Garden Bloggers Bloom day July 15, 2009

On this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, check out gardens from around the world, thanks to Carol at May Dreams.

In Austin, Texas, record temps with 3 digits have been the standard for weeks.  I’d give anything to see a cloud.  Preferably with rain attached.  The joke here is that if it drops to 95, we’ll get out sweaters.

Since I’m as concerned about the wildlife as about my plants, I was thrilled to see this combination: Gulf fritillary butterfly on the potted bougainvillea in the cat cove.

Gulf fritillary butterfly on bougainvillea

Austin’s under mandatory water restrictions, so we’re allowed to water twice a week with sprinklers.  It’s taking a bite out of the paycheck, but I can’t bear to lose it all and start from scratch.  For us, it’s been summer for two years, so the plants and trees went into the latest episode already under stress.  This fall, I’ll make a list of the toughest. In the meantime, here are a few that bloomed this week.

Opposite the bougainvillea pot in the cat cove, the potted plumeria refuses to give up. I water once a week.

Plumeria white and yellow

Springing up beside it is this little beauty, its first bloom ever, though for now it remains Crinum ‘Unidentified.’

pink crinum

The daylilies, also nameless, haven’t given up, either.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen them last this long.

Yellow daylily

And just in time for Bloom Day came this daylily ‘Mambo Maid,’ its first bloom ever!

Daylily 'Mambo Maid'

Sunflowers sprinkled themselves everywhere. Most are not “design-approved,” but at this point, their wildlife food factor is more important than my idea of garden perfection. The birds flock to them.

Bird seed sunflower

In the crape bed, the Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is determined to provide food, even though its leaves are sadly dehydrated.

Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora)

Various insects check out the coneflowers, too.


And the Brazilian rock rose (Pavonia braziliensis).

Brazilian rock rose (Pavonia braziliensis)

Can’t believe the caladiums are still hanging on.

Red caladium

Near kiddie pool where we live these days, the shrimp plants are pretty satisfied.

Apricot shrimp plant

On Amelia’s fence side, the Pride of Barbados/Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) lives for the dog days.

Pride of Barbados, Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

In the den bed, Crinum ‘Ellen Bousanquet’ also keeps coming, though wilts before we can appreciate her full glory.  Even at half-mast, the fragrance is worth a trip outside.

Crinum 'Ellen Bousanquet'

Nearby, on the patio, we also get sniff appeal (after a jump in the kiddie pool) from the potted old-fashioned petunias. They’re about fed up with the heat.

Old-fashioned fragrant petunia

But the patio container sambac jasmine wonders why everyone’s so grumpy.  It keeps pumping out the fragrance to improve our attitude. I always promote this one as a substitute for gardenia fragrance  in Central Texas.  In its large pot, I water once a week.

Sambac jasmine flowers

Not so fragrant, but good enough: the Valentine rose, happy in its new pot.

'Valentine' rose

In front, the chocolate daisy (Berlandiera lyrata) has not disappointed me yet.  I doubted my success with this native plant when I planted it over a year ago, but it likes its spot just fine.

Chocolate daisy (Berlandiera lyrata)

And good grief, the Pelargonium sidoides just doesn’t give up!

Pelargonium sidoides

Also, in front, the plumbagos never fail to perform in heat and drought. Here’s a white.

White plumbago flower

Lantana montevidensis joins it.

Lantana montevidensis with plumbago

Here’s a somewhat faded blue against the white.  These two cool us off all summer.

Blue and white plumbago

Keep cool and happy Bloom Day!  Linda