February 15th, 2011
GBBD 201102: Feb 2011

Ice Follies daffodils
2011-02-15. Ice Follies daffodils.

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

Feb 15, 2011

Valentine’s Day always marks the beginning of spring in Austin for me. The shocking pink of the redbuds seems appropriate to the holiday. Although it is in the 70s today, the previous two weeks Austin has experienced what is shockingly cold weather for us; two separate fronts brought night after night of temperatures in the low 20s. Very little has survived in my garden and cold damage reveals itself daily. So there are no redbuds for Valentine’s Day, no Mexican plums, no roses, or irises. Some early greens (henbit and chickweed) have survived as always but even they seem subdued.

Practically the only flowers in my garden are three ‘Ice Follies” daffodils. They started to shoot up before the freezes, froze solid in the bud, and opened on dwarfed stems.

The only other new flower in my garden this month is the winter honeysuckle. I didn’t notice when it started to flower in the rush of activity that accompanied my having the house painted. Then the first big freeze was upon us and as I was running around with a flashlight covering plants, I saw that it had burst into bloom. I was disappointed that it was going to freeze before I even got a chance to sniff at it. The freezes didn’t seem to bother it much.

winter honeysuckle2011-02-15. Lonicera fragrantissima (winter honeysuckle).

Between GBBDs

An early oversummering bluebonnet was flowering before the freeze. It’s not the earliest I’ve ever had bluebonnets flower but it was out of season. The flower froze but the plant is fine, as are all the bluebonnet plants whether large or just sprouting. Some false dayflowers had also opened in response to much needed rainfall in January before the freezes.

Feb 15, 2011

Complete List for February

The list of all plants flowering today, February 15th 2011, at Zanthan Gardens. The most meager February list ever! Compare February 2009 or February 2008.

  • henbit
  • Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’
  • Lonicera fragrantissima
  • rosemary

by M Sinclair Stevens

9 Responses to post “GBBD 201102: Feb 2011”

  1. From Carol:

    That is a meager list for an Austin garden. I hope you don’t have any more cold spells like that and that the damage to your garden is not as bad as it seems.

  2. From Dorothy/Gardening with Nature:

    Hmmm… Your picture just reminded me that I haven’t seen a bloom from my ‘Ice Follies’ yet. Must investigate. I think our winter is behind us now and our gardens can wake up and come out and play with us. Fun times once again.

  3. From Steve Mudge (Fort Worth):

    Quite a brutal cold spell up here—9 degs for 2 mornings, under 20 degs for about 60 hours and below freezing for 100 hours. Our Olive Tree was wrapped, still got scorched, but will make it I think…Palo Verdes may die way back but regrow, many types of Agaves burned badly, Mexican Fan palms likely dead. Hollywood Juniper is showing die-back even. That said–our Four-Nerve Daisy’s hardly skipped a beat and are now blooming!

    Steve, so good to hear from you. Gardeners I know from Austin to Oklahoma were all hit hard by this crazy cold weather. Plants (sago palm, aloe vera, oleander, duranta) that were struggling back from last year’s freeze were devastated again. I’m glad I decided to take some time off from gardening this year. Stepping away for awhile makes it a little easier to cope. — mss

  4. From Esther Montgomery:

    A lovely honeysuckle.


  5. From fer:

    Hope you get a better weather soon. my family told me they are having quite a cold wave back in america

  6. From Swimray (Alexandria VA):

    Ice Follies were the first daffodil I planted at my house when I moved in over 20 years ago. They have performed well, multiplied, and were conversation starters and beginnings of friendships with many gardeners when I gave the divided bulbs away. Now, I find them almost as common as spring dandelions. I must find a new plant that takes Ice Follies place. They are still as beautiful and unique as when I first planted them…but they won’t be up around here for another 4 weeks.

    I had ‘Ice Follies for years and thought they would always come back. And then several years ago they all vanished. I bought some more to plant last fall. They all came up fine and even two or three of the “vanished” ones made a comeback. — mss

  7. From Annie in Austin:

    Elizabeth Lawrence may not have been entranced with the winter honeysuckle, but it sounds like a good plant for Austin. Those dwarfed stems could be a good idea, MSS – you can see their faces! My daffodils seem to stretch & flop.

    The almost-open daffodils & narcissus slimed and didn’t open, but today a few clumps of solid yellow daffodils that weren’t as developed when the cold arrived began to bloom. This part of Austin got a little colder on those nights – 14 degrees F one night, 18 degrees F the next.

    Guess we’ll be playing “Dead or Dormant” again …that game went on until June last year when the banana finally put up a leaf.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Not much left to play dead or dormant with. I’m surprised at things that made it through last year and got blasted this year and vice versa. This is the first year ever that none of my ‘Grand Primo’ bloomed and most of the Narcissus italicus didn’t make it either. — mss

  8. From Roberta. Austin.:

    I didn’t know there was such a thing as a winter honeysuckle, I always associate honeysuckle with summer, the fragrance wafting on a warm breeze. Thanks for mentioning it!

  9. From Gift Plant Girl:

    i just love those images. My favourite winter plant is Sarcococca Humils which has a wonderful scent. But longing for Spring!