Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May bloggers' bloom day

May is a quieter month than April in my garden although the flowers that are starting to bloom now — or that will start blooming in the next month — sport the more flamboyant oranges and yellows of summer, along with a dash of vivid fuchsia, rather than the slightly more subdued pink and purple garb of my spring garden.

Last week I saw the first flowers on the Mexican flame vine (Senecio confusus; that's it at the top), which trails down over the wall in front of the short leg of my upstairs L-shaped bed. It usually blooms earlier but harder-than-usual freezes this winter killed it right down to the ground and it's taken a bit longer than usual to get its feet under it.

Right now the view out my kitchen window features the orange flame vine, backed by mounds of purple heart and the silvery fronds of salvia leucantha. To the side is a new fuchsia bougainvillea (bought for just a couple of bucks at the grocery store last week! and not even potted yet).

Also blooming is manfreda maculosa (in a pot in the downstairs yard; it sent up six or eight bloom stalks this year). I'm still waiting for the promised enormous bloom stalk from the manfreda "Macho Mocha" that I planted in a pot last fall.

Most of my salvias are either primarily spring or fall bloomers. The spring-blooming salvia greggiis are still sporting a few flowers and I hope that if I shear them in a few weeks I'll get another burst of bloom. The salvia roemariana (cedar sage) is still blooming a bit and may rebloom, while the fall-blooming salvia leucantha (Mexican bush sage) and saliva "Anthony Parker" are showing just a few early, and tiny, blooms.

But the salvia guaranitica "Black and Blue" that I rescued from a pot (I thought it had died over the winter) has gotten huge after I put it into the ground and it finally sent forth some of those fabulous cobalt blue blooms this week. I put it where I can see it out the sitting room window and it seems to love the spot (morning sun, deep afternoon shade from the building).

The orange bulbine continues to bloom underneath the red yucca (which you've seen plenty of).

And I couldn't resist another shot of the winecups. I'd like to get a picture of the winecups weaving amongst the golden California poppies but by the time they all open in the morning the sun is so bright it's hard to get a good shot. Maybe tomorrow.

And here is a close-up of the intricate bloom of the annual cleomes that I put in to fill in around the newly planted agave parryii area. Of course they're getting huge (they looked so tiny in their little 4-inch pots) and are trying to take over but the flowers are so very cool.

Also blooming are the Old Blush and Climbing Pinkie roses; Climbing Pinkie looks ready to put forth a fairly major second flush of blooms while Old Blush's second round are kind of puny. The new Cecille Brunner is covered in more small pink flowrs while Maggie has sent up a few new canes topped with clusters of buds. Other bloomers include purple heart; pavonia (I keep missing getting a picture of the blooms, which close up like tightly tufted pillows each evening); salvia nemarosa/superba "May Night" (I've just about decided that they're the same thing); various colored verbenas; a giant pot of yellow and gold zinna linearis; zexmenia; white potato vine; and the last of the Gulf Coast penstemon. Oh and those pansies and violas are still blooming away in their pot, holding me and my spade at bay for at least a few more days.

And this month's volunteers are these yellow daisy-like flowers (I should know their name; I'm sure one of the other Austin garden bloggers will) that have sprouted along the edge of our alley parking spot. I just noticed a sunflower springing up back there too. Maybe it will be blooming by next month.

Check out the blooms in other gardens around the world at May Dreams Gardens, where Carol hosts the monthly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. Thanks, Carol.


Annie in Austin said...

Wow, Susan - you have wonderful tropical colors! I love the way the Mexican Flame vine trails off the wall. None of my surviving orange flowers are doing a darned thing yet, and I've killed many a Bulbine, while yours all look wonderful.
But we can both enjoy 'Black & Blue'!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Robin said...

I don't usually like orange flowers but the Mexican flame vine is quite pretty. I'm glad you added the winecup, I love the delicate center..

Pam/Digging said...

I love, love, love the Mexican flame vine. Must have one someday. It looks perfect on your wall.

I thought Annie would be able to ID the yellow flower. I don't know what it is either.

Carol said...

Are the yellow flowers some kind of coreopsis?

All your flowers look fresh and bright and summery. I also like cleome but stick with a little dwarf in a container called 'Linde Armstrong'.

Thanks for participating in Bloom Day!


Crafty Gardener said...

What a lot of beautiful blooms you have. Stop by and see my slideshow of spring blooms.

Christa said...

The one in the last photo is coreopsis tinctoria. It is one of my favorite re-seeding plants. Such delicate flowers.

I love your salvia guaranitica "Black and Blue." Annie of The Transplantable Rose also posted hers recently. I think it is stunning!

M Sinclair Stevens (Austin) said...

I agree with your opening line that May is a quieter month than April. I always think of it as green and calm after all the abundance of spring. Very few of my summer flowering shrubs (crape myrtle, esperana, red yucca, coral bean, plumbago, lantana) are doing anything yet. If it's because of the cooler weather, then I'd rather have that than the flowers.

Nicole said...

That's a lovely show of flowers. The Mexican flame vine looks striking, I recently caught a cutting from a friend's plant. I saw a garden where it was intermixed with flowering aloe and that looked quite spectacular.

Green thumb said...

What a lovely display of flowers dear Susan.
I'd been to your blog earlier in the day and was absolutely enamoured by it. Didn't leave a comment then as I found myself searching for words but now I couldn't help but express my fascination for the garden you have.
Greetings, Indiagarden.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Lovely blooms Susan, most of them so vibrant. Love that Salvia Black and Blue, it is spectacular!

Cleome is a favorite of mine, it is called cat's whiskers in Dutch. ;-)

r sorrell said...

I like that "black and blue" salvia. I'm glad your roses are on a second round of blooming. Most of mine seem to be done. Maybe I need to feed them.

Susan said...

Thanks for the nice words, everybody, and thanks for visiting, especially those of you who were here for the first time.

That flame vine really lights up the front edge of that bed. When I planted it about 10 years ago I thought the first freeze would kill it but it's survived temperatures down to below 20 so it's tougher than it gets credit for, I think.

Christa — Thanks for the id of the yellow daisy. I thought it must be some coreopsis or another. I hope I get even more of it next year!

Nicole — I'm sure your cutting of flame vine will do well. I've pulled chunks out of the ground and stuck them in a pot and they've grown wildly.

And MSS — I would sure give up some of these flowers for a few more weeks of cool but I think summer may be truly upon us now. It's over 90 in my yard this afternoon.

Layanee said...

Susan: Late to post but such exotic flowers! I will add you to my blog list! Love the pictures and thanks for visiting RI!

Alyssa said...

Hi Susan, Thank you for visiting. Your flowers look wonderful and some seem so exotic to me. The lovely cobalt salvia is a knock-out. What a pretty garden and interesting site you have. Thanks, Alyssa

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Great view from your kitchen window, I love the cleome as well, they are so pretty when paired with sensation cosmos.

anna maria said...

It seems as if no matter how many blogs I visit every day, I always see lots of new to me flowers and plants. I love it - and endless supply of beauty and wonder.
My favorites of yours, and unknown to me before now, are the Mexican flame vine and the orange bulbine. Guess I have a thing for orange today.

Susan said...

Anna Maria, Iowa, and Alyssa —

I'm glad you stopped by. I love hearing from people who haven't visited before (or who've visited but haven't commented).

Please come again.

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