Cheery Blooms

This time of year it is hard to tell if it is late winter or early spring.  The temperatures are going from 80’s to 30’s depending on the day. Thankfully, there are some blooming plants cheering up the season. The Nasturtiums, started from seed, have done really well in the strawberry pot and can be viewed from my kitchen window.

The Purple Oxalis Triangularis prefers to bloom on cool days and takes its rest in the summer.

Kalanchoe’s electric colors joins the other two potted plants on the patio to brighten up the day.

I bought these Ageratums one deary flowerless winter and have been surprised that they keep coming back.  They start putting out growth in the fall.  I didn’t bother to learn what kind they were, as I thought they were annuals and would die.  They are reproducing on their own and maybe I’ll eventually have a bed full of them.

Firespike, Odontonema strictum, is another passalong that grows really well.  I did some gardening no-no’s and threw some cuttings around my wooded area and they rooted.  Now I have several clumps around the yard.  They do attract my winter hummingbirds and add color to the season.

Kalanchoe daigremontiana or Mother of Thousands, probably Mother of Millions, really put on  a show this year.  Mother can grow in just a bit of soil and reproduces like crazy.  I pull up hundreds or thousands every year. It is from another part of the world and likes to bloom in the winter.  This year with no freezes, the plant reached its potential. There are 13 flower heads blooming. Its unusual flowers with many subtle  shades of color is what makes me keep it around.


Spring Has Begun Part I

 

Spring has started here along the Gulf Coast area.  Snowflakes or leucojums are some of the first to bloom.

Wendy’s Wish Salvia has made a comeback from flooding rain and freezes.  It didn’t bloom at all last year.

Paperwhites bloom along with Snowflakes.  Both are bulbs that can survive our climate.

Fire Spike, Odontonema strictum begins its blooming in late winter.  It is a hummingbird favorite.  Most Fire Spikes are red like fire, but somehow I have pinkish purple one.

Violets, of course, are early bloomers and this Australian violet, Viola hederacea, is growing happily on rocks and the patio after relocating itself more than 5 feet from where it was originally planted. The first time I bought this plant, it was called Confederate Violet.

Mixed in with it, is what I have always called Mexican Knot Weed.  As it turns out, the plant is from China not Mexico.  Its proper name is Polygonum capitatum and its common names are Pink Button, Pink Knotweed, Pink Fleece, Pinkhead, Smartweed, Pink Clover and Punching Balls.  I could not find the name Mexican Knot Weed, except on the single pot I bought over 20 years ago.  This little plant came along when I moved by hitchhiking with another plant and it has popped up here and there all over the yard.  In China it is used to cure many aliments.

Part II coming.