April 15th, 2009
GBBD 200904: April 2009

California poppy Mikado
California poppy ‘Mikado’.

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

April 15, 2009

Carol may dream of May, but at Zanthan Gardens the month worth waiting and working for is April. More flowers are blooming right now than any other time of year. Austin had a little rain in March and that brought our drought-stricken garden to life. I can’t begin to photograph everything that’s blooming right now or even all that’s new from last month. So I just took a few photos of my favorites and put the complete list at the end.

I like small and airy flowers, “fairy flowers” Dawn called them. We went shopping at The Great Outdoors together last week and I couldn’t resist this Dahlberg Daisy, Thymophylla tenuiloba. I much prefer it to the larger, coarse-leafed Engelmann daisy. I also bought Spanish lavender, Lavandula stoechas which has huge showy bracts.
Dahlberg Daisy
Dahlberg Daisy ‘Golden Fleece’.

The duranta has been flowering non-stop since last year. Our winter was so mild that it didn’t freeze down to the ground as it typically does. I took this photo primarily so you could see the mass of larkspur behind it. I really like jewel-toned purples and violets.
Duranta erecta
Duranta erecta in front of larkspur.

I can’t resist a blue flower either. The bluebonnets and the baby blue eyes had it rough this year and are fading fast. The Spanish bluebells sent up only two flowers. The promising news is that La Niña weather pattern might finally be at an end. Maybe Austin will have a normal summer–you know, where we have only 13 100° days, not 50+. The yellow bearded iris is an heirloom iris that came with my yard. It’s very common in Austin and if you know what it is, tell me.
Iris flavascens
Unidentified bearded iris (maybe Iris flavascens) in front of bluebonnets on the left and baby blue eyes on the right.

I recently featured ‘Strictly Ballroom’ but I couldn’t resist a final photo. I think this is the last flower. I’m glad it made it to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.
iris Strictly Ballroom
bearded iris, Strictly Ballroom.

Is it cheating if you buy flowers on GBBD? After a trip to the periodontist this morning I stopped by Barton Springs Nursery and bought this Louisiana iris and a Nierembergia gracilis ‘Starry Eyes’. AJM has wanted Louisana irises since he saw them at an Austin iris show even before we had a pond.
Louisiana iris, Full Eclipse
Louisiana iris, Full Eclipse.

I try different sweet peas every year. This year it is ‘Knee-hi Mix’ a variety for containers. After planting a container I had some seeds left over so I planted them next to a trellis by the front door. The ones in the ground are now as tall as I am and have been blooming since March 6th. The ones in the pot finally started blooming last week. I prefer scented sweet peas and these aren’t very…except for this one with the broken color. I’m trying to save seeds but today also marked the appearance of the inch worms and, of course, they decided to nibble on the only flower I was interested in saving seeds from.
Lathyrus odoratus Knee-hi mix
Lathyrus odoratus ‘Knee-hi Mix’.

Love-in-the-mist is one of the plants (like cilantro or baby blue eyes) that I let self-sow to use as filler in the meadow. This year, I’m glad to see the white ones making a comeback.Nigella damascena

Every rose except ‘Red Cascade’ is blooming today and even it has buds. ‘Mermaid’ is a vicious climber with huge flowers that glow in the moonlight. After years of growing in the shade it found the sunlight and is now doing its best to climb up and strangle a rose of Sharon tree. I love it so much I can’t help but indulge it.
rose Mermaid
rose ‘Mermaid’.

Although my original ‘New Dawn’ rose died last fall, I did manage to strike a rose from it several years ago and it is in full bloom this week.
rose New Dawn
rose ‘New Dawn’.

I did a close-up shot of Confederate jasmine last year so this year I wanted to show it how I usually see it–a huge mass of white. Confederate jasmine is an evergreen perennial vine which can handle Austin’s heat. The main reason to grow it, is its intoxicating scent. I never get tired of it. When it’s blooming, I always wish I’d planted more.
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Confederate jasmine.

St Joseph’s lily is another heirloom bulb that you see all over old Austin neighborhoods. It looks like a giant amaryllis and is in the same family. St. Joseph’s Day is March 19th but it didn’t start blooming in my garden until April 3rd.
Hippeastrum x Johnsonii
St. Joseph’s lily. Related to amaryllis rather than a true lily.

April 15, 2009

Complete List for April

The list of all plants flowering today, April 15th 2009, at Zanthan Gardens. I’ve also noted if the plant was blooming on GBBD April 15th, 2007 or 2008.

  • Allium neapolitanum (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Aloe barbadensis (2008, 2009)
  • Asclepias curassavica (overwintered) (2009)
  • Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ (2008, 2009)
  • Brugmansia (from Annie in Austin) (2009)
  • Centaurea cyanus ‘Black Magic’ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Commelinantia anomala (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Consolida ambigua (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Coriandrum sativum (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Crinum bulbispermum (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Dahlberg daisy ‘Golden Fleece’ (2009)
  • Datura (from Diana which overwintered) (2009)
  • Diospyros kaki ‘Eureka’ (Japanese persimmon) (2007, 2009)
  • Duranta erecta (overwintered) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Engelmannia peristenia/pinnatifida (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Eschscholzia californica ‘Mikado’ (2008, 2009)
  • Eupatorium wrightii (from Pam) (2009)
  • Hesperaloe parviflora (2008, 2009)
  • Hippeastrum x johnsonii (St. Joseph’s lily) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • iris bearded ‘Strictly Ballroom (2009)
  • Iris flavescens (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Iris x fulvala ‘Full Eclipse’ (2009)
  • jalapeno (2009)
  • Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) (2009)
  • Lantana montevidensis (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Lantana x hybrida ‘New Gold’ (2008, 2009)
  • Lathyrus odoratus (2007, 2008, 2009) ‘Knee-Hi Mix’
  • Lavandula heterophyla ‘Goodwin Creek Grey‘ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Lavandula stoechas (2009)
  • Lobularia maritima (2008, 2009)
  • Lonicera japonica (2009)
  • Lupinus texensis (fading) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Malvaviscus arboreus (2009)
  • Mirabilis jalapa (2008, 2009)
  • Nemophila insignis (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’ (2008, 2009)
  • Nierembergia gracilis ‘Starry Eyes’ (2009)
  • Nigella damascena (2008, 2009)
  • Oenothera speciosa (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Orchid (from Dawn) (2009)
  • Oxalis crassipis (hot pink) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Oxalis pes-caprae ‘Scotty’s Surprise’ (fading) (2008, 2009)
  • Oxalis triangularis (both purple and white) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Phlomis lanata (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Polanisia dodecandra (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Retama (2008, 2009)
  • Rhaphiolepis indica (end of the season) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette‘ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • rose ‘Ducher’ (waning) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • rose ‘French Lace’ (2007, 2009)
  • rose white Lady Banksia (my neighbor’s but droops over the fence) (2009)
  • rose ‘Madame Alfred Carriere‘ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • rose ‘Mermaid’ (2009)
  • rose ‘New Dawn’ (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • rose ‘Prosperity’ (full bloom) (2008, 2009)
  • rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • ruellia (overwintered) (2009)
  • Sedum album (2008, 2009)
  • Setcreasea pallida, both colors
  • Solanum jasminoides (potato vine) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Spiraea bridal wreath (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • tomatillo (2009)
  • tomato (2007, 2009)
  • Trachelospermum jasminoides (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Tradescantia (spiderwort) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Verbena canadensis (lavender wilding) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Viola cornuta (2007, 2008, 2009) ‘Sorbet Coconut Duet’
  • Vitia sativa (common vetch, a pretty weed) (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • yaupon holly (2007, 2009)
  • Zexmenia hispida (from Pam) (2009)

by M Sinclair Stevens

24 Responses to post “GBBD 200904: April 2009”

  1. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    An astounding list of blooms and outstanding record keeping to aspire to. And your flower pictures are gorgeous. I love the “fairy flowers”, too, and think all gardens should have them. Thank you for a wonderful bloom day post!

    I’m glad that I had a list from last month and last year to use as a starter. After merging the two lists, I spent a lot of time running around the garden to see if something was still blooming. This post took a long time to compile! I used to inventory flowers every week in my old journal–before I had so many flowers. Now I’m satisfied to do it once a month. Thanks to your GBBD, I make the effort. Otherwise I might not. — mss

  2. From Cheryl in Austin:

    I seem to love the simple flowers and then I get on your site and am blown away by the ruffles! Beautiful, beautiful show…I too am very impressed by your accounting!

    The ruffled flowers are very photogenic but I think I mainly have simple flowers; that is, I like small dainty-flowered plants like sweet alyssum, cilantro, or love-in-the-mist over big showy flowers like zinnias, petunias, or marigolds. However, I’m trying both zinnias and marigolds again this year just to see if I can have flowers into summer. — mss

  3. From our friend Ben in Pennsylvania:

    How I envy you your California poppies, MSS! To me they’re one of the most cheering flowers of all. I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve tried (and failed) to grow them!

    Austin does really well with flowers that are sown in the fall, grow over winter, and bloom in the spring. Over the years that’s basically all I have in my garden. It makes for a great spring but it looks a bit empty and ratty the rest of the year. That’s just me, though. Plenty of other Austin gardeners have the will to grow flowers all four seasons. — mss

  4. From Jenny Austin:

    Nice to see your Mikado poppies. I have had little success with getting other colors to grow. I babied along some pink ones this year but they are actually growing in my vegy bed. I also have the white one. I have white nigella this year and they were all blue last year. Maybe they have been biding their time. Your roses look so healthy. Mine are doing very poorly with blackspot once again on the Zeph. I think it is my soil they don’t like.

    One of my roses, ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’, is struggling with black spot at the moment. But she is badly situated in what is now almost full shade. (It was a sunny spot when I planted her. But, you know, trees grow.) One benefit of our unusually dry spring is that the roses are not balling or getting as mildewed or as much black spot as usual. See. I’m always trying to find that silver lining. — mss

  5. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    I don’t think it’s cheating to post photos of new plants, especially when they’re such a great purple! I’m so glad your garden is alive with color and scent. I love the photo of the Duranta, which is beautiful in its own right, but all those Larkspur are awesome!

  6. From Lori, Austin TX:

    I really love the “fairy flowers” as well. And I love how so many of your close-up shots this month have a field of flowers in the background. And your ‘Strictly Ballroom’ iris in particular is gorgeous.

  7. From Darla:

    Your flowers are gorgeous!! Thank you for visiting me and I will happily type in black..I want everyone to feel welcome, thanks for letting me know!! Have a great gardening day!!!!

  8. From Annie in Austin:

    Your skill at growing so many beautiful annuals just kills me – Poppies, sweet peas, bluebonnets, larkspur, Nigella, Nemophilia, Cilantro!

    Strictly Ballroom is very lovely and the new Louisiana iris is a spectacular color. The list says the little Brug I gave you is blooming…is that right, MSS? That darn plant never had a flower before the end of summer!

    Happy Blooming Day,
    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    It’s true. The brugmansia you gave me is opening up a flower. But it was in a really awkward spot for a photograph. It has a couple of other buds on it as well. It’s in a pot now but I’m thinking of planting it out. — mss

  9. From KayGee in Indiana:

    Your blooms are fantastic! I could almost smell the bearded iris — makes me anxious to see mine bloom, soon, I hope.
    Happy GBBD!

  10. From Gail:

    Lovely, really lovely flowers and you photograph them so beautifully. Your list of in bloom annuals and perennials is impressive…sigh, to be able to master the art of growing poppies. The Sweet Pea is definitely on the list of “I sure wish I could”. I planted Red Cascade this winter and have hopes it will be happy here…it just called to me and I brought it home. Do you have a photo of it in bloom last year?

    I don’t really have a good photo of ‘Red Cascade’. I thought I could cascade it over my picket fence but it really seems to prefer to be a ground cover rose. The flowers are a very deep red but they are also small, not much bigger than a quarter. It makes a pretty mass of red flowers the individual ones aren’t particularly showy. I’m looking forward to comparing experiences with you. — mss

  11. From Frances:

    Hi MSS, a great batch of flowering plants! I remember the larkspur, cilantro and bluebonnets last year at the fling as being like a dream. It still looks beautiful, but must be different each year. I am still working on the larkspur look, but the cilantro refuses to cooperate here. I love Mermaid, we had it in The Woodlands, what a monster, but with the sweetest flower ever. Love the iris too, we just bought Black Gamecock and am hoping for a wet enough spot for it. Happy bloom day!

    Yes. One of the “features” of this type of garden is that it changes from year to year. The plants are loosely designed inside a framework. I enjoy the ephemeral nature of this design but it does make it harder to manage because I can’t set up any permanent watering system. It relies on rainfall or a watering by hand. Thus I’m always looking for plants that can get along mostly on their own–although as part of an experiment this year I transplanted over 400 larkspur in addition to those that self-sowed. — mss

  12. From Linda Lehmusvirta Austin Texas:

    Oh, must have those poppies. And more irises. I can see why like them more them daylilies! What an outstanding collection you have, despite the evil drought. Love the dahlbergs, can’t have them, so I’ll just appreciate your pictures. And yea, New Dawn made it! And I guess I need to have a talk with my Johnsonii amarylis!

    I’ll save some seeds for you. You’ll have to tell me which colors you like particularly: the light orange, or the burnt orange. Or would you just like a mixture? — mss

  13. From Lisa at Greenbow:

    You opened your post with one of my favorite flowers, California poppies!! Yipee… Great selection of blooms. Happy GBBD.

    Thanks. I just can’t take enough photos of those bright, little jewels. I think I’m going to grow twice as many next year. — mss

  14. From Sweet Bay NC:

    Gorgeous Bloom Day post. Wow.

    I have Mermaid and love it too. Beautiful picture of her in bloom — you captured the beauty of the stamens with the flower wonderfully.

    Thanks. I did notice that most of the roses had browned edges from the heat and dry. Luckily, it’s raining finally. All the plants will be much happier. — mss

  15. From Pam/Digging:

    Like you, I enjoy the yellow flowers of the Engelmann’s daisy you gave me, but the foliage is too coarse. I should switch over to Dahlberg daisy too. Gotta have some yellows to make everything else pop.

    Yep. You might remember I was never thrilled with those Englemann daisies. They are coarse and aggressive. The self-sow prolifically but also form big tubers so are perennial. For yellows I prefer the Jerusalem sage, Phlomis lanata. — mss

  16. From Cindy, MCOK:

    Somehow I missed sowing my orange California poppies this year … your picture of Mikado makes me wish I hadn’t! I do have Buttercream poppies from Renee’s Seeds blooming quite prolifically. I’ll be saving seeds from those and would be happy to share.

    I’d love some Buttercream poppies. I bought some ‘Apricot Chiffon” from Select Seeds I’ll have to wait until fall to plant them. The strange thing about the ‘Mikado’ is they came up very pale clear orange the first two years but this year (maybe it’s the self-sown) are a much deeper burnt orange, some looking like shot silk. I like this color even better. — mss

  17. From Carrie, N.Ireland:

    I need to have those poppies in my life! Heavenly photos, not fond of ruffles but my goodness your roses are to die for. NO, not jealous at all, hehe 🙂 Great to find your blog.

    I don’t know if California poppies would grow in Ireland. They like good drainage. Sometimes Austin’s heavy clay is even too much for them. Although they are perennial in their native state, I usually have to start them again each fall. In Austin’s mild climate they grow over winter and then bloom in spring. — mss

  18. From Diana - Austin:

    MSS — I’m glad to know your Duranta overwintered, mine didn’t and I had to cut it back. As always, I am in awe of your poppies (and still no success in growing them here), and that Ballroom Iris is stunning. It does look just like a frilly ballgown. I like it when they give plants appropriate names. Though I don’t have room for any more roses, I’d love to smell that New Dawn – I’m a sucker for the highly-scented roses. You and Annie are giving me Love in a Mist envy … I’ve never had that…how much sun does it take? Happy GBBD!

    The love-in-a-mist has the same growth habits as larkspur. I sow them about the same time, they overwinter, and then bloom for the same time. It has great seedheads for dried flower arrangements. I’d save some seeds for you but you should really try to get some from Jenny Stocker. She has some super lovely double ones–much more impressive and a purer white than mine. — mss

  19. From renee (renee's roots):

    MSS, your poppies are stunning! I must try some of those Mikados — my poppies look so ordinary and pale in comparison to yours.

    Your April garden is so impressive. Have you considered a book? How about “April in My Texas Garden” I would buy it.

    You’re so sweet. I do seem to have an Enchanted April but Elizabeth von Armin has beaten me to the title. (A delicious book it is too.) I can save some ‘Mikado’ seeds for you. They have gone into all sorts of crazy colors this year and I like them better than the originals. — mss

  20. From ryan:

    That’s a big long bloom list. That mikado poppy looks great.

  21. From Bonnie:

    Gorgeous. My poppies are so tiny- they look like they need a b-12 shot! I’ll keep trying!

    When I started my California poppies late, then they were very small and didn’t bloom until June. Now I plant them in the fall, like bluebonnets, so that the plant has a chance to establish itself over winter before flowering. One or two sometimes survive the summer but I usually have to replant them each year. — mss

  22. From MrBrownThumb:

    The St Joseph’s lily is pretty awesome. Wish I lived in a climate where tender bulbs could be overwintered. :0(

  23. From Dawn:

    Wow! MSS, you are the Magical Fairy Flower Grower of all time. That is an amazing number of gorgeous blossoms, my friend. I’m glad the Dahlberg Daisy you bought is blooming so beautifully. And I hope the Spanish Lavender is behaving as well. The variegated sedum I bought that same day is already spreading in my garden. Thanks again for introducing me to ‘The Great Outdoors’.

    All of your iris are so lovely. My mother is bringing some iris down from Missouri in a few weeks. I hope they will live for me as well as yours.

    BTW, I think all blooms must count on GBBD, especially those bought after visiting the periodontist! Your new Louisiana iris will look perfect near your fish pond. I love those purple flowers.


  24. From Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com:

    Wow. You are so ahead in the poppy dept. I have tons of greenery but only one poppy has opened to date. I’m happy to see your love in a mist. One of the dear UK bloggers sent me some seeds last year and I’ve yet to put them in the ground. Now I will know what to expect and now have a better idea of where to plant them. Thanks!