Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Apropos of April

I never seem to get organized in time to participate in variously occurring "days" where garden bloggers show off what is blooming at regular intervals (or in other cases, what their foliage stars are up to). I applaud those who do so.  I openly admit that sort of advance planning is not one of my strengths. 

Regardless, there is a lot going on in our spaces this time of year.  At the risk of being designated a "petal pusher" (I'm looking at you, DC!) and apropos of nothing more than April itself?  Here's what's been grabbing most of the local attention lately.
This Grass Spider (Agelenidae) is apparently suffering from an identity crisis as it spent all day posing on the pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa).

Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) has rewarded me for cutting back overhanging branches with an abundance of scarlet trumpets.

This stray cat has adopted our garden spaces.  We keep her well fed and I can gratefully report no signs of bird predation on her part, though she does find the water in the birdbath especially flavorful.
The Hub carefully repots and sets out his growing collection of Plumeria alba plants annually.  This anole (Anolis carolinensis) will be disappointed they've been moved to their summertime spot in the back as he was a regular sun bather out front in the afternoons.
This Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas or Flanders poppy) is not very deer resistant but I have hopes it will freely reseed so Bambi's periodic chomp-pruning won't keep me from having a few blooms each year.
The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) was designated the official state bird of Texas in 1927.  This one serenades the entire neighborhood from various perches in the tops of the oak trees.   Occasionally he'll set up in trees close to a street light on our corner and sing all night long.  All.  Night.  Long.
Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata - I think) glows in the morning sun.

Another singer in the local oaks - a black crested titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus)
A consistent favorite of local gardeners and birds alike - Possumhaw Holly (Ilex decidua).
I realize Pyracantha coccinea is now considered invasive, but this one has been growing here since before we moved in and has reached considerable size and thorniness.  The birds love it and as long as I don't have any work to do in the bed close by, I do too.
It can look pretty sketchy off season, but it is hard to beat Damianita Chrysactinia mexicana) in bloom.
I wish these two were more seasonally synchronized, but at least I've got one "late" bluebonnet playing nicely with an "early" Salvia coccinea.
Mexican honeysuckle (Justicia specigera) growing in between paddles of Opuntia ellisiana.
The delicate bloom stalk of Provence Lavender (Lavandula Intermedia which grows well here in Texas), highlighted against a backdrop of Damianita.
With a promise of blooms to come, Opuntia ellisiana, or spineless prickly pear, is setting out rows of buds.
Those are most certainly the highlights of our garden spaces so far this April. Happy Earth Day 2014 (hey - I can plan ahead!) and thanks as always for dropping by.


Debra said...

All great shots as usual but that one of the yellow cornflower is one for contests. I love the light and shadow in that one. and anoles ... well they don't ever have to do anything but simply be. I love them so much (heart heart heart. There is a coral honeysuckle here. I planted it three years ago but only this year does it look like it might actually flower. Can't wait; hope it will look even half as pretty as yours.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Aw shucks lady. You are too kind. Aren't anoles fun? I can watch them for hours. I hope your coral honeysuckle will reward you with the blooms you want this season. They can be show stoppers! I'll look forward to seeing it on your blog.

Pam/Digging said...

Interesting to see your Mexican honeysuckle looking so good. Mine got completely killed to the ground in that last freeze and is just now pushing up a few tentative leaves. Blooms are some way off.

TexasDeb said...

Pam: Microclimate! That honeysuckle is on a hill that faces the street towards the south, well protected from cold. It gets little water but a lot of sun. I have another in a pot that gets much less sun and dies back every winter. It rarely blooms. I ought to move it but have purple morning glory close by and want the purple and the orange together.