February 15th, 2008
GBBD 200802: Feb 2008

Narcissus Grand Primo
2008-02-15. Narcissus ‘Grand Primo’ blooming in the back.

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

February 15, 2008

Just after January’s GBBD, Austin got a hard freeze which wiped out all the late hangers-on that I had written about. So everything new for February is new for the year. Austin’s spring is slowly unfurling, and like a new bride is dressed in white: paperwhite narcissus, summer snowflakes, and the Mexican plum blossom. However, the overriding color in the garden in February is the spring green of all the little overwintering annuals and spring bulbs, putting down their roots and gathering strength for their big show next month.

Narcissus Grand Primo
2008-02-15. Narcissus ‘Grand Primo’ blooming in the front, too.

The roses are about as dormant as they get any time of the year. None are blooming today and I had only two flowers since last GBBD, both on ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’. But all the roses are budding out. Unless we get a hard freeze, I think I’ll have roses before the next GBBD. The same is true of the Indian hawthorn, Rhaphiolepis indica. It had a few early flowers, isn’t blooming today, but is full of buds.

New for February

Leucojum aestivum
2008-02-15. One summer snowflake began blooming. I think it was dug up by a squirrel and replanted because it’s off by itself.

Paperwhite narcissus Grandiflora
2008-02-15. My only bought and named paperwhite, ‘Grandiflora’. The flowers are twice as large as the naturalized ones. (The tiny ones by the mailbox are still blooming, too.)

Prunus mexicana
2008-02-15. The largest of the three Mexican plum trees is just starting to open its flowers.

Still Blooming

Lantana montevidensis
2008-02-15. The lantana is still blooming even though it’s leaves are frost-bitten.

Lupinus texensis
2008-02-15. The amazing bluebonnet that began flowering on December 15, 2007 hasn’t quit yet. In fact, it’s just getting going. Quite a few other bluebonnets have buds now and will probably bloom within a week.

The List for February

  • Dianthus chinensis
  • Lantana montevidensis
  • Leucojum aestivum
  • Lobularia maritima
  • Lupinus texensis (another bloom on the plant that flowered in December)
  • Mahonia bealei
  • Narcissus papyraceus (small ones by mailbox)
  • Narcissus papyraceus ‘Grandiflora’
  • Narcissus tazetta italicus
  • Narcissus tazetta ‘Grand Primo’
  • Oxalis triangularis (purple only)
  • Prunus mexicana (The large one from Gardens
  • rosemary (Even more flowers than last month.)
  • Viola cornuta ‘Sorbet Coconut Duet’

by M Sinclair Stevens

18 Responses to post “GBBD 200802: Feb 2008”

  1. From Annie in Austin:

    Happy Blooming Day, MSS – it’s nice to see a bluebonnet but amazing to see a lantana! Maybe I’ll try the summer snowflakes again because yours look so sweet. I planted them, but they disappeared after 2 years.

    All hail ‘Grand Primo’ – it’s good to have a little daffodil that likes to grow in our Austin gardens!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    That lantana neither thrives nor dies. I keep pulling it out and it always comes back. But I do find it odd to see it blooming now. My neighbor has lantana trailing over his entire front walk and it’s been frozen back and brown for weeks. — mss

  2. From Muum from Utah:

    Nice ‘blooms’ . We are knee deep (ok, neck -deep )in snow here, but spring will come. I tried to grow some bluebonnets last year, will have to try again.

    You’ll probably have to grow bluebonnets in pots as they do all their growing in winter and can’t grow where the ground freezes. — mss

  3. From Nan Ondra:

    You certainly do have lots of lovely whites, mss, and a beautiful blue, too. How exciting to see lantana in mid-February. And possibly roses in March? That’s simply amazing. Can’t wait to see them!

    Our roses like these 70F degree days but look quite ratty come the 90F and 100F degree days of summer. For Austin gardeners, fall is like spring all over again. — mss

  4. From Brianna (Austin):

    Your narcissus blooms (and photos) are lovely 🙂

    Thanks. I like your dandelion shot. I’m rather fond of dandelions actually. — mss

  5. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    Beautiful! The flowers all look so fresh and well, alive. Is that a little spider on the first narcissus pictured? I’m surprised that you can have narcissus in such a warm climate, but I guess they don’t need much cooling to bloom.

    Yes, it is a spider. Only certain members of the Narcissus family do well in Austin. The Narcissus tazetta italicus and the ‘Grand Primo’ are old heirloom bulbs that don’t need much cold to bloom. The only large cup daffodil that I’ve had continued success with is ‘Ice Follies’. The beautiful triandrus ‘Hawera’ has also flowered every year since I planted it. On the suggestion of Scott Ogden, I planted the jonquil ‘Trevithian’ which comes back every year but doesn’t flower reliably. My favorite is the jonquil ‘Quail’. It eventually fades away (rots in our heavy clay) but is good for two or three years and is wonderfully scented. — mss

  6. From Julie (Austin):

    Rain at last!! and I spotted a few snowdrops (a.k.a. snowflakes) in bloom here too. Your place is looking spiffy.

    Thanks. Yay! rain! Actually, I believe snowdrops are Galanthus nivalis and summer snowflakes (there are spring and fall ones) are Leucojum aestivum. Which is it that you grow? I’ve heard that Galanthus do not survive long in Austin and if that’s what you have I’d be interested in hearing about your experience with them. — mss

  7. From deb:

    You have a bluebonnet already. I want to move.

    Austin is quite nice now. But then summer always comes and ruins everything. — mss

  8. From Kathy (New York):

    I wonder if that ‘Grand Primo’ would work for me as a forced indoor bulb? I do like the looks of it.

    Maybe. They have a pleasant scent–not overpowering like some paperwhites. ‘Grand Primo’ is available from the Southern Bulb Company. If I had more of them, I’d send you some. They’ve gotten mixed in with my italicus so I don’t know what is what anymore. — mss

  9. From Robin:

    Your white flowers look so fresh and pretty. That is one area of photography, (white balance), that I can’t seem to get right. My whites look dingy.

    I don’t do anything special. Overall, I notice that my photographs tend to be a bit yellow-tinged. Color correction tends to make the garden look more reddish/bluish than it is in life. I think your photographs look pretty spectacular. — mss

  10. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    Tell those bluebonnets to stop blooming until April 5th! 😉

    Love your daffs and snowdrops. My daffodils seem to have died off along the way, and my snowdrops (snowflakes?) haven’t budded yet. The Mexican plum in my garden is budding, though not open yet.

    It definitely feels like spring.

    Leucojum aestivum are summer snowflakes. Galanthus nivalis are snowdrops. Have you seen any redbuds. I noticed the one on our fenceline blooming after I wrote up this post. Redbuds mean spring to me and I always start looking for them on Valentine’s Day. — mss

  11. From Pam:

    Wow! You guys are further along than coastal South Carolina! Those bluebonnets are just gorgeous, is it common for them to be blooming in December and throughout the winter?

    No. Bluebonnets generally bloom in March and April. — mss

  12. From Diana Kirby - Austin:

    Lovely white flowers, MSS. And aren’t you excited about those early bluebonnets? I’m sure all our wildflowers are going to like the rain today, too. I love your snowflake — I’m seeing them all over garden blogs and now I have to have some. I have garden envy!!

  13. From Julie:

    Looking at pics of your snowflakes, yes it’s snowflakes Leucujum aestivum, here (thanks for clarification), nothing I planted but a gift from earlier residents. St. Joseph’s lilies were also here when we moved in, and greenery’s way up but I see no buds.

    Huge lightning bolt just outside the house today. This yellowy light gives me the creeps, tho the rain is a blessing.

  14. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    Thanks for clarifying. I’m growing summer snowflakes, which I purchased last fall from the Southern Bulb Co.

    I haven’t seen any redbuds in bloom yet.

    Did you get the regular ones or the selection ‘Gravetye Giant’? — mss

  15. From Sue - Milan:

    Wow – didn’t realise it got that cold in Austin. From other bloggers’ envious comments about Austin gardeners, I’d imagined it was warm all year round. I was thinking of moving … 🙂

    Other gardeners are envious only because they can’t imagine how terrible our summers are. 🙂 They look at our frost-free dates and think we have a long growing season. They see roses growing in December and don’t realize how much damage a sudden freeze can cause plants that never go dormant. They don’t understand that an average temperature of 60 degrees in January means that some days it’s 40 and some days its 80. I’ve often wondered why Austin has so many garden bloggers. I think it must be because all this weather gives us something to talk about. — mss

  16. From Ki:

    I saw the Grand Primo narcissus on Annies blog too. I think it looks splendid. You have a great assortment of blooming plants.

  17. From kerri:

    It’s fascinating learning about your weather and growing conditions down there, and seeing what’s blooming. I’m amazed that you’ve had temps in the 80’s in February and am beginning to appreciate why the Austin bloggers love Spring and Fall so much, and even winter. I love your ‘Grand Primo’ narcissus and wish now that I’d potted up some paperwhites. I miss having something with a lovely scent blooming. Soon I’ll have hyacinths though to brighten the winter days 🙂

  18. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    As for my summer snowflakes, they are the regular variety. I didn’t know there were giants out there.

    “Gravetye Giant’ bulbs are available at Gardens and McClure & Zimmerman. I mean to try some one of these years just to see if they are much better. — mss