Blush Noisette
2012-02-02. Rose ‘Blush Noisette’

February 4th, 2012
Week 05: 1/29 – 2/4

Dateline: 2012

The week ended with rain and a cold front but the contrast with last year’s snow and horrendous freeze couldn’t be greater. We’ve been enjoying March weather. Temperatures climbed to 82°F on Wednesday (2/1). We’ve had only two freezes so far this winter. Some plants like the Port St. John’s creeper and ruella haven’t died back. The combination of warm temperatures and rain after the long drought has tricked many plants into blooming out of season. I’ve seen Texas mountain laurel blooming along Lady Bird Lake. But no redbuds yet (which I always think bloom first.

Mermaid
2012-02-02. Rose ‘Mermaid’ between light showers.

Other out-of-sequence blooms: Larkspur began blooming before the bluebonnets. The roses began blooming before the Mexican plum trees. The hot weather roses, ‘Mermaid’ and ‘Blush Noisette’, began blooming before the queen of early roses, ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’. Roses of all kinds are blooming all over town. Tradescantia and false dayflowers also began blooming this week at Zanthan Gardens. The rosemary, the winter honeysuckle, the lantana, and one clump each of Narcissus italicus and Narcissus ‘Grand Primo’ are still in flower, rounding out the in bloom list.

The wet and warmth have made the salad greens happy. We’ve been eating large salads out of the garden almost every evening. I’ve planted more. The leaves of the cilantro are glossy and green. We can’t use it fast enough. Of course, the unofficial salad greens are also rampant: chickweed, goose grass, and henbit. I can’t keep up with weeding the henbit and it’s smotherered out the bluebonnet seedlings. I like to keep some henbit around for the butterflies but so far I’ve seen only two so I’m regretting it.

Dateline: 2011

Friday February 4, 2011.
We wake up after record-breaking snowfall at Camp Mabry today. The old record for daily snowfall was 1/2 inch in 1906. 105 years later, a whole inch!

snow bluebonnet
2011-02-04. Snow covered bluebonnet.
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amaryllis papillio
2008-03-12. My butterfly amaryllis finally rebloomed. It’s been a long, long wait.

March 12th, 2008
Hippeastrum papilio, butterfly amaryllis

The butterfly amaryllis is quite striking. I would say that it has been worth the wait, except…more than seven years! I’d love it just as much if it bloomed every year. Really, dear, I would.

amaryllis papillio

A native of Brazil, my butterfly amaryllis has never gone dormant, although it looks a bit ratty after a long, hot Austin summer. I’ve heard some advice that Austinites can plant them in the ground as we do our more hardy Hippeastrums, the St. Joseph’s lilies. I don’t think I’ll bet against the Texas weather.

Garden History

2000-11-05.
At Gardens buy the amaryllis that I first saw and liked in the Garden.com catalog. [2011-01-24. Maybe I actually got this from Dutch Gardens. I find a label for one with this description. Or maybe Gardens was carrying bulbs from Dutch Gardens.]

“Brightly striped maroon and ivory petals with a chartreuse background.”

2000-11-09.
Pot it, after soaking the bulb in sea weed mix.

2000-12-10.
First flower opens completely.

2000-12-17.
Last day of bloom.

2006-09-06.
Divide the butterfly amaryllis into two pots. It was incredibly pot bound. I’ve heard that they prefer to be pot bound, but I don’t think they mean like this. I had to rip out a lot of roots to separate them.
amaryllis papillio
2006-09-06. The butterfly amaryllis and three daughters sit on top of the pot they were in.

2008-03-12.
First flower.