Friday, February 19, 2010

The "Butterfly" Flower

I don't have anything blooming in my garden yet. There are buds on the older daffodils. The new daffs are still trying to come up as are the tulips and hyacinths. But on this dreary, cool day in February, there are a few containers with blooms that stand out against the cloudy day giving it a bright, almost spring-like look. Who would think such a tiny little flower could add so much color to an otherwise drab garden.
Of course I am talking about the little violas. My Johhny-Jump-Ups. I have several plants in pots. They are so small I always think they will not be very showy in a garden bed.
But this little guy is blooming away in the bed by the flagstone patio. I decided to read a little about these sweet flowers, and this is what I found: "Viola is the name of a genus containing about 500 different species. Most of the violas cultivated in gardens are grown as annuals or short-lived perennials. However, many will self-seed and give you years of delight...Viola tricolor / Johnny-Jump-Up is a self-seeding perennial with nickle-sized flowers marked with purple, yellow and white." I read on that violas are often taken for granted because they exhibit more tolerance to heat and cold than other panises. Hum..sounds like we need to appreciate these little flowers a bit more!
My pansies in the beds look terrible. I am hoping they will perk up when spring arrives. The few I have in containers look ok..
..but even prettier when paried with a pot of Johnnies.
Are you wondering why this post is called The
Flower. Let me explain. When my youngest son was a little boy, he saw my Mother's bed full of these pretty little flowers. "Oh" he squealed.."look at all the pretty butterflies!" From then on, Mother and I always refer to our Johnnies as "Butterfly Flowers."
I hope you have something blooming in your winter garden today.
"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment."
Georgia O'Keefe

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beautiful Snow! Now What?

The snow we had was beautiful! It was indeed a winter wonderland Nothing we have ever seen before. In all, we got a total of 12 1/2 inches. That is a record for the Dallas area.
ately, it did quite a bit of damage to trees in lots of neighbor-
hoods and there are still those without power. I hate that. Other than some sinus problems and not feeling great, I have enjoyed the beautiful and serene snow inside a warm house, by the fire, drinking hot chocolate. My hearts are with those not as fortunate, and with the wonderful groups of people out in the cold trying to restore power.
The snow is starting to melt, but it's still cold, so it is melting slowly. As I walked outside this morning to a slushy flagstone walkway and patio, I had a gardening panic attack. Snow is over--now what? See the beds on either side of the walkway? That is where all my bulbs are planted. Will they make it?
This is where I planted new bulbs, so they are not up like the old ones in front. They were just starting to get some height.
All I can see are the daffodils, and I can't see all of them. The tulips and hyacinths are completely covered with snow.
And then there are all those bluebonnets in the bed around the new tree. They are completely covered. Somebody please tell everything gone? I almost hate to know, but I need to be prepared. I hate to sound so ignorant, but we normally don't have weather like this in my part of Texas.

Goodness, I hate to lose everything I planted. Spring! Please hurry!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It started snowing around 3:00 am and it is now almost 5:00 pm and still snowing! And, the weather service is saying we have several more hours of snow! I know this is not a big deal to everyone, but I haven't seen snow like this since I was a little girl! Our yard is covered, but as you can see, the streets are just slushy.
The snow comes down in really large flakes at times. This is the view from our front to the house across the street. A winter wonderland.
You can see the snow piled up high on plants and the birdbath.
The snow is so wet, the wax myrtle is falling over because of the weight. This patio is where I live when the weather is nice. Not today! I'll be inside by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate!
Hang in there little daff! It will be warm and sunny really soon! (hum....maybe Phil the groundhog knew what he was talking about!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bulb Update

It's raining...
again, but before the rain started coming down hard, I decided to check out my bulbs. These daffodils are in front and have been around for years. As you can tell, they have been up quite a while and I think I see signs of flowers. (or is that wishful thinking!)
Also in front, and also older bulbs, these are daffs to the right and Early Louisiana Jonquils to the left. The Early Jonquils are heirloom bulbs I planted many years ago. They are transplants from one of my Mother's neighbors. My very favorites! You'll hear more about these I am sure in future posts.
Now for the newbies. I bought several different kinds of daffodils last fall. When I planted them I took a popsicle stick and marked them all. But, bad decision on my part. Our bad weather has completed destroyed the markers, so-all I know is that these are new. Looks like 2 different kind to me.
This is the bed I planted lots of Breck bulbs in. This is a great place to let them naturalize. You can see them just starting to come up. This area is the one I was worried about due to poor drainage. Guess all the bulbs did not rot, but I don't see as many as I know I planted. Hopefully there are more to come.
Just starting to see these hyacinths. I planted a few new ones, but there are some from last year too and I do not remember exactly where they were planted. New, old--I am just thrilled to see them!
There are many more daffs
ing up and I was really happy. But I knew something was missing..the tulips! Where are the tulips? I reminded myself that daffodils are early and tulips come much later. On a closer inspection this afternoon I do see this bulb just starting to peek through. I have to really look good to tell hyacinth from tulip, but I am pretty sure this is a tulip. Oh, I hope there are more...lots more! I planted so many this year. They are all planted on either side of the flagstone path leading from the house to the flagstone patio. Last year I had several and the view from the house was just beautiful. I knew I needed to plant lots in fall, which I did, but not sure how our weather is going to affect them. I read that it is not uncommon for bulbs to rot in years that are really rainy, and well...that has been us this year!
I know Phil the Groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter, but coming out everyday to check the progress of bulbs is one sure sign spring is looming around the corner!