Sunday, February 26, 2012

Buds and flowers and leaves

It was surprising to see a pink haze and realize that two of the redbud trees are blooming. Buds are swelling on the ornamental pear tree. Two roses of Sharon shrubs are leafing out. One live oak has commenced to drop its leaves. The fig tree is getting ready to bud out but isn't quite ready yet. Nothing is occurring in the usual order.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Returning favorites

There's nothing sharper than the greenish yellow of single jonquils on a cloudy day. We love the quill-like leaves and the color and shape of these old-fashioned favorites. Also making their first appearance of the season are wood hyacinths, iphieons, fattening buds on the Dutch irises, and leaves from Dutch tulips that last flowered years and years ago.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Undeterred by the rain

No flowers have been pounded into the ground by the welcome rain, torrential though it has been at times. We're celebrating the arrival in profusion of Grand Primo, Avalanche, Minnow, and Fortissimo. On these overcast days, the new shoots of fennel look especially attractive, making a fine background for all the spring bulbs.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More and more flowers

Anemones continue to be everywhere. Today brought the first grape hyacinth and the first ornamental allium. Together, Martinette (a miniature), Ice Follies, Carlton, and Fortune daffodils brighten the yard. We just saw a honeybee among the milkweed flowers. It's been mild enough to bring us chile flowers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More new arrivals

Our next-door neighbor is way ahead of us with leucojums, but this morning we saw the first 'jums (snowflakes)of the year here. Another new arrival in some profusion is Jet Star, a small narcissus with an ridged orange trumpet and a back-swept yellow perianth. Each day there are more Ice Follies, Fortune, and Carlton daffodils, none yet plucked by a larcenous passer-by. We love the glorious clash of colors where doubled bright-red anemones are companions to strongly fuchsia-colored ones. Window-boxes filled with lettuces of varied colors from an apple-green to a strongly red-violet one and leaves from the smooth-edged to the very ruffled. Asclepias and calendula continue to bloom, as do English peas, now forming some pods. Hyacinths are here now in four colors: two types of blue and a darker and a more pastel pink. We have seen cedar waxwings overhead and kinglets on branches. This morning, we heard a dove for the first time in months.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Erlicheer today

We can never remember what these little double white flowers are called. They came in a mix of bulbs for naturalizing years ago. they never seem to multiply, but they don't fade out, either. We're not devotees of double flowers, but these are very sweet. Erlicheer has withstood the winds and the rains very well. We always forget that the blue hyacinths have the best scent.

Friday, February 03, 2012

New flowers this morning

They are: one appearance by daffodil Ice Follies, one by daffodil Fortune, and one by a strongly blue anemone blanda.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Modern material culture: fan spray nozzle

These are the very best for gently watering newly germinated plants and for moistening the soil or the planting medium in pots where seeds have been planted but have not yet sprouted. On a whim, we bought one years ago (at that time for a dollar or perhaps two). We've been looking for another ever since. The old one was yellow. The new one's purple. One has straight-line ridges and the other, ridges in the form of chevrons. The original had no label; if there was a brand-name on the cardboard to which it was probably stapled or blister-packed for display, that was discarded long ago. The new one has "Orbit" in raised letters right on it. We've always called it a water-comb, because the three rows of fine spray are reminiscent of strands of hair. It's an Orbit fan spray nozzle.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Our mystery narcissus remains mysterious

These flowers appeared among the Montopolis narcissus that came from Bastrop all those years ago. They never multiply and in different years they come at different times. Each flower is tiny and there are up to four on each fairly tall and sturdy stem. The scent is similar to that of most narcissi, but carries a tiny hint of lemon. These miniatures have a very pale creamy yellow perianth and a tiny somewhat darker yellow cup. We have never found any for sale in any catalogue. Also appearing for the first time are deep pink hyacinths, near the gate to Mack's yard. Some chile plants are in bloom. They're in pots and haven't been indoors yet this season. Joining the several red anemones is one magenta specimen. We hear cardinals and wrens each of these mornings.