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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day February 2012

This post was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose Blog.

February 2011 kept us below freezing for 3 straight days, killing some plants and damaging many. So far this February of 2012 has given us cool temperatures rather than freezing cold nights, and there has been some rain. Although the amount of rain that has fallen on my garden is much less than those official measurements from Austin Bergstrom Airport or Camp Mabry, in combination with no nights below 27°F, it was enough to pump up more blooms than usual for February.

There's a complete list of what's in bloom today at Annie's Addendum - the Shrimp Plants, Four-Nerve Daisies, Rosemary, Pineapple Sage, Creeping Phlox and Loropetalum are on the list for another month.

In many winters the Mexican Honeysuckle/Justicia spicigera acts like perennials do in the North, freezing completely to ground level. But this year it has experienced minimum dieback and is in bloom for FebruaryAnnieinaustin Justicia spicigera

The Sweet Olive/Osmanthus fragrans is quite wonderful right now. In a good year it will be in bloom from late fall until mid-spring. Last year the flowers opened but the scent didn't carry through the parched air, then deep cold froze off the ends of each branch. This year there's new growth and the shrubs are covered in tiny flowers, never showy, but as the name promised - they are fragrant. Annieinaustin osmanthus fragrans

One bluebonnet/Lupinus texensis is open today with buds forming on other plants scattered in a few beds. Annieinaustin feb Bluebonnet

I don't have a name for this daffodil - perhaps it is 'February Gold'? Someone started it in this yard years ago and the bulbs turned up occasionally after we moved in and began to make a garden in 2004. We tucked them into different beds and borders and I like the way they look with morning light on the petals. Annieinaustin feb daffodilsThis spiraea was also here when we bought the house. It's similar to the ones we called Bridal Wreath in Illinois, but the leaves are more oblong - perhaps it is the variety called Reeve's Spiraea. None of the flowers were open today, but the buds are formed. Annieinaustin,Spiraea buds
The Carolina Jessamine/Gelsemium sempervirens had become a huge tangle last spring and in a normal year would have been pruned back. But once the heat struck, I hesitated to put any additional stress on the plant. Last month I gave it a drastic pruning, taking out deadwood and long vines. The timing meant many flower buds were also pruned but there are enough left to be pretty now. Annieinaustin, Gelsemium sempervirens
Is anyone watching the new TV series "Smash"? The story centers on a stage musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn the Star had a reputation for being unpredictable and not showing up when you expected her. 'Marilyn's Choice' the Abutilon has been unpredictable, too - blooming in 2010 then refusing to present a single blossom in 2011. Now in February 2012 she has decided to bloom once more. Annieinaustin,Marilyn's choice abutilon

Two of the roses decided to bloom this February, too - 'Julia Child' has just begun a bloom cycle, but something about the weather has made the color less like butter and more like a peach. Annieinaustin,Julia Child rosebuds

The front Rosa 'Mutabilis' has taken advantage of a mild winter in a very big way - and even the individual flowers seem to be larger than usual. Annieinaustin,Mutabilis Rose Feb 2012This rose has a fragrance but you usually have to be close to the flowers. The other day you could smell that rose smell while walking down the sidewalk to the mailbox.

Carol of May Dreams Gardens first invited bloggers to post about their blooms in February 2007 and she was pleased when more than a dozen bloggers gave links to posts. I was one of that group, with a list that included the yellow daffodils, Carolina Jessamine, pansies, the Coral Honeysuckle, Texas Mountain Laurel and the Salmon geranium found on today's list. Apparently there is something addictive in counting up the flowers! Five years later you'll find well over 100 links to posts for this February's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

This post was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose Blog.


  1. Beautiful blooms!
    Impossible to pick a favorite, but I am amazed to see rose buds in February!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. Wow Annie. The Zone shows here. Love seeing all of these blooms that I won't see until early summer. I do wish I could grow that Jasmine. It smells so good and those blooms are like sunsine on a vine. I had an abutilon bloom in January inside the house. They are the most finiky plants. Happy GBBD.

  3. The mutabilis looks fabulous! (That one's been on my list for years, and I finally have a place to put one.) And I love your cheerful daffodils. So many blooms this mild winter!

  4. Wow--what lovely blooms! I must admit, I loved your "Marilyn" photo. I rarely watch TV, but I'm hooked on "Smash." I think I need to add Marilyn to my garden! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm so happy about your milder winter...you Texas gardeners deserve a break! That is a very sweet daffodil and I love the abutilon. Worth waiting for just like the other Marilyn!

  6. Lovely blooms Annie -- your bluebonnets and daffodils are ahead of mine. Amazing to see your roses in bloom too!

  7. Oh wow...to think of having Lupines blooming in February! "Sigh!"

  8. Hey! I thought daffodils needed cold winters to grow. But maybe those are tulips. In any case, it's so nice to see so much color in a February garden!

  9. Beautiful pictures and awesome content as usual!

    My favorite picture was the Mexican Honeysuckle! LOVE the plant!

    Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

  10. 'February Gold' sounds like a good name for that daffodil right now, Annie! :-) And I love your other blooms, too, but that 'Marilyn's Choice' abutilon just knocks me out. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a pretty abutilon like that, to keep as a houseplant next year. Those colors are gorgeous!

    Happy GBBD!

  11. Thanks, everyone! This February is so unlike February 2011 - even had a couple of inches of rain last week.
    I'm trying to not think about the potential horror of another Texas summer & just enjoy what we have NOW.


  12. Fabulous flowers and garden! I just planted my first Mexican honeysuckle last fall and I just love them. Thanks for the heads up that they may freeze back in "normal" winters. For now, I plan to add more. Cheers, dear one.


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