which is planted near a patch of Alyssum that reseeded. Over the years I've sowed both white and purple varieties and they've hybridized themselves to create a variety that's neither one nor the other (so the Head Gardener and I call it Mr. Humphries).
Although we've had two or three nights when the temperature dipped below freezing, the basil continues to thrive. Since the bees are so enamored of the blooms, I'm leaving the basil until it's well and truly zapped.
Many of the roses are bedraggled but still beautiful. Their shabby appearance is due as much to drought as cold, I think. The 'Bon Silene' roses are finally the deep pink color I remember them being.
Old Blush is also a deeper pink thanks to the cooler temperatures.
I love how the clusters of 'La Marne' rose have so many different stages of bloom going on at once.
The Bottlebrush tree is in full and glorious bloom ... it's a shame the hummingbirds aren't here to enjoy it.
Copper Canyon Daisy will sport these golden blooms into January.
If it hadn't been for the wind, I might never have noticed how beautiful the underside of the petals are on Chocolate Daisies (Berlandiera lyrata).
Clerodendrum thomsoniae var. delectum are growing on both the south fence and the south-facing wall of the house in back, which offer them some protection from colder temperatures.
Out front, 'Country Girl' Aster/Mum flaunts her pretty pink blooms. I've seen this plant sold locally as both Chrysanthemum 'Clara Curtis' and Aster 'Country Girl'. Is it the same as Frances of Fairegarden's beloved Sheffies?
Duranta 'Sweet Memories' offers nectar to the butterflies still flitting about here at Wit's End.
Out in the corner bed, Engelmann's Daisies are sunshine on a cloudy day, while the Gaillardia, Calylophus and Batface Cuphea spill over the rocks and into the street.
Angel Wing Jasmine continues to bloom sporadically.
The Leonotis leonurus, Lion's Ear/Lion's Mane/Lion's Tail, has taught me to love the color orange in the garden.
Giant Ligularia (Farfugium japonicum) is grown primarily for its striking glossy green foliage but I enjoy the contrast of the daisy-like flowers with that foliage.
Pink Skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens) is one of my favorite Texas natives.
Heat-loving Zinnias are finally beginning to show the effects of too much cold weather. While there are still a few plants with colorful blossoms like the one above, most of them are a pathetic sight.
See what I mean? I'll pull these out over the next few days.
And now for the list of everything that's currently blooming on my corner of Katy (in no particular order):
Verbenas: Moss, Serenity mix, Plantation Rose, bonariensis
Pansies, Violas, Phlox, Alyssum, Calendula
Pigeonberry, Skullcap, Blackfoot Daisy, Australian Violet, Echinaceas, Toad Lilies
Calliandra aka Fairy Duster
Clerodendrum: C. wallichii, thomsoniae, buchanii (Pagoda)
Pink Muhly Grass, Miscanthus
Salvias: S. farinacea, greggii, 'Teresa', madrensis, leucantha, 'Hot Lips'
Russelia 'Red Rocket'
Cosmos 'Bright Lights'
Butterfly Weed/Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) (red and gold)
Pavonias, both peruviensis and lasiopetala
Roses: Marie Pavie, Reve D'Or, Madame Antoine Mari, Maggie, Caldwell Pink, La Marne
Roses: Old Blush, Bon Silene, Heritage, Belinda's Dream, Storybook Rose 'Moby Dick', Aloha
Duranta: 'Sweet Memories' and D. erecta
Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus)
Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemonii)
Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra)
Cupheas: C. macropetala, ignea 'David Verity', llavea (Batface)
Sweet Almond Verbena (Aloysia virgata)
Red Jatropha (J. integerrima)
Bauhinia galpinii and B. mexicana
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Turnera ulnifolia, white and yellow
Pinecone Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana)
Red Firespike (Odontonema strictum)
Abutilon 'Marilyn's Choice'
Castor Bean Plants (Ricinis communis)Polygonum Pink Buttons (P. capitatum)