February 15th, 2012
GBBD 201202: Feb 2012

rose Mermaid
2012-02-15. Rose ‘Mermaid. Close up.

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

February 15, 2012

Well. If winter is the only season left for Austinites to garden in (the rest of the year being too hot), I’m glad this winter has been wet and warm in contrast to last year’s horrible dry and cold winter. I only had four things blooming last February and one of them was henbit. Zanthan Gardens is overrun with henbit this year but a lot of other nicer things, too.

The plants are very confused, though. They went semi-dormant in 2011’s hot, dry summer and then started putting out growth the second it began raining. So, while this February had a very lacksluster showing of paperwhite narcissus and the daffodil, tulips, bluebells, and summer snowflakes have not yet appeared, it is filled with roses. Roses blooming and roses putting out new canes.

The first rose to bloom was the hot weather trooper, ‘Blush Noisette’.
rose Blush Noisette

Then ‘Mermaid’ started blooming. It usually is my last rose to flower. I think of it as a late May, early June rose. Mermaid has the biggest flowers, flat flowers the size of saucers. It’s also the thorniest rose I grow. ‘Mermaid’ is a monster of a rose and not one that’s easily tamed.
rose Mermaid

Typically my first rose of the year is my favorite ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’. I breathed a sigh of relief when it started putting out new canes. I was very close to losing it to cane dieback last fall. I cut back the bad canes and sprayed it with pruning paint. It did not look good. I’ve already lost half my roses to cane dieback so I was not optimistic. But it’s pulled through.
rose Souvenir de la Malmaison
‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ is one rose that doesn’t like wet weather. The flowers ball; that is, the outside petals of the blossoms stick together. I had about a dozen flowers that I had to peal the outside petals off of for them to open.
rose Souvenir de la Malmaison

The ‘New Dawn’ rose along the front fence is blooming. The one in the back yard is not yet. It is about the same color as ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ but with a much more modern flower shape.
rose New Dawn

Now for the flowers which are blooming in season. The Mexican plum started blooming last week and is just starting to fill out this week. In my mind, the Mexican plums are the first to bloom, followed by redbuds for Valentine’s day, and then Texas mountain laurels. The latter has been blooming all over my neighborhood and downtown for a week. I still haven’t spotted my first redbud for 2012.
Mexican Plum

Flowers in the tradescantia family will start blooming with any spring rain. I’ve had false dayflowers bloom in December but February and March is more usual. So far, I have only this one in flower but the yard is covered with plants about to bloom.
false dayflower
Ditto its perennial cousin, the spiderwort.

For some reason, the larkspur began blooming before the bluebonnets. Usually my bluebonnets are in full bloom by mid-March and the larkspur take over in mid April. Several larkspur are already blooming and a lot more are soon to follow. Not a single bluebonnet (and there are quite a few plants) has sent up a flower stalk yet.

And then we have several flowers, like this salvia, that were blooming in fall, got some frost damage in December and died back slightly (but not all the way to the ground) and have made a comeback. Ruellia and lantana are also in this category.
Salvia madrensis

In the vegetable garden the English peas are in full bloom and we’ve been eating peas, too. We pick lettuce and swiss chard almost every day. And the carrots are producing baby carrots. I hope they get a little bigger. The rosemary is still full of flowers.

Henbit has been very invasive this year. It’s just beginning to fade but the chickweed and goosegrass is coming on strong in its place. I hate them all.

Complete List for February 2012

The list of all plants flowering today, February 15th 2012, at Zanthan Gardens. If the flower was blooming in February in 2008 or 2009 I indicated that in parentheses. I don’t have a February list for 2010.

  • Commelinantia anomala
  • Consolida ambigua
  • Lantana montevidensis (2008, 2009)
  • Lonicera fragrantissima (2009, 2011)
  • Pisum sativum (2009)
  • Polanisia dodecandra, clammy weed (2009)
  • Prunus mexicana (2008, 2009)
  • potato vine
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette’
  • rose ‘Mermaid’
  • rose ‘New Dawn’
  • rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (2009)
  • rosemary (2008, 2009, 2011)
  • Ruellia
  • Salvia madrensis
  • Setcreasea pallida (2009)
  • Sophora secundiflora
  • Tradescantia, spiderwort (2009)

by M Sinclair Stevens

10 Responses to post “GBBD 201202: Feb 2012”

  1. From Annie in Austin:

    Oh, MSS! Larkspur flowers? I took photos for a GBBD post but my flower pictures will suffer in comparison to your splendid rose photos. Souvenir & New Dawn look so beautiful.

    Your blooming Salvia madrensis really surprised me since the leaves on my plant have barely regrown after being frozen. The new Zone map rightly keeps me in 8b.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Ooops. Yes I meant S. madrensis. AJM was hurrying me to bed so I didn’t double-check my list and dates. I still need to compare first flower dates on various things to see if I’m not imagining how early they are blooming. The flower on the S. madrensis was about to open in December when we got our first freeze. I covered the plant and It was only slightly damaged. It is the last bit of last year’s growth. Most of the last year’s large stalks turned brown, not from the freeze but from the lack of water last fall. The new growth for this year is already about a foot tall now. — mss

  2. From Nell Jean:

    So many pretties! Happy Bloom Day.

  3. From Lea's Menagerie:

    Beautiful blooms!
    I especially like the roses!
    Happy Bloggers’ Bloom Day!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  4. From M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas:

    When I compare this February to last year’s, I’m reminded how important water is to life. This winter has been so wonderfully warm and rainy.

    Even though Central Texas is still technically in a drought, week after week we’ve received rain. The ground is always damp and glorious to work. Flowers, trees, weeds, and grass cannot be held back by the season. Whenever there’s a little water, they respond vigorously.

  5. From Scott Weber:

    Absolutely beautiful blooms…I do hope your summer this year is better than last

  6. From Gordon Rigg:

    Loved the pictures, especially the New Dawn roses!

  7. From stone:

    Picote larkspur…. very pretty. My larkspur aren’t anywhere near blooming.
    Yellow salvia? resembles the Spring-blooming corydalis we have here. I think the salvia would be nicer…
    Very exciting blooms…. Mexican plum? pretty… is it edible? I ask because I have a tiny plum here that is very bitter, and edibility is subject to opinion. 🙂

  8. From Steve Mudge (Huntington Beach, CA):

    Beautiful flowers!

    Glad you’re having such nice weather after last summer and winter—SoCal has been abnormally warm too, we’ve had March bloomers with flowers around New Year’s.

  9. From Dan The Gardener:

    Thanks for sharing such list of plants flowering on February 15, 2012. Wish you can update us monthly on what plants are flowering for the said month 🙂

  10. From Peter, Brisbane:

    I love the Souvenir de la Malmaison, and the New Dawn. Are they as fragrant as they look, or just delicately beautiful?