Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - May 2011

Here's what's blooming in my garden this GBBD. Except for a gullywasher on May 12, spring in Central Texas has been as dry as a longhorn skull in the middle of the desert, but oddly, temperatures have been cooler than normal. These plants seem to like it cool and dry.

In the backyard garden:

This is the first year I've had a decent number of sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus). The fragrance is intoxicating. These are "Wedding Blush" from Botanical Interests, in pastel shades of pink, yellow and purple, and the blooms have been very long-lasting. They're starting to go to seed.
Sweet pea "Wedding Blush"

Sweet pea 'Wedding Blush'

Sweet pea 'Wedding Blush'

Sweet pea 'Wedding Blush'

I decided to plant brightly colored single-petaled portulaca in the cinder block-edged bed around the round ball squash plants. Both are blooming.
8 Ball squash, portulaca

The red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) is still blooming and starting to form seed pods.
Red yucca

The purple blossoms of Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) brighten the herb garden.
Mexican oregano

In the garden in front of the house:

Gregg's mistflower (Conoclinium greggii) is blooming near the Whale's Tongue agave (A. ovatifolia). Yes, I've gone back to referring to this agave as a Whale's Tongue. I had my doubts when it offset a pup shortly after I planted it. But today I read on the Yucca Do website that A. ovatifolia offsets "rarely or not at all." I'm thinking one pup in two years qualifies as "rarely", and the older this agave gets, the more it looks like A. ovatifolia.
Gregg's mistflower, Whale's Tongue agave

White autumn sage (S. greggii), mealy blue sage (S. farinacea) and esperanza (Tecoma stans) make a colorful trio. The few larkspur that flowered are going to seed.
White 'Autumn Sage', 'Mealy Blue Sage', esperanza

A close-up of 'Mealy Blue Sage':
Salvia 'Mealy Blue Sage'

Another colorful trio: 'Indigo Spires' salvia (S. farinacea x longispicata 'Indigo Spires'), four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris scaposa) and rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala).
'Indigo Spires' salvia, four-nerve daisy, rock rose

Pink gaura (Gaura lindheimeri), a passalong plant from Annie at The Transplantable Rose.
Pink gaura

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Visit her site to see flowers bloomin' their heads off, all over the globe.

Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Wow, does that ever look lush! I can't believe your Esperanza is already so flowery. I guess it was the early heat in April? I'm ready for you to have a GoGo at your house, I want to see your gardens!

  2. I'm so jealous of the Sweet Peas, Caroline... last year mine did well but not this year. And the Red yucca looks wonderful. Maybe I should be a good gardener & move my non-bloomer into more sun?
    Happy GBBD

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    BTW, how much rain did you get? The totals were different in every neighborhood! We topped out at 1.3".

  3. Lovely post...I'm totally smitten by the Mist Flower with the Agave...great combo!

  4. I can't believe all that you already had in bloom in mid-May! And I'm adding that sweet pea to my list for next year. Gorgeous photos, too, as always.

  5. Robin, I think the esperanza flowered early because it was so happy to be out of the shady spot it was in last year! I only post pictures of the lush parts, the bare spots have no blooms. ;)

    We got 1.75" that week, Annie. And my red yucca gets quite a bit of shade. I think they prefer more sun, though.

    I hope to have seeds of that sweet pea to share at a fall Go-Go, Linda.

  6. Your garden looks fantastic! I really like the Indigo Spires. Wow!
    Thanks for including the Latin names.
    David/ :-)