February 15th, 2020
GBBD 20200215: Feb 2020

2020-02-15. Prunus mexicans. Barely holding on after a cedar elm limb fell and crushed all three Mexican plum trees beneath it.

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

February 2020

All of a sudden, the garden is changing markedly every day. February is the month that I can hardly wait to rush outdoors to see what’s happening. It’s not the most floriferous or showy month. But, in Austin, we can feel the tension between the seasons. Spring won’t hold back much longer.

Summer snowflakes open in front of my usual winter bedding out plants, Viola cornuta and purple oxalis.

On schedule, my neighbor’s redbud tree signals it’s the week of Valentine’s Day. And the first bluebonnets are opening…almost ten days later than last year, but a bunch are about to open all at once.

After an almost non-existent winter, this has been a strange spring. The wildflowers got off to a very late start because of a hot, dry fall. Then rain and warmer-than-average temperatures in late December and throughout January put the flowers (and weeds) into overdrive. They acted like they’d missed the starting gun and sprouted and started sending up bloom stalks as quick as they could.

I’ve got bluebonnets just opening and others just sprouting. The tradescantia is flowering but no false dayflowers. Duranta and Salvia madrensis which normally would flower with the fall rains, are flowering now on last year’s growth. We haven’t had a freeze hard enough to kill any of the perennials back to the ground.

Rose ‘Blush Noisette’

The roses ‘Souvenir del Malmaison’ and ‘New Dawn’ have been flowering. And have buds on them. They have faded flowers today but I can’t really say that they’re flowering today.

The Meyer’s lemon tree still has a lot of lemons on it. We’ve made 4 batches of marmalade so far and are giving lemons away. Best harvest ever, probably because it rained so much in the spring and early summer of last year when the lemons were forming. Usually it gets hot and dry and most of the fruit drops just after it sets.

A few tiny flowers can be spotted on the pigeonberry. Mostly berries…and last year’s leaves are bronzed by frost. I’ve started cutting it back for the new season’s growth. Ditto the Salvia madrensis and ruellia. All are flowering on last year’s growth and putting out new growth. Usually, the old growth has frozen and and I cut back these perennials by this point in the gardening year.

The foul weeds are rampant.

Complete List for February 15, 2020

  • Duranta erecta
  • chickweed, goose grass, henbit
  • Leucojum aestivum
  • Lonicera fragrantissima
  • Lupinus texensis
  • Narcissus tazetta ‘Grand Primo’
  • Oxalis triangularis
  • Prunus mexicana
  • Rivina humilus (on old growth)
  • Rose ‘Blush Noisette’
  • Rose that yellow one I’ve forgotten the name of
  • Ruellia (on old growth)
  • Salvia madrensis (on old growth)
  • Setcreasia pallida
  • Tradescantia
  • Viola cornuta ‘Penny Denim: Jump-Up’
  • Viola cornuta ‘Penny Peach: Jump-Up’

by M Sinclair Stevens

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