This GBBD post for June 2011 was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.
The ever-quotable Henry Mitchell once said, "It is not nice to garden anywhere.", a phrase from his essay on "The Defiance of Gardeners". This afternoon I defied our Austin weather by buying 5 cut peonies at the local grocery story. The inside of our house may not be cool enough to let them last long, but for now, they smell like peonies! Outside it's hard to summon up defiance after more than 10 days of temperatures over 100°F with the last rain a distant memory and little hope of a break. I've managed to hand-water beds & borders a couple of times a week, water the containers almost every day and have filled the birdbaths over and over. Little is in bloom in front - no roses, no gauras, one surviving purple coneflower, 'Black and Blue' salvias barely alive - even the tough anisacanthus looks ragged. At least in the back yard there's a ring of green grass at the base of the birdbath and a few plants in bloom for June GBBD (photos will expand when clicked).
Keeping the sunflowers out of the borders but letting a few grow in the "lawn" is working so far- with less water they're still pretty tall but seem less likely to topple or crack.
Hey, sunflower - let me see your face. The finches have probably calculated how many seeds fit on each flower head.The orange cosmos makes a steady supply of seeds for the lesser goldfinches - the few they miss have sprouted and will make the next crop of buds and flowers.
Another yellow daisy-type face is Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'. It's not a big plant but there's enough green around it to make the color pop. The fragrant foliage of Mexican Mint Marigold/Tagetes lucida can be seen at upper left, Salvia farinacea at lower left, one of the last larkspurs still blooming purple at bottom center, an evergreen dwarf yaupon at lower right, and the grassy leaves of Garlic Chives right top, behind the blooms.
Last year Linda from KLRU's Central Texas Gardener featured Dicliptera suberecta, sometimes called Mexican Hummingbird plant and other times called Uruguayan Hummingbird plant or Uruguayan Firecracker. I ran across a starter plant soon after reading her post and it did OK last fall. I like the name Firecracker because the top froze off but this spring the plant came back from the roots with a bang! The hummingbirds do love it.
Tropical Milkweed/Asclepias curassavica grows with Blue Plumbago in the bed along the back of the house. The rainchains haven't had any rain to carry in a long time but look closer... a seed from last year's Butterfly Blue Pea Vine/Clitoria ternatea landed there, sprouted and is using the chain for a trellis
On the other side of the walk I hope the small 'Zuni' Crepe myrtle is making roots and getting established. The 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia took awhile to catch, but is now starting to spread lacy white skirts around the slender crepe myrtle trunks.
The 'Zuni' flowers are supposed to be Violet but it hasn't bloomed yet. Today I saw buds developing - sure hope the tag is right!
The 'Catawba' crepe myrtle was planted in March of 2010 - it hasn't grown much but it's blooming along with the 'Blue River II' Hibiscus. Can you see the browned flower heads of the Oakleaf hydrangea in the background? I hope it will forgive me for planting it in Austin.
In addition to these two smaller purple-toned crepe myrtles, Philo & I bought and planted the two white, semi-dwarf 'Acoma' crepe myrtles in the NE border.
But the pink ones came free with the house. Full-size hot pink crepe myrtles grow on the three borders of our garden, just outside the fence in all the neighboring yards. We still have six hot-pink crepe myrtles in our own yard. I'm not crazy about the color but this year the smallish one at the entrance to the Secret Garden is looking pretty good. Since the pecan trees were trimmed in February that spot gets more sun, and when the Mediterranean Fan Palm froze back over winter, I tucked the potted palm stump in between this crepe myrtle and a holly bush and the runoff from watering the palm was good enough to make the crepe myrtle happy. See what's blooming for other gardeners all around the world at Carol in Indiana's June GBBD roundup at May Dreams Gardens.
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