Friday, April 8, 2011

What's blooming: Anacacho Orchid

Each day, spring adds a new layer of color to its outdoor canvas. So many of our garden plants are in full bloom, and others are forming buds in anticipation of their time in the sun.

We're particularly excited about our three-year-old Anacacho Orchid tree (Bauhinia lunarioides). It's in full bloom for the first time since its planting.

Our Anacacho Orchid tree is planted in the native area of our property

Dear hubby searched nurseries throughout central Texas to locate this understory specimen. Since it's native to central Texas and northern Mexico, you'd have thought it would be an easy find in local garden stores. Nope.

Three years ago hubby finally located the object of his desire - something that appeared to be a dead, foot-tall, gray stem in a one gallon pot. He planted his purchase with as much curiosity as hope.

His faith has been handsomely rewarded with a hardy, drought-tolerant tree that needs little care and grows quite quickly. At age three, it is now over 4' tall with a mature size expected around 6'-8' tall.

This is the first year it has bloomed profusely, and we couldn't be more thrilled. If you'd like to learn more about the Anacacho Orchid, visit the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Also blooming in the garden this week ...

Arbequina Olive trees in our little grove

Despite this past winter's freeze damage to some of the olive trees in our grove, others that were spared (like the one above) are blooming and setting an abundance of fruit.

My Amarylis (above) are like dear old friends. These were planted in our patio garden in 1993 and bloom each year in vivid color. I have divided them several times with great success.

The Alestromeria are recent transplants in my secret garden. This is a new garden area that was started last year and expanded this past winter (thanks to some heavy digging and lifting by my dear hubby.)

The secret garden is awash in pink, purple and blue hues with companion plantings of Erysimum 'Poem Pastel,' Verbena hybrid 'Lilac,' Lobelia and Mona Lavender.

This is the only part sun/part shade garden on our property, so I love to play with pastels and dark hues to create a serene woodland landscape.

Hubby's green thumb is evident in his rose garden where Belinda's Dream and Valentine roses (shown below) are the showstoppers this week.

Belinda's Dream roses

Valentine Roses