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Garden journal entry


April 13, 2019. Houston's garden season just kind of creeps along – the garden is never quite dormant, and even flowering doesn't come to a halt in mild winters. Gradually, through late winter and early spring, more and more plants come into bloom, so that by the time we're in the middle of spring, there's color everywhere. That certainly makes for a happy glance at the tapestry of color out the back windows, and pleasant backyard strolls most evenings. What doesn't happen nearly as often is that a new-to-me flower shows itself. What's more, with so many plants blooming nearby, I sometimes don't even notice when last year's seedlings finally show their (usually low-to-the-ground) flowers until a few days after they appear. But it's always a special kind of thrill, and somehow even more so for bulb flowers. A few weeks ago, I was treated to the first flowers of Freesia laxa 'Joan Evans', so much daintier than those of the hybrid freesias that I'd grown before. And yesterday, it was time for the first color to emerge from Project Rainlily 2018: since I can no longer grow most alpines, but I remain a member of the North American Rock Garden Society, I've had to change my seed selections from their wonderful annual exchange. Now, most of my picks are tender bulbs and succulents, many in genera that were out of my reach in Pennsylvania. And among those, I selected a nice variety of rain lilies (Zephyranthes and Habranthus species), enough of them to feel that raising them was a special project last year (although I've modestly extended the project into 2019). So here we are, with the first of those rain lilies bursting into bloom – Mexican native Zephyranthes dichromantha started perhaps not exuberantly, but with great promise: most of the plants that survived the year are sporting at least one pale yellow flower with red swooshes. I look forward to several others strutting their stuff this year, and to this year's tentative plants becoming more robust and floriferous in years to come.

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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