Papaver Laurens Grape
2010-04-29. Three Lauren’s Grape poppies opened today.

April 29th, 2010
Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’

I was so happy when three ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppies opened today. They are just the deep plummy color I hoped for. You can see the color better in the distant shot, especially compared to the blue/violet of the larkspur. ‘Lauren’s Grape’ is not the slightest bit magenta, or pink. It is not even the purple of the Louisiana iris ‘Full Eclipse’.

I cannot get the color to register correctly in the close-up.

Papaver Laurens Grape
2010-04-29. The color is very deep plum which doesn’t show true in the closeup photo.

The only downside is that today the wind was very gusty and it blew all the petals off the three flowers in about six hours. The nearby ‘Dorothy Cavenaugh’ poppies which had been open longer were not affected. It would be a pity after all the months growing ‘Lauren’s Grape’ to have them last less than a day. I hope some more will open tomorrow and last a bit longer. I want to plant a lot more of them next year…but they have to last more than a day in the garden.

Papaver Laurens Grape
2010-05-02. ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppies on a cloudy morning at about 8:30.

Garden History

2010-11-26. Sow in the same place.
2011-11-24. Sow in the same place.

Dutchmans pipe vine
2010-04-21. Dutchman’s pipe vine.

April 21st, 2010
Aristolochia fimbriata

Dutchman’s Pipe Vine

Finding little treasures in the garden brings the same childlike delight as finding candy on an Easter egg hunt. There I am down on my hands and knees when under a leaf I discover my treasure.

The Dutchman’s pipe vine is a passalong. The original plant died but it sowed itself through the holes of a brick where I can’t move it. Swallowtail caterpillars munch it back when it’s about to bloom. And somehow, this Zone 9 tropical survived our 3 day hard freeze to come back bigger and better than ever.

Dutchmans pipe vine
2009-09-10. Dutchman’s pipe vine.

Dutchmans pipe vine
Seeds and seedpods of Dutchman’s pipe vine.

amaryllis Dancing Queen
Amaryllis ‘Dancing Queen’. The most over-the-top flower of this over-the-top bloom day.

April 15th, 2010
GBBD 201004, April 2010

Carol at May Dreams Gardens invites us to tell her what’s blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month.

April 15, 2010

Carol dreams of May but April is when it’s happening at Zanthan Gardens. More plants come into bloom and more plants are in bloom than any other month of the year. And this year more than any other my garden is just a mess of color with no apparent design at all. The feral cats apparently find it quite frustrating. They make their own paths through the flowers and sit right in the middle of particularly large bluebonnet plants.

Zanthan Gardens Meadow
Two thugs, cilantro and Engelmann daisy, fight it out for control in the meadow. Most of the larkspur is in the front yard this year.

April is the month that Zanthan Gardens makes the transition from blue and white to a full spectrum of color. This year because of all the rain, it was even more blue and white than usual. The cilantro has taken over everywhere and the bluebonnets are large and numerous. In most years the bluebonnets have already begun to fade by now. With this year’s cooler, wetter weather, they’re holding on to their flowers longer.

Texensis lupinus
2010 is a banner year for bluebonnets. They are just beginning to go to seed as the pink evening primrose comes into view. False dayflowers peak through the fence with their funny little faces.

New for April

  • Allium neapolitanum
  • amaryllis ‘Amoretta’
  • amaryllis ‘Dancing Queen’
  • Antirrhinum majus
  • Diospyros kaki ‘Eureka’ (Japanese persimmon)
  • Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)
  • Engelmannia peristenia/pinnatifida
  • Eschscholzia californica ‘Mikado’
  • Hippeastrum x johnsonii
  • Iris flavescens (?) yellow heirloom
  • iris ‘Incantation’
  • Meyer lemon
  • Nierembergia gracilis ‘Starry Eyes’
  • Nigella damascena
  • Oenothera speciosa
  • Papaver somniferum “Dorothy Cavanaugh”
  • Phlomis lanata
  • Pisum sativum ‘Progress #9’
  • Pyrrhopappus multicaulis
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette’
  • rose ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’
  • rose ‘Prosperity’
  • rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’
  • Solanum jasminoides
  • Spiraea bridal wreath
  • Thymophylla tenuiloba (Dahlberg daisy)
  • tomatoes (all)
  • Verbena canadensis
  • Vicia sativa (common vetch)
  • viola (self-sown)
  • yaupon holly

Nigella damascena
The love-in-the-mist will fill in when the cilantro fades.

Oenothera speciosa
Pink evening primrose is considered a thug in other people’s gardens but it is very prim compared to my real thugs.

iris Incantation
Bearded iris ‘Incantation’ among the flowering cilantro.

irises and roses
Yellow heirloom irises and white ‘Ducher’ rose in a field of cilantro and poppies.

Dorothy
I had high hopes that these would be Lauren’s Grape but they are the pale salmon “Dorothy Cavanaugh”. Salmon is the gardener’s name for “orange”. They don’t look very orange in this picture but they do in real life especially compared to the cherry red peony poppies behind them.

artichoke
The artichoke is about to flower. The bluebonnets are giving way to the larkspur. I replaced the entire front yard with larkspur which I can see from my desk.

Consolida ambigua
Some people call these bicolor larkspur “bunny ears”. See the little white bunny face?

2010 has been a great spring for roses in Austin, too. Last Sunday @good_n_evil had us Austin garden bloggers over to look at her roses. Her garden is certainly inspiration to me to work a little harder. In fact you might as well just head on over there virtually and gawk. There’s nothing left to this post but lists.

rose Prosperity
Rose ‘Prosperity’ is the only rose still struggling to recover from the drought.

Between GBBDs

Several flower bloomed and faded in my garden between GBBDs and so didn’t show up in the inventory for either March or April.

  • Hyacinthoides hispanica
  • Narcissus triandrus ‘Hawera’
  • Prunus caroliniana
  • rose ‘New Dawn’ (A couple of flowers early in the month but none today. Gearing up for a big show in about two weeks.)
  • Tulipa clusiana
  • Ungnadia speciosa

Complete List for April

The list of all plants flowering today, April 15th 2010, at Zanthan Gardens. In 2010, 45 different plants are flowering which is about the same as 2007 (41) and 2008 (43). However, it’s much lower than 2009 (70). Many plants flowered straight through the 2008/9 winter because it did not freeze here.

  • Allium neapolitanum (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • amaryllis ‘Amoretta’ (2010)
  • amaryllis ‘Dancing Queen’ (2010)
  • Antirrhinum majus (2010)
  • Commelinantia anomala (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Consolida ambigua (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Coriandrum sativum (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Diospyros kaki ‘Eureka’ (Japanese persimmon) (2007, 2009, 2010)
  • Diospyros texana (2010)
  • Engelmannia peristenia/pinnatifida (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Eschscholzia californica ‘Mikado’ (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Hippeastrum x johnsonii (St. Joseph’s lily) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Iris flavescens (?) yellow heirloom (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • iris ‘Incantation’ (2010)
  • Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) In pot this year. (2009, 2010)
  • Lobularia maritima (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Lupinus texensis (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Meyer lemon (2010)
  • Nemophila insignis (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Nierembergia gracilis ‘Starry Eyes’ (2009, 2010)
  • Nigella damascena (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Oenothera speciosa (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Oxalis crassipis (hot pink) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Oxalis stricta (yellow flowering weed) (2010)
  • Oxalis triangularis (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Papaver somniferum “Dorothy Cavanaugh” (2010)
  • Phlomis lanata (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Pisum sativum ‘Progress #9’ (2010)
  • Pisum sativum ‘Wando’ (2010)
  • Pyrrhopappus multicaulis (2010)
  • Rhaphiolepis indica (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette‘ (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • rose ‘Ducher’ (waning) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • rose ‘Madame Alfred Carriere‘ (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • rose ‘Prosperity’ (full bloom) (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Solanum jasminoides (potato vine) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Spiraea bridal wreath (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Thymophylla tenuiloba ‘Golden Fleece’ (Dahlberg daisy) (2009, 2010)
  • tomatoes (all) (2007, 2009, 2010)
  • Tradescantia (spiderwort) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Verbena canadensis (lavender wilding) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Vicia sativa (common vetch) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Viola cornuta (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • yaupon holly (2007, 2009, 2010)

And just for the record, these are the 45 plants which were blooming on April 15th in previous years that aren’t flowering today. Or should this be on a separate non-bloom day post? Some of them are dead and gone. Some of them froze to the ground this year but are slowly making a comeback.

  • Aloe barbadensis (2008, 2009)
  • Asclepias curassavica (overwintered) (2009)
  • Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ (2008, 2009)
  • Brugmansia (from Annie in Austin) (2009)
  • Centaurea cyanus ‘Black Magic’ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Crinum bulbispermum (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Datura (from Diana which overwintered) (2009)
  • Duranta erecta (overwintered) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Eupatorium wrightii (from Pam) (2009)
  • Hesperaloe parviflora (2008, 2009)
  • iris bearded ‘Strictly Ballroom (2009)
  • Iris x fulvala ‘Full Eclipse’ (2009)
  • jalapeno (2009)
  • Lantana montevidensis (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Lantana x hybrida ‘New Gold’ (2008, 2009)
  • Lathyrus odoratus ‘Knee-Hi Mix’ (2009)
  • Lathyrus odoratus ‘Perfume Delight’ (2008)
  • Lathyrus odoratus ‘Regal Robe’ (2007)
  • Lavandula heterophyla ‘Goodwin Creek Grey‘ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Lavandula stoechas (2009)
  • Lonicera japonica (2009)
  • Malvaviscus arboreus (2009)
  • Mirabilis jalapa (2008, 2009)
  • Narcissus jonquilla ‘Quail’ 2007
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’ (2008, 2009)
  • Orchid (from Dawn) (2009)
  • Oxalis pes-caprae ‘Scotty’s Surprise’ (fading) (2008, 2009)
  • Polanisia dodecandra (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Retama (2008, 2009)
  • rose white Lady Banksia (my neighbor’s but droops over the fence) (2009)
  • rose ‘French Lace’ (2007, 2009)
  • rose ‘Heritage‘ 2007
  • rose ‘Mermaid’ (2009)
  • rose ‘New Dawn’ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • rose ‘Penelope‘ 2007
  • rose ‘Red Cascade’ (two small flowers) 2008
  • ruellia (overwintered) (2009)
  • Salvia farinacea ‘Indigo spires’ 2007
  • Salvia greggii ‘Raspberry’ 2007
  • Sedum album (2008, 2009)
  • Setcreasea pallida (2008, 2009)
  • tomatillo (2009)
  • Trachelospermum jasminoides (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Tradescantia pallida (purple heart) 2007
  • Zexmenia hispida (from Pam) (2009)

photo: Texas Dandelion
2010-04-09. First flower, Texas dandelion. This is the first time it’s bloomed in 4 years. With all the rain this winter it is bigger and better than ever.

April 9th, 2010
Texas Dandelion

Dateline: 2006

You’ll think me a poor gardener when I admit that I didn’t even recognize a dandelion.

photo: Texas Dandelion

The other morning this bright spot of yellow caught my eye and I acquainted myself with this graceful, yellow flower. Consulting Marshall Enquist’s Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country, I find that it is Texas dandelion, Pyrrhopappus multicaulis, also known as manystem false dandelion.

As Karel Capek says in The Gardener’s Year, “A flower without a name is a weed, a flower with a Latin name is somehow raised to a state of dignity. If a nettle grows on your bed, label it “Urtica dioica” and you will respect it.”

photo: Texas Dandelion

The leaves do look like a dandelion’s, but it has a multiple stems almost 18 inches tall.

photo: Texas Dandelion

One source said that it is distinguished from the common by the having leaves along the stems. The dark anthers also sets it apart.

Two different sources say that it is a cool-weather annual. I’m glad it chose this week of record highs to bloom. I don’t care if it is a dandelion, or merely a false one, I think it’s lovely.

photo: Texas Dandelion
2010-04-22. Texas dandelion going to seed


2010-04-06. A view of the meadow from our roof. What a difference six months of rain has made compared with last year.

April 8th, 2010
Week 14: 4/2-4/8

Dateline: 2010
I can’t see the garden for the flowers anymore. I can’t get into the beds to weed them; I can barely find the paths. I guess it really is a meadow now, rather than a garden. Compare this photo with last year when we were in our second year of drought. Last year the cilantro was knee-high. This year it’s up to my shoulders, towering over and obscuring the bluebonnets and yellow irises. The yellow irises are all tall and twisty–just like in 2007, they really took off this week just as the Iris albicans faded. This year the bluebonnets are large and numerous–one of the best years ever for bluebonnets. Spring has been cooler and later this year. The larkspur and the Engelmann daisy (well-established last year by this time) are just beginning to open. The Naples onions are finally opening up but their white is indistinguishable from the white cilantro.

The roses, especially ‘Ducher’, ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’, and ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’ are covered in flowers. In the shady parts of the yard, the spiderwort, false dayflowers, and baby blue eyes have hit their peak and just starting to get a bit leggy and collapse.

The damage by January’s hard freeze is clear in the brown fronds of the sago palm, the collapse of the spineless prickly pear, and the rotting leaves of the Agave americana variegata.

Early spring is over. The Texas mountain laurel no longer smells like grape soda. The spring bulbs, Tulipa clusiana, Spanish bluebells, summer snowflakes, daffodils, and grape hyacinths have faded. We’ve started having 80° days again and worse, above 60° nights. Sunday (4/4) I was too hot to sleep for the first time this year and Monday (4/5) we hit the week high of 87°. Wednesday (4/7) a front came in and it was dark with a promise (unrealized) of rain all day. The lack of rain was disappointing but least temperatures dropped back into my favorite 40-70 range again.

From the vegetable garden we’ve been eating English peas almost every night. After a few days in the 80s, they are no longer producing flowers. The lettuce and arugula are also getting a bit past their prime. Now that the trees are leafed out the winter vegetable garden is once again in full shade so it’s finished for the year. The pecans, the last trees to leaf out, finally are. Still sunny beneath them for a week yet. The tomatoes are enjoying their new home next to the driveway. On Sunday (4/4), AJM constructed a frame for us to put netting over it in hopes of foiling the squirrels this year.

First flower: Allium neapolitanum (4/2); tomato ‘Jaune Flamme’ (4/2); California poppy ‘Mikado’ (4/3); poppy not ‘Lauren’s Grape’ (4/3); amaryllis ‘Amoretta’ (4/4); rose ‘New Dawn’ (4/4); weeping yaupon holly (4/4); Meyer lemon (4/5); tomato ‘Azoychka’ (4/6); Oenothera speciosa (4/8); rose ‘Prosperity’ (4/8)–still not looking very healthy.

Dateline: 2009

2009-04-10. A view of the meadow from our roof. A lot less larkspur in the meadow this year and almost no bluebonnets.
One week out of 52 my garden looks just about as perfect as a dream and this is that week. I spend all my time wandering up and down the paths just looking at it. And smelling it. It’s a heady, dangerous feeling because it fools me into thinking that gardening in central Texas is like gardening in Eden. I forget about summer. I forget about 50 days of 100 degree weather. I forget about Austin’s 19-month drought. Instead I get sucked into bigger, more elaborate plans for future gardens and seduced by visits to local nurseries, other people’s gardens, and garden talks.
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