Do you have anything blooming in your garden today? If not, then think about adding some of these to remind you that Spring really is around the corner.
The redbud trees, cercis canadensis, are now blooming and I have a very old multi-trunked redbud in my backyard that lights up in deep pink-purple seemingly shaking up the sleeping beds. Mine is an old eastern redbud tree probably planted by the original owner of this German homestead. We are very close to a river, so the soil is deep and rich, thus this variety has done very well.
There are two other varieties that I like to use in the hill country that tolerate drought much better than the eastern redbud: the Texas redbud, Cercis canadensis var. texensis, and the Mexican redbud, Cercis canadensis var. mexicana. The Texas redbuds are smaller and more drought tolerant than the eastern redbuds and they have much smaller leaves that have wavy margins. The Mexican redbud is even more drought tolerant than the Texas redbud and usually tops out at only 15 feet tall, versus the Texas variety's max height of 20'. The eastern redbud is the tallest, attaining anywhere from 20' to 30'. All of them have heart shaped leaves and make wonderful accents to a garden.
Now look down. Blooms on the garden floor! I spotted the first chartruese blooms of my favorite plant that almost no one else has but everyone should, the Gopher plant (euphorbia biglandulosa). (The Natural Gardener in Austin carries them.) Notice that it is also evergreen although it is a groundcover only reaching about 12" tall. Next to the bright green blooms are the deep blue upright spikes of Salvia sylvestris 'May Night' which has been blooming all winter long! The catmint is waking up with its soft blue blossoms and the Sedum 'Neon' is morphing into succulent orbs which will eventually rise and unfurl neon pink blooms this late summer.