NOTE OF BLOOMING PLANTS
This is a great spring for blooming plants.
One of the most noticeable plants is the primrose jasmine. They
are the large (6 feet tall, 12 feet around) dark green mounds
covered with yellow half-dollar-size blooms. Unfortunately,
unlike most of the other jasmine, primrose jasmine is not fragrant.
It is an invincible xeriscape plant, however, and the deer do
not eat it, so it is a good choice for most San Antonio neighborhoods.
Primrose jasmine blooms best in full sun but can tolerate considerable
plant that looks a lot like primrose jasmine from a distance
is also blooming now; it is Lady Banks old-fashioned rose. Some
Lady Banks have a fragrance and thorns, but most are thornless
without much of a fragrance. The flowers can be a lemon-yellow
color or white. Deer eat at the Lady Banks but in my neighborhood
they (the Lady Banks) manage to outgrow the browsing and bloom
above the browse line. Lady Banks is even larger than primrose
jasmine and is also a good xeriscape plant.
spirea has creamy white blooms on a weeping shrub. It makes
a good xeriscape plant but will be eaten by deer and does not
get as large (6 by 6) as Lady Banks or primrose
jasmine. Bridlewreath has some shade tolerance but blooms best
in morning sun or full sun.
irises are blooming wonderfully this spring. A cool, long spring
suits them well. The old fashioned blues and whites bloom first
and now the fancier German iris are ready to make a show. They
come in yellows, whites, blues, maroons, oranges and bicolors.
Many have pleasant fragrances. Irises are premiere xeriscape
and deer proof plants. I like to use them as groundcovers for
full sun areas. The sword-like foliage is attractive all year.
rhizomes are still available in the nurseries. Planted now they
will not bloom this spring but will be ready for next year.
Some of the later irises available in containers at nurseries
can be transplanted to the garden in time to bloom this year
if it is done quickly.
pink-red blooming trees just under the edge of live oaks and
other large shade trees are redbuds. They are inconspicuous
for most of the year but make a good show every spring. There
are several selections available. The Mexican, Texas or Oklahoma
versions seem to tolerate drought better than the Eastern redbud.
Deer do not seem to like redbud foliage or blooms in most neighborhoods.
the redbud is an irregular old-fashioned small tree that does
best hidden among the plant border, the Bradford pear is at
its best as a specimen tree in full sun. It is a fast but disciplined
grower that produces a compact crown which is now covered with
white blooms and light-green new leaves. There are other ornamental
pears closely related to Bradford that are also blooming now.
Most are sterile so there will not be any fruit.
buckeyes are sometimes mistaken for redbuds. They have pink
flowers and shade tolerance as well, but they are less tree-like
and often form thickets along fence lines. Redbud fruit is a
long pod and Mexican buckeye fruit are in capsules with four
compartments. Most Mexican buckeyes have seeds on the plant
through the spring. If you cant tell which pink-blooming
plant it is, get close enough to see if there are still four-section
capsules hanging; if there are, it is a Mexican buckeye.
have written about Texas Gold columbines many times. They are
among my favorite plants with their maidenhair fern-type foliage
and yellow shooting star blooms. They are blooming now in clumps
under deciduous trees. I like their blooms and their foliage.
They make a great groundcover if your neighborhood is not blessed
by a heavy deer population. Texas Gold columbines looks too
lush to be a xeriscape plant, but it is a native of West Texas
and prospers in our climate.
you take a walk in a typical San Antonio neighborhood the fragrance
of grape bubble gum is floating in the air. Texas mountain laurels
do not bloom for a long period but they are spectacular every
spring with their purple flowers and fragrance. Texas mountain
laurel is a native plant that has outstanding landscape value.
Besides the bloom, it has shiny evergreen foliage and has great
drought resistance as it grows into a small tree or large shrub
(15 feet). Grow it in full sun for maximum bloom. Even in a
neighborhood populated by a heavy deer population, spring can
still be a festival of blue with irises and Texas mountain laurel
growing side by side.