Zanthan Gardens meadow
The meadow in full bloom with larkspur, pink evening primrose, Engelmann daisy, crinum, cilantro, and bluebonnets.

April 15th, 2008
GBBD 200804: Apr 2008

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

April 15, 2008

This period between last GBBD and this is generally the most perfect at Zanthan Gardens. This year the weather has played along. After scaring us with a couple of 90 degree days, (which caused the cilantro and baby blue eyes to go suddenly to seed), this week temperatures have fallen to gorgeous 70 degree days, the skies are clear, and the air is dry. Very dry. I’m having to water more than usual.

This period is either second spring or first summer. (For a part of the country reputed not to even have four seasons, I find that just four is not enough to describe the changes in the garden.) The trees have leafed out. What lawn is left is greening up. The early spring bulbs and flowering trees are finished. The over-wintering annuals are in full bloom. Self-sown summer annuals like clammy weed, cypress vine, Dolichos lablab, and cosmos are sprouting. They remind me that it’s past time for planting a few new summer seeds of my own.

New for April

Arguably Zanthan Garden’s most floriferous month, April is when the sheer mass of flowers overcomes interest in the individual specimen. I won’t even try to photograph all the new flowers for April. Here are a few.

Confederate jasmine
Trachelospermum jasminoides

I have a weakness for all those heavily-scented white, Southern flowers but my favorite is Confederate jasmine. The scent is very spicy and the vine always a glossy green even in our worst droughts. You can smell Confederate jasmine from quite a distance.

Crinums with Engelmann Daisy and Pink Evening Primrose
Crinum bubispermum

The milk and wine lilies in the meadow with the gray-green foliage bloom before the crinums with the bright green foliage. I don’t know what kind they are. All of them have different colored flowers, sickly sweet, and huge, the weight of which causes the stalks to fall over almost immediately as the flowers open. I gathered quite a few seeds from these last year which started easily but have been slow to grow.

Crinum bulbispermum

St Joseph’s Lily

Hippeastrum x johnsonii
The hardy amaryllis, Hippeastrum x johnsonii, has been blooming almost all month in my yard and all over my older Austin neighborhood. I’ve never liked any photo I’ve taken of St. Joseph’s lily but Rachel @ In Bloom got the color right when she visited during Spring Fling.

Jerusalem sage and California poppies
Phlomis lanata

The Jerusalem sage, Phlomis lanata, is dead easy to propagate. Just stick a semi hard-wood cutting into the ground, keep moist but not too wet, and it will root. I love the leaves but they get a bit wilty when temperatures top 90.

Red Yucca

Hesperaloe parviflora
Last winter I had a couple of invasive chinaberry trees removed. The red yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, once again in sunlight, has thanked me by blooming this year. The individual flowers are insignficant. In Austin, red yucca is commonly massed and the flowers hover like a pale red cloud above the spiky plants.


Also known as Jerusalem thorn or palo verde, this lime green tree flowers bright yellow and is covered in thorns. Given my penchant for growing thorny plants, maybe I should have named my garden “Thornfield”.

White Stonecrop
Sedum album

Here’s a little flower that gets lost in April’s showiness. Getting down on my hands and knees I spot the small flowers of white stonecrop, Sedum album. I don’t have any idea when these started blooming.

And also new for April…

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
  • Tulipa clusiana
  • Yaupon holly

Complete List for April

  • Allium neapolitanum
  • Aloe barbadensis
  • Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’
  • Centaurea cyanus ‘Black Magic’
  • Commelinantia anomala
  • Consolida ambigua
  • Crinum (various)
  • Duranta erecta
  • Engelmannia peristenia/pinnatifida
  • Eschscholzia californica ‘Mikado’ (going to seed)
  • iris (heirloom gold)
  • Hesperaloe parviflora
  • Hippeastrum x johnsonii
  • Lantana montevidensis
  • Lantana x hybrida ‘New Gold’
  • Lathyrus odoratus ‘Perfume Delight’
  • Lavandula heterophylla ‘Goodwin Creek’ (few flowers on old plants)
  • Lupinus texensis (mostly going to seed; first plant now flowering since 12/15)
  • Mirabilis jalapa
  • Nemophila insignis (going to seed)
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’
  • Nigella damascena
  • Oenothera speciosa
  • Oxalis crassipis (hot pink, full bloom)
  • Oxalis pes-caprae ‘Scotty’s Surprise’ (fading)
  • Oxalis triangularis (only purple, not white)
  • Polanisia dodecandra
  • Phlomis lanata
  • Retama
  • Rhaphiolepis indica (end of the season)
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette (full bloom)
  • rose ‘Ducher’ (waning)
  • rose ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’ (one flower)
  • rose ‘New Dawn’
  • rose ‘Prosperity’ (full bloom)
  • rose ‘Red Cascade’ (two small flowers)
  • rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (one flower, between flushes)
  • Sedum album
  • Setcresea (both purple and green)
  • Trachelospermum jasminoides
  • Tradescantia (spiderwort, going to seed)
  • Verbena canadensis (lavender wilding)
  • Viola cornuta ‘Sorbet Coconut Duet’