Sunday, May 15, 2011

Flower Power: GBBD May 2011

On the fifteenth of every month, May Dream Gardens invites us to share the plants that are blooming in our gardens.  Between the drought and high spring temperatures, many of my plants are either no longer blooming or are in the final stages.

Established Plants

A recent rain shower (thank goodness!) inspired the Pink Rain Lilies (Zephyranthes rosea) to produce a few blooms in celebration.  The first wave is fading, but others are still on the way.

In last stages of its bloom period, the Dwarf Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides 'Radicans') still has a couple of its fragrant blossoms open.  They tend not to last long outside, as they get snipped and brought inside so we can enjoy their perfume.

Likely to continue going strong all summer, the pond plant Aztec Arrowhead (Sagittaria montevidensis) is already on its second bloom stalk.

Fading in the heat, I'm hoping that a good shearing will help the Anthony Waterer Spirea (Spiraea x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer') to produce another wave of the magenta flower clusters.

Moved deeper into the shade, the Red Dragon Knoweed (Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon') seems to be quite happy.  Time will tell as summer's heat has, in the past, made it look quite tired.  I'm hoping the increased shade will help it out during those times.

Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala), of course, can always be counted on to put on a show with its intensely pink blooms.  It tends to get lanky in my shade, so I must remember to shear them back on occasion.

Some of the initial flowers of the West Texas Mist Flower (Conoclinium greggii) are looking tired, but this is just the first crest of a summer long purple wave.

They don't last long, but the blooms of the Crinum (species unknown) are quite eye-catching when at their peak.  Already fading, it will sometimes produce a second wave of bloom stalks (here's hoping).

New Plants in the Garden

I am very pleased with the Oakleaf Hydrangea 'Alice' (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice') in its first spring in the shade.  Though it only produced two clusters of long lasting flowers, it has almost doubled in size - so next years show looks quite promising.

This is as close to a "flower" as Sparkler Sedge (Carex phyllocephala 'Sparkler') will ever get, but it was fun to discover the inflorescence while looking about the garden.

Potted Plants

Though starting to fade, the flowers of the Orange Kaffir Lily (Clivia miniata) are still showing intense color that catches the eye.

The only rose that has at least survived in my shady garden, I have never known the exact name of this Old-fashioned Rose.  It produces a few small blooms throughout the summer.

A pass-along from Robin (Getting Grounded) that I over-wintered inside, the Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) has not grown much yet.  But it has still been able to produce a small group of blooms.

Indoor Plants

Still going strong, the flowers of the Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis sp.) just seem to last forever.  The first couple of pictures are from plants that are just now opening their flower buds.  But the others have been putting on a show for over a month.


Hit hard by this winter's extremes, only a single flower stalk is rising from the recovering Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus).

Also recovering from the lengthy winter freezes, the Amaryllis 'San Antonio Rose' (Hippeastrum 'San Antonio Rose') are nonetheless producing several flower stalks.  Soon the red blooms will add color to this area of the garden.

Be sure to visit May Dream Gardens to see what is blooming in other gardens.

Planted in the Ground:
  • Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora): Already had several on the left side of my front beds; finally got around to adding thirteen to the right side.


  1. Beautiful blooms. Now we know why Carol calls her blog 'May Dreams.'

  2. Beautiful plants! ...and those ORCHIDS! WOW~

  3. Fun to see gardens in other parts of the country. I am glad your drought is coming to an end. Carolyn

  4. Your crinum is so pretty. Didn't know that the carex had any type of bloom...good to know. I found a couple at HCWG and have not planted them yet. Still looking for just the right spot. Do you find that they need extra water?

  5. Your photos are great! The close up of the Oakleaf Hydranges is very nice. I have that variety, and it has not bloomed is in the budding stage. Happy GBBD Day!

  6. Beautiful sorbet colors on the lily and the rose. Glad to see mist flower blooms; hoping to see some in my yard soon.

  7. How on earth do you have all those plants for shade that I've never heard of??? And, smart person that you are, I lost my clerodendron vine because I left it outside, so perhaps when that one grows ridiculously as it will in a month, I could beg a cutting? Turnabout is fair, though - I overwintered the perilla I got from you indoors, and it is already huge outside this spring. My crinum bulbs are 3 years old now and I've still never seen a bloom. And I certainly didn't see any rain lilies with that last rain. Your garden is doing great!

  8. I'm glad to see your rain lilies bloomed. Mine didn't, but every darn lily in every esplanade, ditch and empty field around my neighborhood did! Your rose almost looks like an Old Blush. Happy GBBD!

  9. My pink rain lily opened today. I planted two last fall but only one showed itself after last week's downpour. Soon, I hope it reproduces and I can talk about "waves" of rain lilies too.

  10. While you struggle with draught, we have seen precious few days without rain. Your garden looks wonderful, even so.

  11. Neil: Thanks for stopping by - Happy GBBD!

    Allenaim: The moth orchids are pretty reliable; if I had the room, I'd fill the house with 'em.

    Carolyn: Always happy when it rains - here's hoping for more (we're still not caught up!)

    Cat: According to Pam (Digging), once established the Sparklers won't need additional water. Haven't had mine long enough to form an opinion - but they'd better get by with once a week water or they'll be in trouble!

    Sage: I'm enjoying the Oakleaf (first spring for it) - hoping for an even better show next spring (not to mention fall colors- woohoo!)

    Amy: The mist flower is just starting to get into the act - may have to shear mine some to thicken it up.

    Getgrounded: I've been babying that clerodendron all winter; hope your right that it takes off (just sorta limping along right now). Will certainly return a cutting - you can count on that!

    Caroline: Sorry you missed the rain lily blossoms - here's hoping you get another chance real soon!

    Abbey: I started with around six and they thickened up pretty good; they have such nice pink color (I have another variety but it is very pale).

    Ricki: I know - you guys are floating away! Stay safe out there.

  12. You are a plant wizard, R Bell - how did you get those agapanthus to bloom? I can't even get them to live! It's really fun to see such a varied group of flowers in your post... from orchids, to exotics to natives.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  13. Annie: Not my fault - any blooms they make is all on their own. Though I do talk to them...