They told me not to plant it. Yes, experienced gardeners told me. If you have figured out my MO, you know I cannot resist a flowering plant that likes this climate, loves to reproduce and is free. That of course, is the downside of the Four O’ Clock. Its sweet scented flowers fill the evening with perfume that is hard to resist, but it also grows a tuber that is as big as a size 7 clog and every flower produces a seed with a high rate of germination. I have pulled up hundreds of seedlings and finally found the perfect shovel to dig out the tuber that was growing close to my other wanted plants. My advice is that if you want to grow a Four O’ Clock, put it in a pot over concrete and sweep up the seeds.
We recently visited Bayou Bend gardens and mansion which was owned by Ima Hogg, a philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts.
Ms. Hogg also collected plants. The gardens are filled with azaleas, camellias, magnolias and other spring blooming plants.
Our winter has been so warm that many of the flowers have opened.
The garden’s Azalea Trail is nearly a month away.
None the less, it was an absolutely perfect day on the Bayou.
Towards the end of summer, I noticed rather large leaves were growing in one of my trees. It turned out to be a canna reaching for the sun. The normal cannas grow about 3 to 4 feet tall. This one popped up in the shade of the tree and headed for the sun stretching to 10 feet. Nature is so interesting.
This pink and blue beauty has always amazed me with its striking color combination. My Aechmea gamosepala has had a long but difficult life. It lived in the ground for a while until the rabbits found it. Its life in a pot has kept it alive, but not totally thriving.
This past summer it had to live in my wooded area and as luck would have it, the Aechmea loved it and put out more flower spikes than it has in years.
Now it is positioned next to my backdoor, so my cat and I can enjoy it all day.
After posting today, I took a walk around the yard and found Azaleas blooming. Normally, they do not bloom until the second week of March.
I found it surprising that Spring seems to be on the way. Maybe it is because I have not done my Fall clean-up. The first two photos are two different salivias that are holding on to old growth while the new stems are already quite tall. The other photo is rosettes of the cardinal flower well under way.
It has been an unusually warm winter and the cannas, gingers and drimiopsis seems to be coming up too early.
The native onion grass is popping up in the leaves along with corocosmia and snowflakes.
Even the Rose of Sharon seems to have had a short rest. As always, there is good and bad with all this growth. The good part is looking forward to a wonderful early blooming spring, but winter is not over and a hard freeze will knock all this new growth back to start over again.
Our unseasonably warm and sunny January days prompted me to do long neglected yard work. I pulled a bushel or so of weeds from the front yard and filled the big container in the picture 3 times with spent annuals and cuttings.
After all that work, I rewarded myself with tea and cookies on the porch swing. A cold front is on the way that will provide me with a much needed rest.