About Me
My Photo
Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
View my complete profile

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, August 2010

It's 100°F every day and there has been only a splash of rain in my neighborhood. The mosquitoes are horrid. The salvias are sulking. Barely a leaf can be found whole, due to outrageous numbers of caterpillars and other leaf-eating insects. My main goal is to run out, cut back, deadhead, mow, water enough to keep the garden alive and run back in until fall. August is a good month for genealogy inside.

But it's still better than August 2009, such a depressing month that I skipped GBBD altogether, and later regretted having that gap in my records. Carol of May Dreams Gardens, founder of GBBD, had a good idea, to keep track of what happens each month, no matter what the weather!

Some plants have died, some are doing fine and one new flower opened. A few stalwart plants keep chugging along through heat with no rain - others are in part shade and are watered regularly. Here is the list with botanical names and a few photos.

Abelia chinensis/Abelia, four white shrubs light bloom

Abelia chinensis two unnamed pink shrubs light bloom

Abelia chinensis 'Edward Goucher' smaller pink shrub in some shade - pretty good bloom

Abutilon hybridum 'Patrick's' - in a container in the Secret Garden. The flowers are small & hang down...they are not showy - but when the sun comes through it's easy to see why so many Austin gardeners are falling for Parlour Maples.

Allium tuberosum, Garlic chives has buds but not flowers

Amarcrinum ‘Fred Howard’ The bulb that flowered for July's bloom day is in a very sunny hot place with reflected sun... that plant looks terrible! The bulb that is blooming today, seen below, is in part shade in the pink garden. Even with some shade the flowers don't last long in this heat.

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, Flame acanthus from Pam/Digging doing really well

Asclepias curassavica, tropical milkweed, couple of plants with lots of flowers. They seeded themselves right next to the sidewalk, blocking traffic but looking colorful.

Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Gold' gold cultivar of tropical milkweed in light bloom

Buddleja lindleyana/ Weeping butterfly bush, some flowers remaining on branch tips

Calibrachoa hybrids, two surviving plants - just a couple of flowers

Canna americanallis 'Bengal Tiger' syn 'Praetoria' two flower stalks

Capsicum annuum – garden peppers - a few flowers and some hot peppers

Catharanthus roseus - annual vinca- one surviving plant.

Castilleja indivisa, Texas paintbrush, grown as annual - one flower hanging on

Clerodendrum ugandense – Blue butterfly flower. Original plant is finally thinking about making buds. The one in a patio container, bought in June from It's About Thyme is enormous & in constant bloom

Clitoria ternatea- the annual Blue Butterfly Pea, flowering on the obelisk

Conoclinium greggii, Gregg’s Mistflower - Just a few flowers, because I haven't watered it enough

Cosmos sulphureus flowers, many buds and seedheads attracting birds

Cuphea ignea, orange Cigar flower, a fair amount of small orange flowers

Cuphea llavea – small pink & lavender form -a few flowers

Cuphea llavea –red & purple ‘Batfaced’- two plants blooming just fine

Datura unkn sp - seeded in patio container - a bud and seedheads

Dicliptera suberecta Uraguayan firecracker plant - new small plant with some flowers

Echinacea purpurea ‘Purple Stars - one remaining flower - many seedheads. Leaves awful.

Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' two plants in flower.

Evolvulus glomeratus, Blue Daze, one survivor in a patio container

Gaura lindheimerii, unknown tall rose-pink variety (‘Pink Cloud’?), just a few flowers but there are none on the white gaura, usually quite tough

Hedychium coronarium/ Hawaiian White Ginger - there were a few flowers last week -that's when I took the photo below. Now there are no flowers but a few buds are swelling

Helianthus, three tall annual sunflowers, looking like some species of bizarre leafless tree since the Bordered Patch caterpillars devoured the leaves. At the ends of the bare branches flowers, buds and seed heads attract so many birds that when I look out the window the 10-foot plants appear to be dipping and waving as the birds land and depart. This photo was taken by my son

Hemerocallis fulva – Ditch daylily from Lori one bud left to open

Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Blue River II’, a few huge white flowers each day

Hibiscus syriacus/Rose of Sharon, a few flowers every day

Impatiens walleriana, bedding impatiens. couple of plants in container are blooming

Indigofera amblyantha? /pink false indigo - has a few wands of pink flowers

Ipomoea alba, Moon flower vine, just starting to make buds

Ipomoea quamoclit, Cypress vine, reseeding annual many flowers

Jasminium sambac, Sambac jasmine non-stop

Justicia spicigera/ Mexican Honeysuckle some flowers

Lagerstroemia indica, hot pink crepe myrtles (5 trees), still some flowers

Lagerstroemia x hybrida ‘Acoma’ white crepe myrtles (2 trees); still some flowers

Lagerstroemia indica 'Catawba', in container, reddish-purple flowers, still some flowers

Lantana, unknown varieties upright lavender and trailing white

Lavandula intermedia 'Provence', fragrant,in clay container - keeps blooming as long as watered and deadheaded

Liriope muscari/Lilyturf, in long lines all over the place, flowering lightly

Lonicera sempervirens, coral honeysuckle (just a few flowers)

Lycopersicon lycopersicum, tomatoes mostly the Sun gold, but a few on Solar fire

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii/Turkscap or Red Wax Mallow (two plants), loaded with blooms.

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii, white form of Turkscap/Wax Mallow (two plants in secret garden), sprawling and covered in flowers.

Melampodium leucanthum / Blackfoot daisy - many plants - floppy and flowering - sweet fragrance in heat

Oxalis regnellii 'Atropurpurea' (dotted around and in containers), blooming some places- crispy in others

Pavonia lasiopetala, pink rock rose, opens flowers but they fry quickly

Pelargonium hybrid, 'Fantasia Salmon', zonal geranium in breakfast room window

Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian stars a few flower heads

Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian Sage (two beds), floppy but holding onto flower heads

Phlox paniculata 'John Fanick' - new plant - very pretty flowers and some buds

Physostegia virginiana, Obedient plant - stressed but has a few flowers that caught my son's eye - he took this photo

Piper auritum/Hoja Santa or Rootbeer Plant - two plants in shade have odd wand-shaped white flowers

Platycodon 'Miss Tilly' (3 plants), a few fading flowers

Plumbago auriculata (two shrubs), going nuts and covered in pale blue flowers- have to keep cutting it back

Plumeria unknown species/Frangipani, creamy yellow one bud stalk not open yet

Poliomintha bustamanta, Mexican oregano (3 plants), all blooming but looking ratty & stressed

Portulaca - reseeded & purchased Moss Roses and Flowering Purslanes - all have flowers

Punica granatum 'Nana'/ dwarf pomegranate - couple of buds

Rosa 'Mutabilis' (two good-sized plants) just a few flowers on front plant

Russelia equisetiformis, Firecracker plant 2 plants in bloom

Salvia farinacea, Mealy Blue sage, wandlike flowers opening but do not last

Salvia greggii, one cherry color, one white, one purple have flowers - dozen others are either resting or dropping branches.

Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' only a few flowers on back plant... other one spindly and not blooming

Salvia vanhoutii SYN Salvia splendens var 'Van Houttei' does not make a lot of bloom, but a few at a time for hummingbirds

Scutellaria indica 'Dorota Blue' Blue evergreen hybrid skullcap, in container, part-shade & watered. Just started flowering

Scutellaria suffrutescens, pink skullcap, two plants in Pink Entrance Garden - light bloom

Scutellaria unlabeled blue-violet skullcap blooming in hellstrip

Scutellaria unlabled - flower pink but different from suffrutescens, blooming in hellstrip

Tetraneuris scaposa, four nerve daisy Hymenoxys - a couple of flowers

Verbena bonariensis – a few stragglers - most done

Vitex agnus-castus / Chaste tree this year is looking pretty good!

Zephyranthes 'Labuffarosea', Pink rainlily - in this bunch open today today the focus is on the seeds. I scattered them along the edges of a border.

Zinnia linearis/ syn Zinnia angustifolia, several plants, abundant white flowers.

Happy GBBD - thanks again, Carol!


  1. This has been a very hard summer which was preceded by the harshest of winters for my garden. I do not have the huge caterpillar devastation...yet!

  2. You are not the only Austinite that regrets having that gap in August of last year, but that's how it goes sometimes. Sounds like though this is August is better, it isn't great, but you do have some nice blooms. I knew you would!

    Hot, hot, hot in Indiana, too, but cooling down to the 80's this week!

  3. I can definitely see why Austinites--or anyone else--would fall for those parlor maples after seeing your backlit photo, Annie. Gorgeous!

    Hope that things cool down in TX soon--or that you at least get a few more drops of rain.

  4. I think I have the mother of all obedient plants--she is HUGE! But still in bud (right on schedule for MI). Your post also reminds me I want to get some Castilleja.

  5. Those seeds are as interesting as the blooms. This has been a rough August here too. You seem to have lots blooming even if it is hot there. I have an Abutilon that looks like yours. I over wintered it and it is blooming well right now. Happy GBBD.

  6. Wow! That is an impressive list of bloomers. In this weather, even more impressive.

  7. Your list seems pretty huge and impressive to me! The pink rain lilies you gave me have been blooming since Friday. Sounds like your salvias are doing better than mine.

  8. That's a lot of blooms Annie! I also featured 'Patrick's' abutilon on my GBBD post. I have to laugh cause the only place I see it featured are on Austin blogs!

  9. Wow - what a lot of blooms! Very impressive!

    That "Fred Howard" is beautiful :-0

  10. Geez, please send your garden over to mine! I don't have anywhere close to that blooming. Your garden sounds lovely, even in this icky heat. You've got several beauties that I want to try again. Happy bloom day!

  11. Oh, forgot to ask: how did you get your ginger to bloom?

  12. I'm curious about how 'Blue Daze' has performed for you. I keep seeing it in nurseries in full bloom--very tempting.

    Also tempting is Clerodendrum ugandense. Can you share what your growing conditions are like? How much shade? How much water? I'm afraid of it being thirsty because I'm not good about daily or every-other-day watering in summer. But the flowers are so delightful.

  13. Wow, what a list, Annie! Your garden must be full of blooms. This has indeed been a hard summer; our temps have been consistently in the 90's and little rain since late June. It's really been a test of "survival of the fittest" in my garden this year. I think I'm ready for fall:)

  14. I'll bet that Hedychium has a wonderful fragrance. The Head Gardener gere did a poor job of siting the John Fanick Phlox but it continues to bloom anyway.

  15. You've been peaking over this Tennessee gardener's fence Annie! You're hotter them we are but the humidity, lack of rain, plant leaves that resemble Swiss cheese and mosquitoes all sound similar. You have much more variety then C&L blooming~it's Susans and phlox here...I look forward to autumn, too.


  16. I've been watching your temps and feeling for you, Annie. We had some very hot, dry weeks earlier on, but we've had cool weather (much too fall-like for me!) since Sunday, and a couple of rainy days, so things are pretty soggy. A happy medium would be nice, wouldn't it?
    Your plant list is impressive and you do have some pretty blooms in spite of the heat and drought.
    I know fall is a great gardening season for you but it comes much too fast for me!
    I'm curious as to the pronunciation of Cuphea. Is the C soft or hard? As in soofia or koofia? I was chuffed to find a pretty pink one at our small local nursery this spring. What a cool plant it is!
    Happy remains of the summer, Annie. I wish you rain, milder temps and abundant blooms!

  17. Thank you all for commenting and apologies for not answering sooner - I've either been watering or working on genealogy & genealogy photo projects.

    Tabor- sure hope your garden is not as chomped as this one! Two weeks later it's even more shredded.

    You are a shining example of a record keeper, Carol of May Dreams! I'm sorry to read that Indiana is having such a dry summer.

    I bought two different kinds of Abutilon, Blackswamp Kim, but the other one has no flowers and looks like a giant weed. Maybe keeping them in a container is better?

    The Physostegia is barely alive right now, Monica the Garden Faerie -flowers crisped up in spite of watering it often. Good luck with the Castilleja!

    Hi Lisa at Greenbow -two weeks later & some of those plants look even worse, but I don't think any have actually died. That's the measure of gardening success down here... not "Is it beautiful?" but "Does it still exist?"

    The numbers might reflect the ridiculous amount of plants stuffed in, Birdwoman -playing the odds!

    Hello Iris - how cool to know the rainlilies are doing well! Salvias are having a bad summer, aren't they? And a branch from the pecan fell on the Salvia vanhoutii - the only one that was actually growing! It's smaller, but still flowering.

    You're still an Austinite at heart, aren't you, Jean? Isn't 'Patrick's' a selection from someone at Barton Springs Nursery? It's doing better than 'Marilyn's Choice' right now.

    Thank you, Jayne - Fred is looking dormant now, but it's one of my favorites!

    The list looks better than the reality -your garden always looks fresh and green, Linda of Central Texas Gardening! Leaves are lacework here.
    This is the 9th summer I've grown that ginger. It's planted in 3 places in the ground and also in a big pot. I never know which ones will do well - same place is good one year and zip flowers the next.

    Hi Pam/Digging - It's a very short plant, but in the right spot needs nothing more than a splash of water - even living through winter in milder years. It's having a rough time in hanging baskets this summer - think the roots get too hot.
    The new Clerodendrum is in partial shade on the patio - watered at least once a day. The original plant is in the ground in a little more sun but with adjoining plants shading the roots. It can go 2 or 3 days without watering. But it's never fully recovered from last winter.

    It's not a banner year for most of us, is it Prairie Rose? Maybe what we want is a looooong fall to recover ;-]

    The idea was to have the scent waft toward the patio table and the bench in the secret garden, Cindy from Katy... but when I'm out there all I can smell is mosquito repellant. Phooey.
    The Fanick Phlox looks horrible right now...maybe because we went from soggy to baked. If I were a plant I'd bail, too!

    Swiss Cheese is right, Gail - especially since we both try to close our eyes to what the caterpillars do in hopes of eventual butterflies!
    My Susans are down to a little rosette of leaves...hope they make it!

    Hi Kerri in NY - thanks for the sympathy and wish we could send you some Australia-type days so it feels like summer for you before that Fr--t word sneaks in.
    As far as I know it's Koo'-Fee-Uh. You have such good luck with overwintering.. bet that Cuphea will be blooming in your New York window this winter ;-]

    May rain fall on all of you who need it!


  18. That is quite a list for late in the season. After reading May Dreams post on 'Seasonal Shift' it has made me want more going on in August.

    I've never grown rain lilies- they are such cute little blooms.

  19. I'm always in awe of the list of plants that you have in bloom - truly amazing.


A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.