Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: January 2011

There are still blooms on my corner of Katy despite two nights of sustained sub-freezing temperatures.  Unlike last January's Bloom Day, the daytime temperatures have risen into the 40s and even the 50s, giving plants a break from continuous cold.  The garden still doesn't look all that great, as you'll see in tomorrow's Foliage Follow-Up: there are too many plants with shriveling and blackened leaves.  But like Scarlett O'Hara, we'll think about that tomorrow ... today let's celebrate the blossoms that survived to make me smile despite ongoing gray and dismal weather.

I love combining blue and white flowers: this planter features Lobelia, Dianthus and Viola.

I am deeply enamored of Corsican Violets (Viola corsica) and am contemplating a trip to the grower to buy an entire flat for the bed where they're planted.

Helen Mount Violas  bloomed early this year and although the Verbenas have slowed down to a crawl compared to summer's furious pace, there are still a few blooms on the creeping fern-leafed varieties.  The Verbena on a stick, V. bonariensis, had spent blooms.

Aloha oe!  The Duranta next to it managed to hold on to a few of its purple flowers despite the cold but they're shriveling quickly.

This Clematis jackmanii did its best to open for Bloom Day but there just wasn't enough sun to coax it all the way.

Alyssum bloom even in summer but they much prefer this time of year: their foliage is a much more vivid green and the blooms more profuse.

All the Alyssums in the garden come from seed. I buy a couple of packets each year to augment the reseeded plants. Sometimes the purple & white varieties get a little amorous with each other and their offspring can't quite decide who to favor.

You'll notice that garden gnome Fergus is sporting a new look.  I took a paintbrush to his hat on a sunny day (love the name of the color: Emerald City).  He's due for the rest of his makeover when the sun returns.

Toadflax( Linaria maroccana) is my favorite spring annual and I'm not at all unhappy that some of the plants are already blooming. There are a few blooms on the Salvia too.  The Coneflowers are fading but I'm leaving the seedheads in case goldfinches are inclined to nibble.

The white sport of Mrs. B. R. Cant is one of many roses blooming in the gardens here at Wit's End.

The pink rose blooming in this bed is La Marne.

This picture really doesn't do this particular Echinacea justice. It positively glows on this dreary winter day. 

Spirea 'Neon Flash" seems to like being pruned severely: it rebounds and blooms again each time I whack it back.

This Clerodendrum thomsoniae var. delectum, aka Bleeding Heart Vine, is in a protected corner on the south-facing wall of the house.  It took a partial hit from the freeze but as you can see, that didn't stop it from continuing to flower.  It's not in a pot or a garden bed. It's growing up through the granite path!

A few Asclepias curassavica, Butterfly Weed/Milkweed, are still in bloom in the front gardens but most show damage from the freezes.  You can see the discoloration on the leaves of this one.

Leonotis leonurus, Lion's Ear/Mane/Tail (I've heard it called all of those), held onto a few flowers, although you can see that they're burned at the tips.

The Abutilons really surprised me.  Clearly they prefer cooler temperatures. 'Marilyn's Choice' is to keep blooming!

'Patrick' refuses to let her do so alone.

'Country Girl' is one tough plant.  Don't let her pretty pinkness fool you!

As warm as the Indian Blanket it's named after, Gaillardia is a bright note in the corner bed.

I think this is the lone Zinnia left and it's going down fighting blooming.

Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera lyrata) has a few flowers.

This rose was one of the plants Otahal and I chose at Treesearch Farms. I have to look the name up every single time: Chi Long Han Zhu.  If there's an English translation of the name, I can't find it.

Madame Antoine Mari continues to be one of my favorite roses, despite her lack of fragrance.  Her blooms, foliage and growth habit all earn her that distinction.

There are a few other paltry blooms scattered about the garden, but only the roses really seem happy with the recent weather. Not so the Head Gardener and me ... all those years without a real winter spoiled us. We're both antsy for some sunshine and a few days in the 60s so we can get out there and do our thing!

Visit my pal Carol of May Dreams Gardens, the originator of garden bloggers' favorite meme,  to find more Bloom Day posts from around the world.


LindaCTG said…
Good grief! I can't believe you have that much in bloom. Abutilons and gaillardia? The zinnia is crazy. I love those violets. Wish I could have them, but sigh, they don't like me at all. I just love your paths and borders. Very inspiring as I look at my mess & contemplate projects.
CurtissAnn said…
So enjoyed seeing your blooming corner of Texas. Aren't you blessed to live so far south?! Such beautiful gardens. Thanks for sharing. And I've found spam threat far overstated.
RBell said…
Your abutilons look to be doing very well. This completes my first year trying a couple of flavors of Spirea - will have to try trimming them this next year (mine have impressive winter color and then slowly lose their leaves).
Wow! So many blooms! Your alyssum is way happier than mine...I think it's been too foggy/cloudy here. Good job keeping up the bloom day energy while so much of the country is white.
Cindy, MCOK said…
Linda, it surprised me to see how many plants are still blooming. THat poor little Zinnia!

CurtissAnn, I'm so happy you stopped by. Thank you for the kind words ... yes, I am blessed.

RBell, I have 2 of these Spireas and was surprised by how well they respond to pruning. I didn't expect multiple bloom cycles as a result but I'm happy to have them.
Rose said…
What a bounty of blooms, Cindy! All this is eye-candy to me, but my eye was caught first of all by that lobelia. I love the blue of this flower, but it never does well for me--what is the secret to growing it?
Annie in Austin said…
Your garden looks amazing for January, Cindy, and I see tell-tale signs of shopping at BSN... me too!
My Patrick & Marilyn are no longer in bloom - fingers crossed they live to appear on GBBD again.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose