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Have you experienced a warmer then normal winter this year?

I certainly have, although I’m not complaining because my garden loves it.  I took a walk around the garden and was so pleased to see quite a few plants blooming….

Purple Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violaceae)
My purple lilac vine blooms this time every year, which makes it a great vine for the garden.  The foliage is evergreen in my zone 9a garden through out the year, which is also a plus.
It can be hard to find this flowering vine in the nursery later in the year.  So, grab it now if you want one.
Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)
 
Firecracker penstemon is my favorite plant.  I starts blooming in January and goes until May.  Hummingbirds love it too!
Pink Beauty (Eremophila laanii)
My pink beauty shrub has grown tall 8 ft.), which I love because it covers an expanse of bare wall in the garden.  This Australian native is evergreen in my garden.
Valentine (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’)

This is my second favorite plant.  Valentine flowers from December through May in my garden, with the peak bloom arriving on Valentine’s Day!  Hardy to zone 8.

Purple Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis)

Normally, my purple trailing lantana is brown and crispy from frost – but not this year.  Butterflies just love this plant.
Pink Trumpet Vine (Podranea ricasoliana)
My pink trumpet vine blooms next to my vegetable garden.  I just love this plant too!

How about you?  Do you have anything blooming in your garden this month?
I came upon this group of containers yesterday.  
Pretty uncontrolled plants, huh?
Well, hidden underneath all the plants are actually 4 containers.
AND
they are all mine…..
I know, I know.  
How could I have let things get so out of control?
Well, life sometimes gets a bit crazy and other then watering my pots, they didn’t get any other attention this summer.
I didn’t go out of my way to plant colorful annuals this past spring, opting instead for perennials.


My Sweet Potato Vine did wonderfully despite being neglected.  It is a newer variety called ‘Pink Frost’ (Ipomea batatas ‘Pink Frost’).
A single Vinca flower pushes its way through the other plants.  I planted Vinca for my father-in-law, in his garden, this summer before he passed away in September.  He gave me his leftover plants, which I threw in one of my containers.
Purple Trailing Lantana is spilling over and has reached the ground because I never pruned it back.



I also planted White Trailing Lantana, which is mixed in with my Sweet Potato Vine.

Now I must admit, that my container plants are usually better maintained.  But under the circumstances, I think that they did great considering that all I did was water them.

Believe it or not, I used to be in charge of hundreds of of container plants every year (usually annuals).  They had to look perfect because they were in high profile areas.

You certainly wouldn’t know it looking at my own containers right now would you?

I sometimes describe myself as more of a “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of horticulturist at times 😉

For those of you who maybe can’t stand my messy containers, don’t worry.  I have plans for ripping out some of the plants, some pruning and some new additions.

I’ll show you what I did next time 🙂


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My daughter and her husband came over tonight for dinner.  She is definitely ready to ‘pop’.  I remember being so anxious for her to be born (she was 5 days late).

I think it is even harder now, waiting for my first grandchild to be born.

ONE more day until her due date!
I wonder if her baby knows that 😉

It seems just like I was creating a bouquet for the month of April.  Where has the time gone?

My garden is in full bloom, but all I seem to see when I look outside is some plants in need of a bit of pruning 😉

I have had some exciting events occur in my garden, which I cannot wait to share with you next week.  

Some of you wondered how my daughter, Gracie, was doing after having 6 teeth pulled last week and she is doing much better.  She was able to eat a Rice Krispy treat last Monday, but told me that she it was too hard to eat salad – I don’t think so……

Okay, so back to my Monthly Garden Bouquet.  You know, some months it is difficult to come up with a bouquet.  In winter there are much fewer flowering plants to choose from.  So, I really appreciate the warmer months when it  only takes me about 10 minutes to put together a pretty bouquet.

So, I picked out two different flowers, one from a shrub and the other from a groundcover.  I had the perfect container and was ready to take my photo when, my dog, Tobey, decided to get a closer look at my bouquet….

So once I got Tobey out of the way, I was able to take this picture of my bouquet.
I love using mason jars for flower arrangements.  I recently purchased a special lid that has a wire grid that separates and holds up each individual stem.  I love it.
The flowers that I chose were yellow flowers from my Arizona Yellow Bells shrubs (Tecoma stans stans).  I love the bright green foliage and the flowers are present from April to November in my zone 9a garden.
**You know what?  Many people overlook the fact that many flowering shrubs can be used to make great bouquets.
The  purple flowers are from my Trailing Purple Lantana (Lantana montevidensis), which add gorgeous purple to my garden for 9 months each year.

Okay, so maybe some of you are wondering about this Monthly Garden Bouquet.  Well, here are the details below…..
If you would like to participate in this month’s MGB, here are the guidelines:
1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂 
2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.
3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂 
4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it! 

It can be as simple or fancy as you like.  Each month, I cannot wait to see what you all come up with.