Friday, June 13, 2008

A Flowery Friday the 13th

I headed out the door this morning with camera in hand and took a tour of my corner of Katy. It's hot and steamy out there ... looking at the skies in between taking photos, I found it difficult to believe the predictions of rain, which means I should be outside watering. However, I spent over four hours in the sun yesterday in my ongoing effort to take back bed space from the weeds. Weed, water, unload mulch, spread mulch, repeat. For four hours. My reluctance to be out today is understandable, surely. I see clouds to the south now so perhaps the weather folks will be right. Perhaps. I have learned from experience not to put my faith in forecasters. Better to have faith in the blooms to be found on MCOK.

The Dicliptera suberecta has just begun to bloom. This fuzzy-leafed perennial loves hot and dry weather. It can be an assertive spreader so it's best to keep a watchful eye on it.
blog post photo

I can't remember ever seeing Russelia, alias Firecracker Fern, suffer from a lack of rain or surfeit of heat.


blog post photo

Like the previous two plants, Hamelias are a wonderful source of nectar for hummingbirds ... if only they were around to enjoy the blooms. The hummers must not be all that thrilled with our weather, either. Who can blame them?


blog post photo

I like the multi-colored blooms on this Hamelia.

blog post photo

This Native Turk's cap is another great hummingbird plant. The sun hit this bloom just as I clicked the shutter:


blog post photo

Over the years, I've bought several different types of Echinacea (Purple Coneflowers), as well as sown seeds given to me by fellow gardeners. There's quite an assortment of blooms on MCOK. I suspect they've hybridized themselves over the years and I never know for sure what any given plant will do. These are in the south border of the back 40:
blog post photo

This one is in the daylily bed in the north 40:


blog post photo


This one is ... somewhere I can't remember ...


blog post photo


I bought some Angel Wing Jasmine plants years ago at my local Target and they have taken over the trellis that screens my breakfast room windows from the street. It will probably collapse from their weight one day! I spent some time recently clearing out dead wood and doing a little judicious pruning. Not only do they smell heavenly, but they hardly ever stop blooming.


blog post photo

On another section of fence, this Mascagnia macroptera, Yellow Butterfly Vine, is growing vigorously and rooting wherever it touches the ground, making it a great passalong plant , as mine was. I didn't realize that the plant is a member of the Malpighiaceae family, and thus related to Barbados Cherry. The name butterfly vine comes from the winged seed pods that will form from the spent blooms. The willow oak nearby has grown and that area of the south 40 gets too much sun for this vine to bloom as profusely as it could. I didn't crop this picture because I liked the shadows of the plant on the fence.
blog post photo

Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' is another plant that has reseeded itself throughout my gardens. This drought tolerant native plant gets its name from the beautiful white blooms. It's a loose and airy plant that sways in a breeze, lending movement to the garden. I had a little trouble getting a clear shot because they were moving so much!


blog post photo

Another plant that reseeds for me is Profusion Apricot zinnia. Leaf miners may mottle the foliage but have little effect, if any, on the blooms. If you look at the bloom on the far right, you'll see a pink tinge at the end of the petals. Depending on where they're growing on MCOK, that tinge can be so pronounced as to be a stripe or streak, or a flush.
blog post photo

I found this Cuphea at the fabulous Enchanted Forest nursery. The name escapes me but it has a growth habit very much like Batface Cuphea. It's drought tolerant, great in containers or in beds, and reseeds (but not agressively).
blog post photo

Rock Rose, Pavonia lasiopetala, is another drought tolerant native. It also reseeds but not in the thuggish fashion of its relative, Peruvian Pavonia. Here on my corner of Katy, it seems to do well in dappled sun, semi-shade or full sun.
blog post photo

Like the Peruvian Pavonia, Monarda citriodora, commonly called Horsemint or Lemon Mint, can self-sow to the point of thuggishness. Right now I only have the one plant in the corner bed but I expect to see more of them. This is another native plant that's frequently used in wildflower mixes. If you're driving out I-10 west, you'll see these blooming in the plantings along the new sections of the freeway. (I find them a less than felicitous combination with screaming taxicab yellow Stella D'Oro daylilies, however!)


blog post photo

This year I'm undecided whether my favorite daylily is 'Enon' or the pale yellow daylily whose tag has been lost.


blog post photo

blog post photo

Since Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is coming up on Sunday, and one should always leave one's readers wanting more, I'll wrap it up for today picture-wise. By the way, those clouds that were hanging around at the beginning of this post? They've vanished into the ozone and the skies are ominously clear. Stinkin' weather forecasters!

5 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

We're still cloudy, but I don't think we'll get rain. In town, it was hot and sticky, but out here it feels like the cold front already came through.

Enjoyed the tour through your corner.~~Dee

Cindy said...

Cold front??? My heart beats faster at the very thought! I was standing outside earlier this week when an all too brief front blew through. Just for a few minutes, it was actually cool. Hope it stays that way for you for a while. Here's hoping both of us get rain soon!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I have those days when I'm so sick of watering I can hardly drag myself outside to face the yellowed and sunburnt plants again. And yet, miss one day and...

I realized that the garden and I can survive some pretty hot, dry days--even for several weeks. But from mid-May to October...that's tough. (When I started gardening, this kind of weather typically lasted about six weeks from the July 4th to the last week in August.)

Cindy said...

Mss, I share your sentiments all too well. Knowing that we may have months of this weather ahead of us is so disheartening. I hold on to a dim but cherished memory of a July several years back when we had a spell of cool dry weather. It's my one shred of hope.

herself said...

Rain, I can't remember the last time I saw rain. I'm seeing lots of leaf scorch up here in my end of Houston.

Those blooms are wonderful. Here the crepes and shade gingers are blooming.