On the 15th of each month fellow gardenblogger Carol of May Dreams Garden asks us to join Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I've posted photos on this blog, but a complete list with botanical names can be found at my other blog, Annie's Addendum.
It's mid-September in Austin, and while the days are still hot, there are fewer hours of baking sun on the plants and more hours of restful darkness as we move toward autumn. There may not be many restful hours for friends and family hit by monster Hurricane Ike in the Houston area (including Herself, Nancy and Cindy) and those washed out by the greatest recorded calender day rainfall ever for Chicago . You are in our thoughts, even as we rejoice and share the ways the earth speaks in flowers. Last year I walked the chicken path when MSS of Zanthan Gardens gave me some of her Oxblood lilies. Instead of following her lead and planting the Rhodophiala bifidia bulbs all in one place for a big display, I tucked a few bulbs into 6 small patches, in front, back and side gardens. Just a few of these Schoolhouse Lilies can brighten a small area like the fence at the entrance to the Secret Garden above.
The blue plumbago next to the back door has bloomed for months - now it's joined by the pale yellow Brugmansia, with a pink Cuphea barely visible at lower right.
The two tropical milkweeds had gone to seed, so a few weeks ago I chopped them back. They're blooming again, attracting aphids and milkweed bugs. I've seen Monarch butterflies checking out both plants but if there are any Monarch caterpillars they're hiding too well.
. The 'Julia Child' rose is finally looking good again - especially from a few feet away where the cut-out shapes on many leaves are less apparent. The damage hasn't stopped the buds and blooms and is probably done by leaf-cutting bees so I'll ignore it.
The Divas of the Dirt helped make this front garden in March. The Mutabilis rose, striped cannas, 'Black & Blue' salvia, Gregg's Mistflower, Flame Acanthus, white Gaura and yellow Bulbine strive to fill the footprint where an Arizona Ash once grew.
As you can see in this view from the other direction, the 'Mutabilis' doesn't really need any help, just some water and some time.
Here's a closer look at the Mistflower/Conoclinium greggii, 'Black & Blue' salvia and Bulbine frutescens. Mexican oregano is an herb in the kitchen, but looks like a small flowering shrub in the borders.... I planted two small plants in 2005 and then Pam/Digging gave me one for the Pink Entrance Garden in 2007. Until this summer I didn't want to cut them too much, so still used the dried Mexican oregano when cooking dishes like black beans. (Who was asking about what to cook with this herb? Was it Entangled?) The plants now have enough substance so that harvesting some won't leave a noticeable gap.
Did you notice those hot pink petals scattered around the light purple oregano flowers?
Our neighbors' enormous hot pink crepe myrtle sheds petals with every gust of wind. I'm not fond of the color, but the birds like the dense branches and it adds privacy in addition to the pink confetti.
You've seen the colors that I do love over and over in photos of the intense Blue Butterfly Pea/Clitoria ternatea and the delicately shaded Clerodendrum ugandense/Blue butterfly flower. They're not only blooming continuously, both plants are growing vigorously.
Some of the Salvia 'Nuevo Leon' died soon after the heavy rain three weeks ago, but this red-flowered native is less finicky about heavy clay. Both plants of the Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii have grown well and are covered in flowers, ready for a daily visit by a pair of hummingbirds.
Does your town have rules about when you can water your garden? We're allowed to hand water with a garden hose or watering can here in Austin but the use of sprinklers is regulated - my days are Wednesday and Saturday before 10 AM and after 7 PM.
On Saturday night I placed a 'bubbler' in the root zone of the 'Forest Pansy' redbud and turned on the kitchen timer. When the bell rang, I went out to turn off the water and had a lovely surprise!
It looked like June instead of September as a scattering of Lightning Bugs (or maybe you call them Fireflies) flitted around the front yard, grazing the box hedge and swooping over the 'Mutablis' rose. I caught one and took it inside, intending to get a closeup under the kitchen light. The beetle escaped and flew to the top of the wall.
I aimed high and snapped the photo to see what the camera could do - it's not a closeup, but it's a recognizable lightning bug.
Both the blue pea vine and the Moon vine got a late start this summer - I delayed planting them on the tall metal obelisk because the 'Cupani' Sweet peas didn't stop blooming until mid-June! The Blue Pea had already seeded itself from last year, and it grew fast and bloomed quickly. I had to soak and plant a couple of saved Moonflower seeds, and it took a lot longer to climb the tower, finally opening flowers this week.
You can usually tell if a moonflower bud will open that night by the way it looks in the afternoon.
I went out in the dark and tried out the new camera, testing its ability to capture the texture of the Moonflower petals.
How cool! The new camera lets me see in the dark.
Go to Carol's Bloom Day post and read the comments to find flowers in bloom all around the world.
2016 – APRIL ANNIE’S GARDEN DAY
1 week ago