We're Still Here: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day January 2013

Gartendirektor Otto Linne blooms year round.
So here's my dilemma: do I stay inside on this wet and dreary winter's day and use old photos of the plants that are blooming here on my corner of Katy? Or do I bundle up and venture outside to take pictures of those blooms in their currently bedraggled state?  The Head Gardener thinks I should buck up and get out in the garden ... she says it's misleading to post old pictures.  However, as the Queen of Everything here at Wit's End, I hereby proclaim the use of pictures taken in more felicitous weather to be acceptable ... and I am unanimous in this.  

Disclaimer from the Head Gardener: In this, as always, I bow to She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO). HOWEVER, I register herewith my formal disapproval of this slipshod and lackadaisical practice.

White plumbago prefers heat and drought but they continue
to bloom nonetheless.
Excuse that interruption. Between the HG and the furry-tailed rodent attenpting to finagle his way into the birdfeeders, I'm not making much headway on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post.  At least the HG isn't as bad as the garden fairies who periodically commandeer GBBD hostess Carol's blog at May Dreams Gardens (because they are garden fairies and they will have their say).  

I always feel a vague sense of guilt this time of year for having so danged many blooms when others are lamenting their lack thereof.  Much as I'd like to take credit, I think my corner of Katy is a sweet spot when it comes to cold weather. Why else would tropical plants like Bauhinias still be blooming?  Both B. mexicana and B. yunnanensis are hanging in there valiantly, protected as they are by the back fence.  Out on the corner, though, the Tina Turner Bauhinia (B. galpinii), took a hit during one of the light freezes and blooms no longer.  No worries, she'll be fine.

Cuphea x ignea
 I'm a litte surprised that this cuphea is still blooming out back and in the rose bed on the alleyway corner.  I think of it as more tender than the bat-face and David Verity cupheas that are planted out front.  This flirtatious cutie goes by several names, including Starfire Pink, Twinkle Pink and Pink Bunny.  I still think of it as Hummingbird Cuphea because that's the first name I heard it called.
We've had enough rain lately that Souvenir's blooms do NOT look anything like
this beauty.  I adore them nonetheless.

In addition to Rosa 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' pictured above, a number of other roses are still blooming, albeit not prolifically.  Those include Souvenir de la Malmaison, La Marne, Belinda's Dream, Caldwell Pink, Bon Silene, Ducher, Mutabilis, Chi Long Han Zhu, Highway 290 Pink Buttons/Rouletii, Mrs. Dudley Cross and Moby Dick, a white Storybook Rose I brought home from a GWA meeting.  

Pink Skullcap (Scuttellaria suffrutescens)
Pink skullcap is one of my go-to plants for the fronts of the borders and some of them have gotten quite large over the years.  They've also gotten quite leggy, which is why this past week found me outside cutting them back.  Even if the cold weather nips them, they'll be fine come spring.  Another go-to plant, Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthemum), is also still blooming.

A snow-dusted coneflower in 2009
Purple coneflowers have been reliable year-round bloomers here.  This is the first year since 2009 that I can remember seeing so many of them going dormant, albeit briefly.  The temperatures always warm up enough after even the most bitter of cold spells that the Echinaceas put on new growth quickly.  I've left the dead seedheads on most of them in hopes that they would appeal to the goldfinches currently in residence.  

I can also count on alyssum to be blooming most of the year here, even though it's supposed to be a cool season annual for us.  This lavender alyssum is one of the 'Blushing Princess' plants sent to me earlier this year by Proven Winners to trial in my garden. I've been impressed thus far with how well it's performed.  That is my unsolicited endorsement, in case the FTC is reading.  And this one IS a current picture, taken through the window with my iPhone. In addition to 'Blushing Princess', reseeded alyssum in shades of white and purple can be found all over the gardens.

Duranta 'Sweet Memories' is planted along the south-facing garage wall in back ... I suppose the protection of that wall is why it continues to bloom.  The bees and butterflies that are still visiting the gardens, as well as a lone hummingbird still in residence, seem quite pleased.

Holy moly, it's 5:00! I've worked on this post off and on all day and never even got out of the back gardens!  Since the Executive Producer and I are meeting friends for dinner at 6:00, I should start wrapping this up.  So just a quick rundown by name of what else is blooming in back ... maybe tomorrow I can post about the front.  

Salvias: Henry Duelberg, Augusta Duelberg, Wendy's Wish, S. darcyi, S. greggii.  Sweet Olive. Pink Turk's Cap. Sweet Almond Verbena. Persian Vitex. Tilo (Justicia pectoralis). Chinese Lobelia (L. chinensis). Dianthus 'Firestar'. Pigeonberry (Rivinia humilis).  Osteospermum in pots. Dianthus in pots.  A white Lantana from Proven Winners whose name I can't recall. Pink Muhly Grass. Clerodendrum thomsoniae x delectum.  


You have ever so many blooms...I hope your expected freeze doesn't harm any of them!
Gail said…
Delightful...I wish alyssum was year round here, it's such a wonderful treat. xogail
Anonymous said…
I know you are far south of me, but I am still surprised at how many blooms there are.~~Dee
Lea said…
Beautiful blooms!
Happy Garden Blogger Bloom Day!
Lea's Menagerie
Rock rose said…
Wow! All those blooms. Simply amazing. All your pictures are delightful but doesn't a dusting of snow add drama to a photo?
commonweeder said…
You know how I feel about roses. I am so jealous, but I love seeing what is in bloom elsewhere during my snowy season.
Carol said…
Glad to hear all is well on your corner! It's cold today, but hopefully we will see some sunshine for the next couple of days. Stay warm! Carol
Cindy, MCOK said…
Thanks, y'all! Even I am surprised by how many plants are blooming right now. We dodged the freeze bullet last night but might get nipped tonight & tomorrow night. We shall see!
Kathy said…
My Blushing Princess kicked the bucket after several nights in the low 20s. That is one great plant. Hard to think of it as a perennial, though.
Rose said…
I love seeing your blooms in the dead of winter, Cindy! Don't feel guilty at all--after your sweltering heat in the summertime, you deserve some rewards. I just saw in your list of other plants blooming that you have 'Wendy's Wish' salvia--did you find that locally or is there somewhere I can order one? I found a plant here a few years ago and absolutely loved it! Of course, it's an annual here, so I looked for another one the following year and couldn't find one anywhere. What a great salvia!
David said…
Wow! Nice blooms for a January day. Hope you were outside yesterday and again today. This is some NICE weather for January!
P.S. We did not get a freeze at my house but it was a close call. I enjoyed your ice pics (pun intended)
Callie Jordan said…
Seeing these flowers reminds me of a cottage inn that I stayed in during my trip to Europe. It has a beautiful English garden and I remember that I would take my morning walk there everyday. It's such a nice and relaxing feeling because I was surrounded by such a pretty sight.