Saturday, February 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - February 2014

We've had a cold winter in Central Texas this year, with several hard freezes and five (five!) school/city "inclement weather" days. 1/500ths of an inch of ice shut down the Austin metro area, after hundreds of fender-benders and multi-car pile-ups.

We've had plenty of chill hours for stone fruit, but frost-sensitive tropicals and citrus haven't fared well.
My Tahitian lime and Meyer lemon lived in a pop-up greenhouse all winter, heated with a space heater.
lemon flower

In the veggie garden, root vegetables have been slow to come in, and snap peas had few blooms and fewer peas.

Sub-freezing temps alternating with warm sunny days required frequent covering and uncovering of raised beds with frost cloth.
Stars of my winter garden are always the same: lettuce, arugula and broccoli, which have already started to bolt.
Maybe one day I'll think to plant only the stars and forget the rest.

My native and adapted landscape's late winter look is frumpy and oh so very wan.
I'm only showing you these wide shots because you're my friend.
winter wide shot

Clearly, it's time for the big pruning job - the Big Whack-Back.
Then, the weeding - Oh, the weeding! - made more challenging by the larkspur and poppy seedlings.
winter garden

Is it too late to make a New Year's resolution? More hardscape, more evergreens.
Maintaining native perennial landscapes can be back-breaking! The Big Whack-Back took two weekends.

I found one tiny bloomer underneath the brown sticks and leaves: this four-nerve daisy.
four-nerve daisy

It'll all be worth it in May. Oh, and Owly is back. Spring is just around the corner, y'all!

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Visit her February GBBD page and tell the world what's blooming in your winter garden.

Words and photos © 2009-2014 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. I love that: the "Big Whack-Back"! I'm deep in that too. And, your owl pic--so darling. My owl is in the box some evenings, not others and I've heard little trilling, so I'm not sure what's happening with him/her.

  2. Sending some envy your way from upstate New York. Eventually spring will reach here (I guess) but I don't envy anyone who has had an ice storm. What a crazy winter for all of the U.S.

  3. I wish my globe mallow was as big as yours. That thing is a monster. Do you cut it back?

    1. I cut it back a bit this year width-wise. It's a challenge to prune height-wise because it's always full of buds!

  4. Those are some good looking peas and radishes...
    I don't have much in the way of edibles due to the extreme temps last month... and the rodent population I'm single-handedly supporting...