March 15th, 2008
GBBD 200803: Mar 2008

spiderwort Tradescantia
2008-03-15. A bee zooms toward a spiderwort flower on this Ides of March.

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

March 15, 2008

If, as Carol quotes Emerson, the “earth laughs in flowers”, then for this fleeting moment at Zanthan Gardens we are ROGL. March is typically the month that I have more types of different flowers blooming than any other. I’m not saying the garden is drenched in blossom here. Quite the opposite. In fact, a visitor just this week remarked that the most overwhelming color in the garden right now is spring green. But as early spring flowers give way to late spring flowers, March provides a greater variety of plants in flower than at any other time of the year. Often it is just a stem of this, or a couple of flowers of that. April will be the month of masses of flowers but with less variety.

New for March

Beginning in March, I can find something new blooming in the garden almost every day. The paperwhite narcissus have given way to the jonquils. My only large cup daffodil, ‘Ice Follies’ bloomed between GBBDs. After that came the yellow daffodils, ‘Trevithian’, ‘Hawera’, and then the Quail.

Narcissus jonquilla Trevithian

The jonquil ‘Trevithian’ began flowering on March 3rd and three flowers are still open. They always come back but they never flower vigorously in my garden.

Narcissus triandrus Hawera

Three diminuitive triandrus ‘Hawera’ nod their heads. They are so small and delicate, I think they must be fairy flowers. They began flowering on March 10th.

Narcissus jonquilla Quail

One stem of the other jonquil ‘Quail’ opened on March 12th with three flowers. Notice the brown edges caused by the 95F/35C degree heatwave that hit Austin yesterday. I saw it lying flat on the ground yesterday. Luckily some cold water and cooler temperatures today perked it up in time for its GBBD photo.

Coriandrum sativum

The meadow is filling in. The cilantro, Coriandrum sativum, has been rampant this year. It looked very weedy for awhile but now that it is flowering all is forgiven.

False Dayflower

The cute little faces on the false dayflowers, Commelinantia anomala, always make me smile. I’ve spent ten years selecting the bicolor flowers and weeding out the solid dark blue ones.

Rose ‘Ducher’ and Bluebonnets
rose Ducher

My new ‘Ducher’ rose likes is much happier than the one I lost, probably because I put it on the opposite side of the yard where it could receive sun all winter. I’ve never seen ‘Ducher’ bloom like this. It looks like it’s on steroids, but it’s just Dillo Dirt. In my experience, ‘Ducher’ prefers cooler weather and blooms best for me in early spring.

More bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis are opening. Most of the flowers are still on the plants that oversummered, but a few fall-sprouted plants are beginning to flower, too (although not very profusely).

Baby Blue Eyes and Cilantro
Nemophila insignis

In stark contrast, the baby blue eyes, Nemophila insignis, seem to be on a quest to take over the garden.

Grape Hyacinth
A few blue bottles, Muscari racemosum/neglectum just opened this week. I noticed them already flowering at Pam/Digging’s almost a month ago.

First Larkspur (Opened Today)
Consolida ambigua

The blooming of the larkspur, Consolida ambigua marks spring, part 2 at Zanthan Gardens.

Rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’
rose Souvenir de la Malmaison

The last two weeks, ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ has been putting on quite a show. She beat the shade and the little green worms. She is one of the roses I stripped in February.

Rose ‘Blush Noisette’

‘Blush Noisette’ has just emerged from the shade of the Texas Mountain laurels and put out a few flowers. I forgot to get a snapshot of them today though.

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’
Anemone coronaria The Bride

This was the first year that I’ve ever grown anemones. They were both more successful and less successful than I had expected. More, because they flowered at all, even after the raccoons kept digging them up. Less, because I should have planted them all together en masse to get a nice effect rather than dotting them here and there. I always make this mistake.

Bridal wreath spiraea
Bridal wreath spiraea

About six years ago this spiraea had huge white sprays like some giant floral fountain. Then I came very close to losing it. This year, a couple of stems are making a comeback.

California Poppies ‘Mikado’

More California poppies are blooming.

This has been a pretty good year for the flowering trees, except for the Mexican plums. However, many plum seedlings are popping up. I think few fruit usually mature but because it was cool and rainy last summer a lot more did. The rainy summer of 2007 has had a dramatic effect on all the other small flowering trees. The cherry laurel, the Texas mountain laurel, and the redbuds are heavier with blossom than I’ve ever seen them.

Texas Mountain Laurel
Texas mountain laurel

The sickly sweet grape soda scented Texas mountain laurel, Sophora secundiflora is in full bloom right now. 2008 has been a spectacular year for Austin’s Texas mountain laurel. I think this was due to last summer’s extra rain. I don’t think mine have ever had this many flowers.

Texas mountain laurel

Cherry Laurel
Prunus caroliniana

The flowers of cherry laurel, Prunus caroliniana are not as showy or scented as Texas mountain laurel but the bees seem to like them just as much.


Although the violas have been blooming since November, I’m putting in this shot of them because this yellow one popped up among the white and purple Sorbet ‘Coconut Duet’. It is the first hard evidence of violas self-sowing in my garden. I don’t know if this is from this year’s seed which reverted or from last year (when I had yellow violas).

There are diminuitive flowers on three other plants that I didn’t even bother to photograph: the lavender, Lavandula heterophylla ‘Goodwin Creek’, has one spray; in the oxblood lily nursery, I noticed the pretty pea-flowered common vetch, Vicia sativa; and the potato vine, Solanum jasminoides, is twining its way through the chain link fence.

Carol said we could count potted plants and two began flowering this month.

Meyer Lemon
Meyer lemon

I’m relieved that the Meyer lemon has staged a comeback. I was afraid that it would hold my neglect last year and subsequent rough treatment of it during repotting against me. When I repotted it on February 10th, I cut it back by two-thirds, hacked off a lot of potbound roots, and stripped all the leaves off it because they were covered in sooty mold. Now, a month later, it is putting out new buds and leaves like never before.

Butterfly Amaryllis
Hippeastrum papilio

Two flowers are now open on the butterfly amaryllis, Hippeastrum papilio. I realized that the close-up shots I took the other day don’t show how large the flowers are. These are by far the largest flowers in bloom today.

Still Flowering

The four types of oxalis that I grow bloom off and on all year. I don’t think I’ve photographed them for GBBD before, so here they are.

Two varieties of Oxalis triangularis

Oxalis crassipes

Oxalis pes-caprae ‘Scotty’s Surprise’

Also still flowering from previous months are viola, pinks, sweet alyssum, and the redbud tree.

Complete List for March

  • Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’
  • Bridal wreath spiraea
  • Cercis canadensis
  • Citrus x meyeri (potted)
  • Commelinantia anomala
  • Consolida ambigua
  • Coriandrum sativum
  • Dianthus chinensis
  • Eschscholzia californica ‘Mikado’
  • henbit
  • Hippeastrum papilio
  • Lantana montevidensis
  • Lavandula heterophylla ‘Goodwin Creek’
  • Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflakes)
  • Lobularia maritima
  • Lupinus texensis (many plants now in flower; first plant now flowering since 12/15)
  • Muscari racemosum/neglectum
  • Narcissus jonquilla ‘Quail’
  • Narcissus triandrus ‘Hawera’
  • Nemophila insignis
  • Oxalis crassipis (hot pink)
  • Oxalis pes-caprae ‘Scotty’s Surprise’
  • Oxalis triangularis (both purple and white)
  • Prunus mexicana (Only a couple of flowers left.)
  • Prunus caroliniana (cherry laurel)
  • Rhaphiolepis indica (had a few very early flowers, then stopped blooming, now about to kick into high gear)
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette
  • rose ‘Ducher’ (full bloom)
  • rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (full bloom)
  • rosemary (Very few flowers)
  • Solanum jasminoides (potato vine)
  • Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)
  • Tradescantia (spiderwort)
  • Viola cornuta ‘Sorbet Coconut Duet’
  • Vitia sativa (common vetch, a pretty weed)

by M Sinclair Stevens

26 Responses to post “GBBD 200803: Mar 2008”

  1. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    Your hard work and love of gardening really shows in this post about what is blooming in your garden. It is very impressive. How could your garden be ‘spring green’ with so much in bloom?

    Suddenly I want to try Oxalis, more roses, and poppies and can’t wait for my daffodils to bloom.

    I can see why you are ROGL.

    Thanks. Well close-ups make it look more flowery than it is. And a lot of the flowers I grow are very tiny. You’ll see in three weeks when you’re here. (Yay!) The next six weeks or so will be the nicest time for my garden. After that, I’ll have to be content enjoying everyone else’s online. — mss

  2. From kate:

    The false dayflowers are so pretty–I love their colour. Your garden is filled with wonderful blooms – it is hard to get my head around larkspur blooming at the same time as grape hyacinths. Those flowers on the Texas mountain laurel are stunning and profuse. And then there’s the Meyer lemon blooms which must make you happy to see after the pruning in February.

    Last summer I grew Anemone coronaria which I stored in the fridge the previous winter. I tried massing them, but got very few flowers although lots of foliage. I think Annie mentioned that she hadn’t had much luck with them there. They are such pretty flowers that I’ll keep trying.

    Like Carol, it seems to me that you have a profusion of flowers and lots of colour.

    Thanks. I went and looked at Annie’s Anemone coronaria and I thought they looked nice. I have to ask her more about her experience with them. Mine don’t have masses of flowers but the flowers are large (compared to others in my garden). If I replant them closer together I think they’ll make a nice show. — mss

  3. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    Wow, this BD post will have taken you a while to put together. That’s quite an extensive list.

    I agree about the banner year for Texas mountain laurels and about the surprisingly disappointing year for Mexican plums. Mine petered out early. Like you, I’ve found a large number of seedlings coming up from last year’s plum crop.

    I really like your yellow oxalis. I’ve never seen that variety before. Does it go dormant in the summer like the white ones or stick around like the purple ones?

    This post was a lot of work but I figured I’d go all out because this is the big month in my garden. As for the yellow oxalis, I just bought it last month at the Natural Gardener so I don’t know how it will handle summer. I assume it will go dormant once the temperatures get above the mid-90s like the others do. What I like about the all the oxalis is that they bloom in filtered shade where most other plants I’ve tried are unhappy. — mss

  4. From Jenny - Las Vegas:

    I love the shot of the bee approaching the flower, especially because she’s still in motion. There are so many fantastic pictures it would be impossible for me to pick a favorite, but the Meyer lemon, the Souvenir de la Malmaison’ and the Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ are especially beautiful. I really hope to come visit one Spring and see it in person. Maybe in a year or two when Grace is a bit older.

    Remember the weekend you did visit for the St. Patrick’s Day boy’s birthday and it ended up being the weekend in the 40s between two weekends in the 70s? Seems much warmer earlier, this year. — mss

  5. From jodi Nova Scotia:

    It’s so very interesting to read that this is the big month in your garden! Here, of course, half the garden is still covered in snow, and all of it is still frozen. My one Hamamelis shrub that’s beginning to flower looks pretty sparce in comparison to this rich floral fiesta. And I love that you put the botanical names in. The most interesting thing for me was the various oxalis cultivars, especially that double one. We get several of the colourful-foliage types here now as annuals, and of course the weedy species, but I’ve never seen that double before. All very delicious, and I’m glad you put in this much effort to show us a glimpse of your garden. Thanks!

    Pretty soon deadly summer will be here and I’ll be visiting y’all’s gardens online and wishing it were still March. — mss

  6. From linda:

    Your blooms are a sight for winter-weary eyes. All are beautiful, and I especially love the oxalis and the anemone. Lovely photography too.

    Thanks. — mss

  7. From Tamara, Plano, TX:

    That amaryllis is stunning! Looks like a picture from a catalog…beautiful mountain laurel too.

    I get so excited when a flower looks like a picture in a catalog. Normally I look at catalog photos of flowers like I do fashion magazine photos of models. I marvel at them but I don’t believe they exist like that in the real world. — mss

  8. From Annie in Austin:

    The banner year for TX mountain laurels stops here – 12 ready-to-bloom branches had me hoping, but two late freezes knocked off every single individual blossom. I think the trouble is that they’re very short and the cool air settles near the ground… maybe once my 3 plants can hold flower buds 3 feet in the air I’ll see [and smell] a few. Yours are so beautiful, MSS! I was amazed to see your larkspur blooming already.

    In fall 2006 I planted a dozen anemones but only one appeared and bloomed, explaining last year’s remark to Kate. In fall 2007 I put in another 18 anemone. Eight are blooming now with others showing leaves. This success will encourage me to plant more bulbs come November.

    Your roses are lovely.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Oh, no! Aaagh! I know you get colder than we do event though you are just 12 miles northwest. I didn’t realize the effect could be so devastating. And thanks for the anemone info. As for the larkspur, two opened just in time for GBBD. That’s why I’m never in a hurry to put up my post; especially this time of year there are always last minute additions to the list. — mss

  9. From Nan Ondra:

    I love the fact that you have so many blooms you need to divide them into the new ones and the continuing ones. And those Texas mountain laurels; wow. I saw them for the first time ever this morning, on one of the other Austinites’ blogs, I think, and I’m so envious. Yesterday, I didn’t even know they existed, and now I really wish I could see one for myself. Thanks for sharing the glories of your spring garden, mss.

    My pleasure. We have Texas mountain laurels but you guys have lilacs, right? We can’t–I think this is our consolation. I’ve now participated in GBBD for one year. When I first began, I selected one photo to accompany the post–my usual layout. However, I enjoyed the many photos that other people posted. Rather than take a photo of everything, I eventually settled on posting photos of only plants that hadn’t bloomed yet that year. — mss

  10. From Diana - Austin:

    Can I just say, wow. Your garden blooms are beautiful. So many lovely and delicate little things for our harsh climate. I suppose this is the time of year that they love the most. it was nice to catch a glimpse of beds in addition to close up booms — and I especially enjoyed your amaryllis – it is stunning.

    Yes this one week between a freezing temperatures and highs in the mid-90s was quite nice. If only it lasted longer. I try to remember what I learned in Japan–to appreciate the beauty all the more because it is fleeting. However, I think I’d like it just as much if it weren’t. — mss

  11. From Brianna (Austin):

    Love, love, love the spiderwort w/ bee photo. The oxalis blooms, too. 🙂

    Thanks. That was pure serendipity. I didn’t see the bee until I uploaded the photos. — mss

  12. From gintoino:

    Great blooms you have in your garden! That H. papillium is beautiful. Do you grow cilantro as an ornamental? And you Oxalis pes-caprae as a garden plant? Here it behaves as a terrible weed.

    No. I grow cilantro to eat it. Although it used to be quite cheap (50 cents a bunch) the price has risen to $1.99 a bunch, for organic cilantro shipped all the way from California. Cilantro self-seeds easily and is everywhere in my flower beds and my lawn. I’m glad it’s so ornamental and I use it as a filler, a replacement for Baby’s breath or Queen Anne’s lace. Although some oxalis here are weedy, this selection of the Oxalis pes-caprae is sold as a garden plant. I haven’t had it long enough to see if it will be problematic. –mss

  13. From Kathy (New York):

    I found the yellow oxalis very appealing. You must feel very relieved after giving those roses and the lemon “rough treatment” to see them respond so well.

    I’m very relieved about the lemon. I’ve never tried anything so drastic before and, typically, I’m a complete failure with potted plants. Well, see. — mss

  14. From Kylee:

    Oh my goodness, you’ve got some wonderful things blooming! You make me long for spring even more. That anemone is exquisite! And I must get some ‘Hawera’ for next spring!

    ‘Hawera’ is just the cutest little thing and one of the few daffodils I’ve grown which comes back reliably. Most daffodils want more cold during the winter than Austin provides. And most don’t like our alkaline soils or our heavy clay. — mss

  15. From ewa:

    oh my, oh my,
    you have so many blooms in your garden!
    I loved your rose and texas laurel.

    Thanks. I’m glad I had something to share this month. — mss

  16. From Aiyana:

    Great photos of your March garden. March is the best month for blooms in my desert garden, with even some cacti flowering. In April, many more cacti will flower, along with the Mesquites and Palo Verdes. It’s just a wonderful time of year in the desert.

    I enjoyed your desert blooms. The excitement of this time of year is always tinged with a little sadness because I know summer is right around the corner. However, the thought just encourages me to figure out how to make next March even better. — mss

  17. From Steve Mudge (Fort Worth):

    What a great post–you really are a true gardener! The Texas laurels are amazing. The lemon blossom is perfect–I can smell it from here! In fact I think I’ll try to grow one up here this year…probably time to build a little greenhouse.

    My lemon is potted and I carry it in and outdoors all winter long. If I remember correctly, Annie in Austin is trying one outside against an protected wall. — mss

  18. From Robin at Bumblebee:

    This is quite an impressive post! When I see this many blooms in March, I have to envy those further south for getting such a head start.

    BTW, I like the Twitter updates in your side column. I generally don’t “get” what Twitter is all about, but I enjoy this one, as it’s relevant to gardening.

    Come visit Austin in summer and then see which of us envies whom. I find Twitter useful for the quick notes I used to jot down on Post-It Notes and then lose. — mss

  19. From Muum from Utah:

    Wow! Things look wonderful. I wish I was coming for the big get together. I especially love the first picture of the bee coming to the spiderwort flower. Lovely! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I don’t think I could handle all that snow you’ve got. But at least you found some crocuses for GBBD. — mss

  20. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter (Chicagoland):

    All your flowers are so beautiful, but I’m a little weird, so I have to admit that my favorite is the little ‘Hawera’ daffodil. It’s so simple and charming! It’s so strange to me that you have roses and daffodils blooming at the same time. That just doesn’t happen in Chicagoland.

    Kathy of Cold Climate Gardening has made the same comment about the roses blooming with the daffodils. Both prefer to bloom before the temperatures get out of the 70s although the roses will hang on longer into May and sometimes June. — mss

  21. From Robin:

    That is quite an assortment of blooms. Sigh…I have to remind myself that spring will be here soon.

    Wonderful and enjoyable Bloom Day post.

    Thank you. You’ll have to return the favor and brighten up my summer days when we are suffering through the brown season. — mss

  22. From kerri:

    Your blooms are a sight for sore eyes, especially on this gloomy, rainy day up here in NY. The little Oxalis blooms are so dainty and the new yellow is exquisite. It’s so completely opposite to us northerners that the thought of summer brings a tinge of sadness to you…rather than the joy it brings us. The Butterfly Amaryllis is truly beautiful, and I’m so glad your Meyer Lemon is looking so healthy. I love that bloom!
    Thanks for taking the time to show us all these lovely pictures. Enjoy your spring!

    Thank you. I do try to appreciate spring and not think ahead to summer. Of course, when the weather throws us a 95F degree day like it did last Friday, I suddenly panic. Several plants and flowers actually had the edges of their leaves crisp up and turn brown just that one day. I wish spring could last forever or at least until fall. But, come summer, I’ll be visiting all your northern gardens online and trying to console myself. — mss

  23. From Dawn:

    Okay, you *are* the Flower Goddess Miss MSS. Wow! Please make sure you use your powers for good and not evil. 😉 Seriously, I love your Souvenir de la Malmaison rose. And your photo of the Oxalis crassipes is pure sweetness.

    You’re so funny. And sweet. The cilantro is really blooming nicely now and whenever I see it I think of you. If you don’t have time to visit during Spring Fling, you must come sometime and see it. — mss

  24. From Trudi:

    Hi, Thanks for your comment about the succulents. Yes, I think you would be able to grow them in your area. They don’t like to much water and cold. They are easy to look after and to propagate. Small plants make nice presents in a pretty pot even for not-gardening people. You must have a fantastic garden, when I look at the beautiful photos you posted.

  25. From Yolanda Elizabet:

    We both garden in zone 8 and our gardens are so alike in some aspects and totally different in others. Here the predominant colour is green too, dotted with splashes of colour here and there. Narcissus Hawera is nodding its dainty little head here as well and the muscari, violets and anemones blanda are flowering like there’s no tomorrow. But then, many of the plants and shrubs in your garden flowering now,like your roses, larkspur, california poppies, spiderwort and lavender will only start flowering in my garden from May?June unwards. So your garden looks like a weird but wonderful mix of early Spring and early Summer flowers. Magical!

  26. From Angelina:

    Your “Souvenir De La Malmaison” is gorgeous! AS always, when I see it I want one but I’m afraid that it would have a huge problem balling up here with all the rain in the spring.

    So many beautiful blooms in your garden right now!

    Yes, the garden is a joy to be in right now. I try to capture and remember these days to keep me going through the summer. — mss