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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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Monday, February 16, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, February 2015

When May Dreams Carol proposed her idea of bloggers everywhere posting photos of what was in bloom each month, I was up for it, and made a post for the first Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on February 15th, 2007. That was a long time ago by internet-standards... Carol's idea has staying power!

Sometimes I post for GBBD, sometimes not - but I wanted to be part of the 8th anniversary. This winter has been relatively normal, bringing some rain and multiple freezes, with the lowest temperature in my garden about 20F. That was cold enough  to knock off many tender plants. Then some recent warm days spurred plants into bloom - these daffodils began opening last week. The clump has increased - there were only 3 flowers in 2007.

Yesterday was mild with strong winds fluttering the leaves and petals as I tried to take photos. A cold front arrived this morning, dropping temperatures 30 degrees in an hour, with a good chance it will freeze tonight and tomorrow night.

As I formatted yesterday's photos and wrote about the weather, the feeling of déjà vu was so strong it made me dizzy. I reread that first GBBD post from 2007 and realized that most of the plants that bloomed eight years ago are blooming now. They've have some bad springs and some good springs, but they're still in the game.

Here's the Carolina Jessamine/Gelsemium sempervirens. Yes, those individual flowers may freeze, but the vine has thousands of buds in various stages of development, so reserved buds can still live to bloom later.

More of the yellow daffodils grow in front, with the clump increasing slowly. A light freeze won't ruin them - but they'll collapse if a February heat wave pops up and fries them.

These bulbs of Narcissus tazetta 'Grand Primo' were blooming for the first time in 2007. They look happy and quite pretty in this spot near the veranda steps. However, you may like them better in a photo than up close in real life. Some people call them fragrant, but I think they stink.

In Texas we buy pansies and violas in late autumn and enjoy their flowers until the heat gets them in late spring.

Texas Mountain Laurel is a beloved native shrub here in Austin, bearing clusters of fragrant, deep violet-blue flower. We eagerly await their bloom every year. In some parts of Austin they are trouble-free, but I've learned not to hope too hard for flowers in my far NW neighborhood, where a shrub covered in buds can lose every floret over one cold night.

That 'Fantasia Salmon' geranium blooming in the breakfast room in February 2007? Not blooming today, but it has buds, and May Dreams Carol says buds count! It's grown taller, too.

Just as in 2007, Rosemary is in bloom, along with the Sweet Olives outside. But now there are multiple varieties of Rosemary and double the number of Sweet Olives. Zoom in on the geranium photo and you can see buds, flowers and tiny lemons developing on the Meyers lemon, and a holiday cactus/Schlumbergia still in bloom.

Missing from 2007 is the Coral Honeysuckle, alive but not thriving in increasing shade with competition from  tree roots. Adding some gaudy to the list of blooms for February 2015 is the just-past-prime Pius X Camellia.

And with luck this old Cemetery Iris will still be able to open

and the buds of Four Nerve daisy will raise their bright faces to the sun

ready to shine for Garden Bloggers Bloom day in March. 

If your garden is under snow and winter seems endless take heart - it may be slow but it will come!

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