Hot, dry and miserable. Hey and it’s only April!

April 24th, 2003
Sunny Day Blues

Well, the promise of rain went unfufilled, despite dark low clouds, and thunderous rumblings in the sky these last two days. Today the clouds cleared off and it got hot and then hotter. Austin broke the previous high temperature of 92 degrees with a 96 degree high. All the flowers that looked so spring like yesterday withered from the shock. Even the sun-loving tomato plants were caught off guard. No rain in the forecast for two more weeks at least.

photo: iris Seakist
Photo: tall bearded iris ‘Seakist’
2002-04-15. Austin, Texas (Zone 8)

April 23rd, 2003
Iris ‘Seakist’

I fell in love with tall bearded irises the first time I saw a photo of ‘Seakist’. The photo made me send off for Schreiner’s Iris Catalog and then I fell in love with a dozen more varieties of iris. I couldn’t afford ‘Seakist’ that first year or even the second year. But when the price fell to $15.00 a rhizome, I was determined to have it, even though it was the most I’d ever paid for a bulb of any kind.
Read the rest of this entry »

Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’. 2003-04-02. Austin TX (zone 8)

April 2nd, 2003
Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’

This week the Lady Banks rose is doing a perfect job of hiding my neighbor’s clothesline from view. I bought this rose in a gallon pot three years ago for $8.95 at Barton Springs Nursery. It’s doubled in size each year and is now about eight feet tall and twice as wide. I planted it about five feet from a chain link fence to give it plenty of room, which it’s going to need. The thornless canes are very flexible and easy to train.

The leaves are small, glossy and bright green. The small double flowers bloom in bunches like bridesmaid’s nosegays. They are warm buttery yellow. Flowers on this variety, ‘Lutea’, which is common in Austin, are scentless. The Lady Banks rose blooms but once a year, but then so do azaleas and pear trees and no one faults them for that.

Update: 2005

I’m very sad to report that this beautiful rose died in the hard freeze we had in December 2004. None of the other roses was affected.