Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dis Bloom Day ...

I am feeling dispirited, dissatisfied, discouraged, disenchanted, disgruntled, disheartened ... oh, hell, just look in the dictionary under dis-! Right now they all feel like they apply. I headed outside thinking that I would water and then take a few pictures to share for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. After seeing the dismal and disappointing conditions wrought by the disinclination of rain to fall on my corner of Katy, I am filled with dismay and disgust. I am disconcerted. I am disconsolate. I am distinctly disposed to disappear for distant and distinctively different destinations ... do not try to dissuade me lest I become disputatious and disorderly.

Seriously, folks, it's bad out there. Let me be clear: I have blooms a-plenty. The plants to which those blooms are attached, however, are feeling the stress. What MSS at Zanthan Gardens calls Brown Summer is upon us a month sooner than expected, by gardeners or by plants, and it is
indeed painful to experience on many levels. A gardener learns that sacrifices must be made: which plant gets to live and which should be yanked and thrown into the compost? Those that are deemed worthy will need the gardener's attention ... nay, vigilance. Watering twice a day may be necessary: is this plant worth her/his venturing forth into the heat and humidity, wrestling with the hoses, getting dirty and sweaty? Will the eventual rewards make that gardener glad s/he sacrificed personal comfort, time and effort in order to nurture that plant through hostile weather conditions? It's a very personal decision and one only that gardener can make.

There are very few plants that show no signs of stress in the most dire of conditions. I am in awe of Batface Cuphea's ability to thrive with almost no attention. Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemonii), which was a fall/winter/spring bloomer on MCOK, increases in size almost daily and will have once again taken over the front garden by the time cooler weather arrives. Gaura is offended by too much water and too rich a soil. I saw a planting of Blue Daze, Evolvulus, today in a commercial landscape: it was covered with blooms and the foliage was in near perfect condition.

OK, now that I've had a chance to rant a bit (and a couple of glasses of La Vielle Ferme rosé), I'll share a handful of pictures taken on Friday when the weather and I were both in better moods.

This Duranta (Golden Dewdrop) is planted outside my breakfast room window, where I can see the butterflies visiting it.

I am a big fan of ornamental grasses and Ruby Crystals grass is one of my faves. It reseeds but not obnoxiously and the blooms are lovely:


Bright Lights or Klondyke Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) aren't impervious to the heat and drought. They reseed so easily, though, it's only a matter of days before they're up and blooming again.

Porterweed has reseeded itself in several locations throughout my corner of Katy.

There was a time when I wasn't all that fond of petunias. This little Supertunia Mini Silver is quite the charmer, though. (And she was only 25 cents on Lowe's clearance rack, despite being in good condition.)
Just to show that I haven't lost my sense of humor or appreciation for nature's little quirks, I offer as my final Bloom Day shot this courageous cyclamen who refuses to give up despite the most adverse of conditions:
(Stay tuned for July and August, when the Texas garden bloggers go ballistic ...)

5 comments:

Annie in Austin said...

Hello Cindy,

It's so interesting to find out what your tough plants are this hot and dry June. We grow some of the same plants but with different results! My cosmos look dead, the duranta survived winter but hasn't grown above 10-inches tall, and the evolvolus is still very small.
I had to look up Porterweed - it looks pretty but a little tender. Lots of luck dragging the hose around!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Shelly said...

Yay, somebody else who loves grasses as much as me. Saw you over at bloom day and thought I should tell you how much I liked your post...annnnnddd....grasses ;)

Pam/Digging said...

Cindy, you've captured my feelings about Texas summers---and this early, intense one in particular---perfectly. It's Seasonal Affect Disorder, but in reverse. It makes me want to disappear north for a few months.

One solution, I'm convinced, is to install a sprinkler system next year. (If the budget is available.) I hate getting out there even to water, and that would be one less chore to have to do in the summer. Plus, if I were able to leave town for a few weeks, I wouldn't have to hire someone to water the garden for me.

Like Annie, my cosmos is toast. And my 'Ruby Crystals' grasses are struggling.

Your blooms look great. Thanks for giving me a chance to rant (whine) with you. ;-)

Cindy said...

Annie, I think the Porterweed would grow for y'all. Although it's frost tender, it reseeds and thus always returns in my garden.

Shelly, thanks for stopping by! Mexican feather grass is one of my favorites (Nassella tenuissima, used to be Stipa t). It does great as long as we don't get too much rain to rot it out, which has NOT been a problem lately.

Pam, feel free to whine and rant with me any time! You're so right about the reverse SAD: days upon end of this weather are positively demoralizing. Re the sprinkler system, I wish mine in the front could be retrofitted somehow. All of my heads are pop-up sprayer types and the coverage isn't what it needs to be. When the system was installed, there was more lawn than garden. Things have changed a lot since then!

Carol said...

In spite of your dis-turbing weather right now, you've managed to have a dis-play of blooms! I know from your Twitters and Plurks how hard you are working to keep it all going through this early brown summer. Hang in there!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens