Earliest spring flowers are popping

February 27, 2024

Spring has arrived in earnest in Austin, and it feels about two weeks early. Is that proper, long-time Austinites? Temps have been within the mid- to higher 80s F for the previous a number of days, and though that’s heat, it’s nonetheless very comfy within the shade. In response to the warmth, vegetation are leaping up and bursting into bloom, like native spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis).

Bees love this flower, and I’m completely happy to have it for them. And though spiderwort is a spreader, particularly in shady spots, the flowers are so welcome and the foliage so contemporary and inexperienced that I don’t actually thoughts. I yank up volunteers that pop up in locations I don’t need them, and I whack lots of them again after flowering however earlier than they’ll set seed. That helps to maintain them below management in my backyard.

Gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida) is one other early bloomer and self-seeder. Once more, I don’t thoughts. In contrast to shade-loving spiderwort, it favors sizzling, sunny, well-drained spots like the sides of my gravel paths. After the flowers go to seed (I allow them to), I minimize off the lanky “arms” with their spent flower heads, pruning them again to the bottom and letting the contemporary new progress take heart stage.

Once you prune gopher plant, put on gloves and eye safety. The plant has a milky sap that’s an irritant. You don’t want it in your eyes. On the plus aspect, that sap retains deer from consuming it. (And now I’m positive I’ll hear from somebody whose deer devoured it. As a result of deer are like that.)

Texas mountain laurels (Sophora secundiflora) in full solar are in full bloom — and they’re positively two weeks early. In my shady backyard, buds are simply beginning to present some purple. I photographed this one down the road a few days in the past, and naturally I took some lengthy sniffs of these deliciously candy, grape Kool-Help-scented flowers. The perfume of spring in Austin.

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Attend the third annual Budding Out Plant Sale & Competition on March sixteenth on the John Fairey Backyard in Hempstead. Uncommon and distinctive vegetation from the backyard’s nursery and from choose plant distributors will likely be on the market. Extra choices embrace artwork, ceramics, jewellery, meals, music, and displays. Admission: $5 for members, $10 for non-members, kids below 12 free. Hours: 10 am to 4 pm; members get early admission at 9 am (memberships obtainable on day of occasion).

Come out to Austin’s Mayfield Park on April sixth for the Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium & Fundraiser, 8:30 to 11 am. This annual profit for the park features a raffle, plant sale, and backyard audio system.

Come study gardening and design at Backyard Spark! I arrange in-person talks by inspiring designers, panorama architects, authors, and gardeners a couple of instances a 12 months in Austin. These are limited-attendance occasions that promote out shortly, so be a part of the Backyard Spark electronic mail record to be notified upfront; merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Keep tuned for more information!

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