March 28, 2011

Spring Moments Captured

The garden is changing at a rapid pace and there is so much happening that I can't take photos fast enough!

New leaves of the Japanese Aralia - fatsia japonica are opening up.  I love the detail of the new leaves and that they resemble small hands as they unfurl from a tight fist.

The Globemallow - Sphaeralcea ambigua is extending a gracious welcome to spring with lots of cheery orange blossoms on gray foliage.  The foliage is a nice contrast and will cool down this sunny spot later in the season as the temperatures heat up.

One of my gardening resolutions this year is to have less container plantings that need to be protected in the winter.  So I'm adding more hostas.  Unfortunately, I didn't keep the tag so no id on the variety of this one but I'm trying to be more vigilant about keeping track of these details! (Another resolution).   There are so many varieties and their strong textural quality will add a lush feel to the patio with the benefit of not needed to be removed or sheltered in the winter. 

I'm a big fan of Tropical Sage - Salvia Coccinea.  Last season I added white flowering plants to a bed with dappled light and I'm looking forward to them blooming this season.  I'll plant these under some understory trees to brighten the area.  Tropical Sage is a great plant that can handle the sun or shade, reseeds freely and requires little water once established.

The view from the patio through the leafing Japanese Maple toward the brick wall is especially pretty right now with the native Yellow Columbine - Aquilegia hinckleyana in bloom.  The pansies are still going strong but will succumb to our heat soon enough.  It was 90F on Saturday but has since cooled down with highs in the 70's (F) this week.  We have had no significant rain and I fear that our summer is going to be especially brutal. 

The stock tank pond has been cleaned and the plants divided and fertilized.  The Colorado Water Lily - Nymphaea 'Colorado' has been a delightful addition to my garden.  The stock tank pond was added last July so this is my first spring to experience a pond.  The Colorado water lily has been amazing.  It last bloomed in December and showed its first spring bloom about 10 days ago.  It's blooming again today - love it!

The Oakleaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee' is flourishing under the canopy of Live Oaks and Japanese Maple.  This was on my "gotta have it" list last season and I can't wait to see how it performs.  I'm really hoping that it lives up to it's "pee wee" status and doesn't get huge on me.

This Anole was demonstrating to another nearby brown Anole.  This one was green when I came upon it and as it began demonstrating, it changed from green to brown.  They are fascinating!

I've decided to plant the Gardenia - Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' bushes in containers on the patio so that I can better meet their soil requirements.  The location will also allow better viewing of the flowers and the fragrance will be enjoyed there too.

It's a long story but the gist is that I wasn't able to be where I needed to be to get a shot of the "supermoon" rising, so here it is high in the sky.  It was a beautiful sight!

And to end on a beautiful note, a single Columbine bloom hovering above delicate leaves.  They just seem to float lightly in the air and I'm mesmerized by their ethereal quality.

Spring never fails to fill me with hope and promise!


  1. Beautiful pictures again! I do miss some textures though ;-) I am so happy that I know now what your garden looks like for real! I know where some of those flowers live. Thank you for a great evening, the yummiest salad and a great chocolate cake. I love this family!

    See ya, Sandra

  2. How stunning these plants look...where to begin...I want the 70 degree weather...Ok just some plants starting and more flowers will be fine with me...I hope you love your pond..I saw the water lily leaves all red and curled starting to grow below the surface this weekend...even with the pond continually freezing with our cold temps...that pot of pansies is a keeper too and the columbine..well ytou know I love them...I love your perspectives!!

  3. All lovelies, each and every one (except the anole, and he's just odd looking). My favorites, though, are the simple little red pansies leaning out to say "hello there, spring".

  4. Gorgeous pics of your spring unfurling :-) And the moon shot is amazing!!! I was at a BSF leaders retreat all weekend, and when I got home I was amazed at the change in my garden in just a few days! New things every day!! Such a fun time :-) 12 yards of compost coming tomorrow -- woo hoo! My garden will be so happy :-)

  5. One beautiful photo after another, but that Anole shot killed me! If there is one type of creature that I would most love to see in my garden, it's lizards.

    Another strong YES! vote for Salvia coccinea. The red ones with the black calyxes are my favorite.

    Globe mallow: does it reseed? Does it grow from seed easily? Do you have any extra seed to share? :-)

  6. As usual Cat, these shots are fantastic!Your garden is a lot more `advanced` than ours in Britain, but we are slowly getting there!It has been unseasonably warm over the past few weeks and everything is growing like mad!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  7. Beautiful photos, Cat. I got my gardenia and have decided to do the container planting also. I feel more confident keeping it happier this way, also.

  8. Will be real interested in seeing how your 'Pee Wee' performs - its on my "Pondering List". Also will be watching your hostas. Most of mine play out pretty quickly; so far my only good performer has been 'Gold Standard' Hosta. It has returned every year and usually lasts till freeze, but has never bloomed for me.

  9. Hi Cat, I can't identify with the warm temperatures you describe. With snow on the ground, I can only dream of warmer days to come! That last shot of the Columbine does look ethereal glowing in the sunlight. Just exquisite! I also love the shot of the water lily with the perfect mirrored reflection in the still water of the pond.

  10. It was our pleasure Sandra! Love to you ;)

    Thank you Donna. It's amazing to me that the pond plants can survive the freeze/thaw cycles the ponds go through. Even more amazing to me is the fact that the fish survive!

    I like them too Laurrie and they are especially dear knowing they won't last much longer.

    Thanks Toni. Your garden will be happy! Guess your arm is feeling much better ;)

    Thanks Alan. I adore the anoles and am thankful to have them calling our garden home. They take care of a lot of the pesky insects.

    Thanks John!

    TG, I'm with you. Let me know how your gardenia fares.

    RBell, I checked the link and that is the variety that I have too. It started out slow last summer but this spring has tripled in size in just a couple of weeks. I'm hopeful. Did you put yours in the ground or in pots?

    Jennifer, I can't imagine snow on the ground! Sending lots of warm, spring vibes your way!

  11. it's fun to feel and see your excitement over all the wonderful blooms that are happening! lucky you have warm temps. we have cool temps and lots of breezes. can't complain--but wouldn't mind a blast of heat!

  12. @Laguna Dirt - if you're looking for a blast of heat, just pay us a visit this summer! Then you'll head back to Cali thankful for the cool temps and breezes!

  13. Beautiful images Cat. I really liked the anole. We don't have them and they are darn cute.

  14. What beautiful flowers you have! I always look forward to your blog posts and I keep pencil & paper handy to take notes. I especially like the globemallow and tropical salvia and will be looking for them locally. I'm still waiting for my columbine to bloom. Yours is just exquisite!

  15. Wow! Wow! Wow! I'm truly in love with your photos. I thought they were really good. Yet, they seem to be getting better.

  16. So many great shots, I almost can't find a favorite...almost! I really like the reflection one and the hosta photo is fabulous!

  17. Beautiful photos as always, wonderfully capturing the glory of spring. I especially like the crisp lines and rich colors of the hosta.

  18. I have been meaning to ask you about the hydrangea. I would love to get one and put it ... i don't know where. Beautiful photos, Cat!!

  19. They are cute Donna and always add a bit of excitement to the day when I spot them! I'm easily entertained!

    Wow, thanks Dorothy! What a high compliment. I appreciate your following ;)

    And One, your photos are spectacular I must say ;) Thanks so much for all your encouragement.

    Thanks Marie Elizabeth, I love the water lily too. I hope to have many more hostas to photograph this summer...

    Thank you Chris!

    Amy you could add one to your front garden...they want shade.

  20. So great to see that spring has already arrived in your garden, through these gorgeous shots. It will be another 2 months before we see such color back home.

    Love the shot of the anole - they've become my little 'friends' (as my granddaughters called them) down here in Florida.

    We finally got a good deal (3") of rain here over the past 24 hours - badly needed. Hopefully you get some soon.

  21. Cat girl your "Spring" is absolutely stunning with such gorgeous plants waking up!
    I so love your garden and it's garden babies : ) You have captured gorgeous pictures of your plants and your moon is perfect .. I caught the pre-super moon but not the BIG one either ..
    I just love coming to your blog to see these wonderful plants and your design of the garden .. perfect !

  22. Wow!Very stunning and gorgeous photos of your Spring blooms and that Moon so enchanting!

  23. Dear Cat, What a beautiful collection of photographs of your garden details. Lovely. I must say that your portrait of the Columbine is one of the most stunning I have ever seen. The cool Gardenia shot right before the cool moon is gorgeous. I am impressed you can get a shot of the moon like that when it is so high. I love the pansies and background photo too. I do hope you will get rain soon and that the summer will not be too hot for you.

  24. It's amazing for me to hear you talk about the temperatures getting too high for pansies. It's only March, how can that be?! Days like this it really hits me how far away some of my blog friends really are.

  25. Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  26. 90? Wow!!! I'm hoping to have a tiny pot pond this summer I just haven't worked out the logistics yet. Gorgeous photos! :o) Love the comparison of aralia leaves to hands.

  27. I say, Cat, you really have an excellent artistic sense... thought the shot from the patio was very good until I looked through the previous two posts... oooh, I am so impressed...

  28. Your photos of the garden are just outstanding. I wish I had such an eye. The mallow is on my list of plants to look for at the WFC sale- If I make it in time!! Saw it at PAm's and now again in yours. Does it bloom all summer and what kind of spot does it like best?

  29. Rick, I wish we had gotten some of that rain...skipped right by yesterday ;/

    Sweet Joy, thank you for all your kind words. I love visiting your blog too :)

    Thank you P3Chandan!

    Thank you Carol!

    Marguerite, that's how I feel about so many folks still dealing with snow! Unbelievable ;)

    Thank you Julie!

    Thanks Tammy! I hope you get the logistics settled - the pond has brought more fun and fascination than anything I've ever added to my garden!

    Thank you Lrong. I'm an admirer of your work too ;)

    Jenny, thank you. I believe you do have such an eye - your photos and garden are stunning and I can't wait to see the garden in person. The mallow is tough - likes sun, dry conditions, stayed green throughout the winter and was one of the first things to bloom. I think it blooms intermittently through the summer/fall too.

  30. Did you divide the 'Colorado' water lily that is already blooming again?! If so, it goes to show what full sun will do for a water garden. Mine doesn't get nearly as much sun as yours, and while 'Colorado' blooms reliably in summer, it's not an early bloomer like yours. Plus mine is just now coming back from a division last month.

    Rock Rose Jenny, if you don't make it to the Wildflower Center sale, you can find the globe mallow at Barton Springs Nursery, over by the grasses.

  31. Pam, yes I divided the lily about two weeks ago. The single plant bought last summer was divided into three plants. I gave one away so have two in the pond. I will probably give one of them away later in the summer if it gets too crowded. It may be ok as I gave away my water was sprawling and overwhelmed the lily. It got a lot of sun through the winter/early spring as the trees were won't get as much now - all the trees have leafed.


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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