Monday, March 17, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

This Garden Blogger Bloom Day, I am mainly sharing the things that weren't blooming last month!
Bottlebrush, Callistemon rigidus, is beginning its bloom period. The one gallon pots we planted in 2004 are now easily 7 feet tall, giving us a nice, dense privacy hedge. Its clear to see where the name, bottlebrush, comes from!

Anacua, Ehretia anacua, is turning white with blossoms! It won't be long before the bees and butterflies have found this tree. This deciduous native tree is just getting a fresh crop of leaves. Their light green color will darken with age. Anacua gets one of its common names, the "Sandpaper Tree", from the sandpaper-like texture of its leaves. Hibiscus, Rosa sinensis, belongs to the mallow family. Other relatives are cotton, okra, and hollyhocks. There are hundreds of colors and color combinations along with a vast variety in plant and bloom size. In the early 80s when we received two years of hard freezes in a row, I quit growing this tropical. It is sensitive to a frost, but it takes a pretty hard freeze to kill an established hibiscus in the ground. A light freeze just give it a bit of a pruning. It's easy to propogate from stem cutting. For lmore information, you may want to check out the American Hibiscus Society's website.

Our little Texas Mountain Laurel, Sophora secundiflora, has finally begun to bloom. Everything I've read says that it will grow in part shade (which is where we planted ours). I wonder if this location is affecting its blooming. It doesn't have very long bloom stems, but the aroma is still amazing!

I don't know why I love the combination of blooms and buds - possibley it's the feeling of hope and anticipation that a flower bud inspires in me! This Thyrallis, Galphimia glauca, has that wonderful combination of blooms and buds that I love so much.

The Nasturtiums, Tropaeolum majus, have grown a great deal the past month. Aren't they pretty?


Priscilla George said...

Gorgeous blooms!

Carol Michel said...

Thanks for sharing these blooms. Other than the hibiscus and the nasturtiums, we just don't have those flowers up this way!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Anonymous said...

Your nasturtiums *are* so pretty (I can't wait to have them here again), and the rest of your blooms are really interesting to see. I've never even heard of anacua and thyrallis. And after this Bloom Day, I wonder how I've made it this long without knowing about Texas mountain laurel! (Well, maybe it's because we can't grow it here in PA, but still, it sounds so wonderful....)

Jane O' said...

Wow that hibiscus is really something! Your flowers are so brightly colored and exciting.

Anonymous said...

I just replied to your comment at Digging, asking if you have tried a Texas mountain laurel, and now I see that you have. I have two, with one in partial shade. It blooms reliably but not as prolifically as the one in full sun.

I love your thryallis and the sandpaper tree.

Meems said...

I really enjoyed all your choices for GBBD. The Bottlebrush must be stunning with so many blooms and it being so large. I see them around this area too but never have made a place for them at hoe and shovel.

I know what you mean about hibiscus- they also attract aphids -but I broke down last year and put one in the ground. The information you shared I found interesting -I'll check out the website too.

The Texas Laurel is a beauty and the Thyrallis is also something I keep thinking about making a place for- yours with the buds and blooms is reminding me.

I too am a big fan of buds and blooms- it is SO fresh feeling- so alive!
Very nice post, Mary Beth.

Meems @HoeandShovel

Aiyana said...

Beautiful photos. You have many of the same plants that I do. I don't see many on other sites, so this is a treat.

Mary Beth said...

Pam, I do wish I had planted my Texas Mountain Laurel in full sun - but they're so finicky about new homes that this one is just going to stay where it is!

Carol & Nan Ondra, Glad you enjoyed our tropical blooms - I love checking out what you northerners can grow that I cannot. . .

Meems & Aiyana, We DO grow lost of common plants, don't we! Its interesting to see how they do in other climates . . . I never knew that Jatropha could be a tree until I visited Hawaii. I'd always seen it as a large shrub - now I'm focussing on training one into a tree form. All we can do with plants is such fun!

Vanillalotus & Jane Marie - I'm so glad you enjoyed my blooms!