February 27, 2012

On Your Mark...Get Set...GO!

I know the calendar doesn't say so but our plants are proclaiming that spring has arrived.  Our Texas native mountain laurels are in full bloom giving their glorious testimony to spring.  Their blooms are large and showy but best of all they smell like grape bubble gum and their scent drives the bees into a delighted frenzy.

The Texas redbud burst into bloom this week too.  

Plant this tree in sun/part shade and well drained soil and it will reward you with beautiful, early spring blooms announcing the new season.

Spring has me busily tidying up the garden and starting the push to get projects done before the heat sets in.  Perennials (black-eyed Susans, shasta daisy and esperanza) are being divided and transplanted.  Don't be afraid to move those plants that aren't thriving or working where you have them.

In a serious case of underestimation on both our parts, it took two attempts to get this esperanza out of the ground.   As I cursed wrestled this plant, I assured it a much happier existence in its sunny, new home.  With roots like these no wonder it's so drought tolerant.  These tough plants sailed through our exceptional drought last summer.

This yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge' wasn't thriving in part shade so I pulled it up into a pony tail to better manage the transplant.  It now resides in a full sun, dry, hot space next to the incredibly drought tolerant globe mallow.  I'm hoping too that the sturdy appearance of this yucca will keep my dog out of the flower bed thereby protecting some of the more delicate plantings nearby.  These aren't particularly pointy and stiff like some yuccas - the leaves give when touched and are more forgiving.

A Martha Gonzales antique rose was relocated to a sunnier spot in the garden today.  An hour was also dedicated to digging up live oak sprouts.  This is an annual chore.  It's drudgery but the shade and beauty the live oak trees provide more than makes up for the inconvenience. 

Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery  recently received a shipment of gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida) that lured me into the spring buying season.  This is a four year old specimen in their garden.  The pairing of gopher plant and Jerusalem sage is really pretty and provides nice shades of gray/silver foliage all season long.  I'm so thankful to the gentleman who helped me during my visit.  He made sure to tell me that the sap from this plant is very toxic.  So much so that it can cause temporary vision loss if rubbed into the eye. Gloves and eye protection are a must. 

A close up taken with my iphone shows the unique foliage and bracts.  I really love the bright pop of yellow and interesting texture this plant brings to the landscape.

While the schedule is jam packed with lots of gardening, there is always time for a bit of Al Fresco dining.  This is a popular spot for capturing images of the big sky sunsets we have here in Austin.  The sunsets this past week have been spectacular. 

How about you? Are you ready for the race?


  1. Stirring images - how I love the movement of a forthcoming Spring as evidenced by your plant relocations. Close up on euphorbia very pretty - does it effect Gopher's eyes I wonder?!

  2. I have a few plants that need to be moved as well. We had a weekend full of gardening chores and the sore muscles this morning are a sign that I need to get fit to garden again! That Gopher Plant is really cool!

  3. you are a bit ahead of us, yet, in NE Tx. altho i saw my ornamental pear was trying to push out some buds...

  4. We have SO many weeds here, a lot of energy will be taken up with getting them out.
    There are always plants to move around. I keep trying to find just the right spot for them.

    Looks like you have a good head start.

  5. I just added a gopher plant to my garden. I didn't know they were so toxic. Thanks for the info. I'll handle with care.

  6. Euphorbia always captivates me this time of year, though I have yet to purchase a plant. I am enjoying the early spring in N.C., but can identify with your concern about the heat to come all too soon.

  7. Whoa, those esperanza roots are like tentacles! I'm ready for spring to officially start. We've had such a mild winter that I'm tired of being teased and ready to get to work in the garden.

    Beautiful sunset picture! You said you could dine outside with that as a view? It's gorgeous!

  8. Cool tip about the 'pony-tailing' of the yucca.

  9. Spring time wishes come and go with snow and sunshine.

  10. I am ready just waiting for some stable weather...I hope you will join the Seasonal Celebrations starting TH...great post for spring...

  11. Pretty sunset and layering of color, Cat.

  12. I'm somewhat impatiently waiting for spring to come (we still have a few months to go here in the north) but will gladly watch from the sidelines while you get your garden ready. One of the nicest things about blogging is watching others garden when you can't.

  13. Am I ready? Not really - I feel like I'm already behind! Love your euphorbia. I had two (different kinds than yours) and they both died in last year's drought. :( I hope yours fares better. I love those unusual bracts.

  14. I agree with Marguerite...we are not nearly ready yet for the jump to spring up here, but it's fun to watch spring slowly arriving via the Internet. :)

  15. I agree with Marguerite...we are not nearly ready yet for the jump to spring up here, but it's fun to watch spring slowly arriving via the Internet. :)

  16. So much snow here so no need to plan anything for few months.
    About your last comment I thought maybe a photographer´s spouses anonymous would be in order.. mine hubby would be member ready:)

  17. Although my redbuds have not bloomed yet, they are budding. And my daffodils began blooming weeks ago. Spring is early this year, and it will be time to get out there and work the soil. I am looking forward to that. I do like the break from gardening, but I also like getting back out there to garden. As always, I enjoy your photos. Beautiful sunset!

  18. Yes, I am ready for the race. Most years it would be a long way off, but with temps in the 50s here next week, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of changes! But first we have to get through another snowstorm tomorrow! I love Euphorbia. I have E. polychroma here and I love it! It's at its peak of color usually in May or June. And our Redbuds bloom in May. Maybe it will all be a little earlier this year? Happy spring!


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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