Texas Seeds and Roses in February

I’ve been out of town for a trade show all week, and JUST got back at 11:30 last night. So what did the morning (the late morning) entail aside from eating tacos and three cups of coffee and enjoying hanging out with my family again? That’s right, this morning it was time for a garden stroll, even if it was on painfully blistered feet!

First stop- the seed tray on the back corner of the driveway slab for a bit of a downer. I planted three lobed coneflower seeds with the toddler on Sunday in a seed tray with a plastic cover and honestly thought they’d be fine until I got back. And they would have been… if the cover hadn’t blown off- the soil was bone dry. It doesn’t look like they germinated, but we all know how delicate this process is… fingers crossed for the whole lot.

I saw these flowers at my aunt’s house this summer- I’d never seen any rudbeckias other than the large flowered ones, so I’m really excited about these. The perpetual question of these sorts of things must be asked though: “If it does well in Minnesota, will it do well in Texas?”

The exact ones from my aunt’s garden that I fell in love with. Bigger is not always better, and I much prefer these diminutive rudbeckias to the big flowered varieties.

Fingers also crossed because in the same tray I planted all of the Angel’s Fishing Rod seeds- I don’t have any spares. (For someone who doesn’t grow many seeds I’m awfully experimental with them this year.) Why is this so experimental? Because they’re seeds, one. And two, because I’m not sure any of these will do well here. This is a DIFFICULT climate for out of area plants. Sure it’s zone 8, so the low winter temperatures are similar to other zone 8s… like Portland, Oregon! And parts of England! But the summer temperatures… sheesh. This ain’t no Portland, lemme tell ya. Not only are the daytime temperatures extreme, but there is little to no dip in temperature at night. And that part… that’s the one that is hard for many species of plants to deal with.

How could I at least not try these though? Angel’s Fishing Rods are in the Iris family and have a 2′ mound of grasslike evergreen foliage topped with 4′-6′ nodding flower stalks. That’s right. Six. Foot. Tall. Flower. Stalks.

I also just remembered I have some mallow and confederate rose seeds around here… somewhere. Now where did I put them so I wouldn’t forget them and then immediately lost them forever?

Garden stores- you no offer interesting plants? If you no offer them…I say I do it myself! So like, lots of seeds, is what I’m saying.

Also from seeds for the coming year, but less experimental: I’ll be putting in more cardinal creeper vine, and lots of red zinnias later in the season. Tithonia again? Maybe. we’ll see.

Anyway, I gave the dried out seed tray a thorough soaking and popped the cover back on. Though maybe I should leave it off because it’s 70 degrees and sunny outside today and it might heat up too much. (This is why Texan’s tend to not have greenhouses as well.) And yes, we appreciate this weather as much as we should- it doesn’t last for long.

Next up on the garden stroll? Off to the Mexican Redbud to check on the spring bloom.

Redbuds flower on bare branches- so lovely
Souvenir de la Malmaisson looking a bit puny, honestly. Let it be known I spelled that correctly on the first try!

My beloved Souvenir de la Malmaison rose is usually large and quartered, but this one hasn’t been in the ground a full year, and has been mostly neglected in this bed… I need to do a better job, the poor thing.

Dame de Coer does weird things in cool weather… petals turn matte and darkish. Still a beautiful color though. In the background are the two large pots of Possumhaw Holly that were my Valentine’s Day gift. My husband knows me so well.
Belinda’s Dream rose- my 9 year old had this waiting for me to welcome me back last night after my trip. The white flowers are larger than normal rain lilies she stopped on her bike ride home from school to pick out of a lawn. (I may or may not have plans to go dig a couple corms when she tells me which lawn.)
The Belinda’s Dream plant, as you can see, desperately needs a prune- are we going to get there? Is it ever going to stop blooming so I can prune it properly? Is this literally the best problem to have?
That’s a good rose, Belinda

These flowers are a good 4″ to 5″ across- it’s really hard to convey the hugeness of the blooms. I bought this plant out of bloom which is a bit of a crapshoot because, somehow, there is some real variability to the bloom shape for this one. Some have perfectly pointed buds and florist shaped roses, and some have fatter buds and more of a packed and quartered bloom- luckily mine is the latter. And the flowers have a hint of fragrance as well, whereas my previous Belinda’s Dream had absolutely zero. (It had the more florist shape as well) Different growers with different parent stock maybe accounts for it.

That’s Lacey, the nine year old’s cat who is my regular garden walk buddy.

And finally, in the front yard. The above shot is a corner of one bed (needs to be weeded) that is right on the property line. Our neighbor feeds stray cats on her front porch, and by the clear and well worn cat trail in the grass it certainly looks like our greedy gus cats are well used to helping themselves to the bounty. Looks like I need to start chipping in for some cat food costs…

11 thoughts on “Texas Seeds and Roses in February

  1. Nice stuff to come home to. Love your ‘Belinda’s Dream’. I yanked mine a couple a years ago. It would bloom about 10 luscious flowers in spring, then look like crap for the rest of the year. I don’t have enough sun for all the plants I want. I’ll enjoy yours!

    1. I had a Belinda’s Dream at our old house I was never a huge fan of- I can’t recall why I bought another one, but I’m so glad I did because this one has been awesome!

  2. I’m SO envious of your warm weather and seed planting (trials notwithstanding). We still have snow in our yard! When I saw your rudbeckias I felt such a pang. I have rudbeckias in my garden but right now they’re under igloos of snow.But you’ve given me a reminder that there’s hope. Have fun with your gardening.

    1. I’ll be living vicariously through northern gardens this summer- so we’ll trade in a few months! And if you want any of these rudbeckias I have LOTS of seeds left!

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