Some of you have already heard how I feel about living in Texas in July. The 2011 heat & drought is worse than when I wrote this song in 2009! The last couple of winters finished off the Aloes, Agaves and cactus, so there's already a nostalgic quality to the photos in the video:
"I Don't Want to Be in Texas in July" via my YouTube Station Kaefka
But with the help of a few long hoses and a big hat, I helped quite a few flowers to survive and pose for May Dreams Carol & Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Most photos will expand when clicked.
The plants on the patio and along the back of the house look the best. The house shields them from the searing sun of late afternoon and they're close to the back door and the hose.
A Blue Pea vine/Clitoria ternatea sprouted near the rain chain, now fitting in quite nicely with the resident Blue Plumbagos and Tropical Milkweeds. There's only one flower head on this newly planted, hand-delivered in person, division of my Grandmother's phlox but it's good to see this heirloom in bloom. A tiny-flowered pink form of Batfaced Cuphea peeks in from the side.
Near the birdbath fountain the red & purple batfaced Cuphea is out of bloom but the Blue Daze Evolvolus has not stopped. A 'Red Cascade' minirose draped a branch over the container, substituting its own red blossoms for the missing cuphea flowers.
Last year a large pot of Blue Butterfly Clerodendron was the star of the patio but an exceptionally harsh February nearly killed it, reducing the crown by 2/3. The plant is barely half the size it was last July but it's alive and it's still blooming blue. (You may find this beauty under various botanical names: Clerodendrum ugandense, or Clerodendrum myricoides 'Ugandense' or Rotheca myricoides 'Ugandense'. )
Iris/Society Garlic gave me a couple of tomato seedlings last spring. One is blooming and making tiny tomatoes near the back door - this one was labeled 'Mexico Midget'.
This miniature tomato plant and the equally tiny 'Sungold' tomato in a container are the only tomato plants still making fruit.
Around the corner of the house in the Secret Garden there's only one perennial in bloom - Buddleja lindleyana is dangling its wandflowers against the house. Part shade helps this shrub survive, and so does being in the drip line of the live oak. The drip line rather than the area close to the trunk is where slowly watering can help our stressed trees. Life is tougher away from the house in the full sun triangle bed - the native Blackfoot Daisies look exhausted
Just a few feet away, native Zinnia linearis looks much fresher. The bedraggled long leaves belong to an Amarcrinum. Last fall I moved that non-blooming Amarcrinum from a shady spot, hoping more sun would kickstart flowering. Maybe I should have left it alone! At the other end of this bed the Orange Cosmos bloom, go to seed and regrow.
It looks messy but this patch is not for people - it's for the finches, as are the nearby tall native sunflowers.
Dicliptera suberecta/Uruguayan Hummingbird Plant is also for the birds. Later on the seedheads of Crepe myrtles may be eaten by birds, too - but right now we appreciate the foliage and flowers of the cool white 'Acoma' crepe myrtles.
Last month I showed you the small 'Catawba' crepe myrtle planted in 2010. We ran into a tree sale at the end of June & now there's another 'Catawba' on the opposite side of that path.
Last month I showed you buds on the crepe myrtle labeled "Zuni' - the promise was kept and delicate, pinky-lilac flowers are open on the small tree outside the breakfast room window.
The tree sale was a good one with varieties we wanted in sizes we could haul home ourselves. We bought one for the front but instead of planting it, repotted it into a larger container for now.
So if we ever get cooler temperatures, if we ever get rain, and if we can manage to dig a hole in the baked front yard, there may be someday be a Garden Bloggers Bloom Day featuring a tall, 'Muskogee' crepe myrtle covered in lavender flowers.
May all your days be Blooming Days!
2016 Spring Flowers
1 week ago