Last night the predicted temperatures ranged from low 40's to mid 30's F. We weren't worried that the vegetables would freeze, but tomato & pepper plants sometimes sulk after being that cold so we rigged up some sheets and curtains - hopefully for the last time this spring. Since the thermometer showed 38°F it was worth the effort.
Early this morning the tent was still up -that cloud of white is Philadelphus inodorus, the native Southern scentless mockorange, single-flowered, and a beautiful background shrub for a fence. We've just about finished playing 'Dead or Dormant' here at Circus~Cercis, with only a few plants whose fate is undecided. My head is telling me the big Bay Laurel is dead as a doornail, but my heart made me pretend it's dormant for now. Some plants don't need pretending - they're alive!
Whether called Clerodendrum ugandense, Rotheca myricoides 'Ugandense', Blue Butterfly Bush or Blue Glory Bower, it looks as if we'll have Blue Butterfly flowers here. Although the large container I bought last summer froze badly, one sprout has emerged and a few cuttings that I took last fall seem to be rooting.
Even better, the original plant that had looked like a goner after the February deep freezes was tougher than expected - three new sprouts are emerging.
In the long fence bed the Dietes bicolor/ Bicolor iris was alive, but barely half the blades were green. When I bought this plant it was labeled as a Butterfly Iris /Dietes grandiflora - that's the one I wanted, but Bicolor Iris is what I got. So a plant I didn't want in the first place was badly winterkilled two years in a row and it never even bloomed in 2010. I decided to just dig the whole thing up - even had the garden fork ready, then a closer look showed not just one but 4 flower stalks.
How could I trash a plant that was making such an effort? I set to work with garden scissors and spent 40 minutes making it presentable. A few days later the open flower still seems more interesting than beautiful, but the plant can stay for now. The 'Marilyn's Choice' abutilon was shrub-sized last December, then possibly dead in March and now just a few inches tall. But at least this abutilon is alive - unlike 'Patrick's' abutilon -definitely dead, not dormant.
Last spring the 'Ramona' clematis began to bloom almost exactly the same minute that the 'Julia Child' floribunda roses started - a spectacular combination. This year Ramona jumped the gun and was more than half open by last weekend. The many buds on 'Julia Child' were barely showing color yesterday: ... but today it looks as she's shouting Hey, Ramona - Wait for me!
Our Texas Superstar shrub rose 'Belinda's Dream' came through rough weather and is covered in buds - here's Belinda in the area rather grandly designated as The Pink Entrance Garden:
In 2006 I bought a 1-gallon pot with a starter plant of Weigela 'Rumba' at the closing sale for Howard Nursery on Koenig Lane. The stock was down to just a few plants so I picked it up for sentimental reasons - in Illinois we called it 'Cardinal Bush' - not expecting it to live long. But here it is, at 30" tall, slightly larger than last year, and blooming for the 5th spring not far from 'Belinda's Dream'.It's annoying that the Hesperaloe/ Red yucca at lower left has not been inspired to floral display by its neighbors... although alive and larger than last year, this native plant has produced the desired tall spires of coral-pink-red flowers only once in 6 springs.
I pruned the large Mutabilis rose quite severely in mid-February which only made it bloom more - and the scent in the front butterfly border is wonderful. This is its 4th year in the ground. See that spot of orange to the left of the birdbath base? It's a Texas Paintbrush, back for the 3rd spring.
Mutabilis, my sweet baby... Happy April & welcome back!
2016 – APRIL ANNIE’S GARDEN DAY
1 week ago