Spring is so complicated. My allergies have been bad enough to completely incapacitate me after yardwork two Sundays running, and Claritin can't begin to keep up. On the other hand, everything is so wonderfully densely green and juicy and pulsing with vitality. I can't decide if I hate or love this time of year.
Meanwhile, roses are popping into bloom all over the place. 'Fourth of July' is putting on its first buds. Matt, who hates moderns, grumbles about this viciously thorny rose a lot, so I'm doubly glad to see it bodying forth its streaky red awesomeness. FOJ: more than just a bad-ass lethal ninja weapon.
'Madame Alfred Carriere' is just starting to bloom up on the gazebo. It's sporting a number of foamy pink blossoms, although when it comes to the gazebo, the flower bedizened 'Climbing Old Blush' is really where it's at right now. OB's individual flowers, though, can't compare to the delicacy and refinement of Mme AC's.
'Isabella Sprunt,' which is a comparatively new addition to the garden (planted last fall, I think), has put out a number of its unusually long, narrow buds, which prefigure the elongated buds of the hybrid teas. They open to pretty pale lemon blossoms.
Both of the 'Archduke Charles' that we planted last year are sporting many Valentine-colored pink-on-pink flowers. Part of me finds this combination a little too twee, but most of me thinks the overall effect is rather spectacular. Look at all those flowers on this little bitty shrub!
And then there's 'Sombreuil,' a big favorite of my husband's. We're growing it on one of the new trellises for privacy around the pond, and we ended up buying a rather expensive 5-gallon from It's a Jungle that had been trained up a plant stake. At the time, we weren't very happy about this, but it was the only 'Sombreuil' in town. Once we got it uncoiled and woven into the trellis, though, it was obvious that the extra $20 or so was totally worth it. It already fills out the trellis nicely, and it immediately popped into bloom, with several large, densely petaliferous, fragrant disk-like flowers.
So that's spring in Central Texas: bursting with loveliness and color... that I can only see through bleary, itchy, inflamed eyes.