Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Rainy Bloom Day

My sentiments exactly, a fact known to my good friend Genny, who gifted me with this sign recently. It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day so I shall demonstrate herewith that I am indeed incapable of having just one! But first, a visit to Little Mama: since I last posted, she has rebounded from the drastic pruning I gave her and is now sporting several of these tender green shoots on her carefully rearranged trunks. By next spring, I do believe she'll be lovelier than ever and well on her way to reattaining her original moniker of Big Mama.

We've had some lovely rain showers the last two days. The rain was much needed and therefore entirely welcome ... but it does make photography sessions in the garden a little problematic. I walked outside this morning, camera in hand, intending to take pictures and then spend the morning inside composing a brilliantly worded and beautifully illustrated post. That intention was foiled by the absolutely horrendous humidity level, which caused my camera lens to fog. No matter how quickly I wiped it and then focused, I wasn't quick enough to beat the humidity. I gave up and focused on other things instead (cleaning and organizing the garage, taking the dog to the groomer, more c&o of the garage, picking up the dog at the groomer, watching DVR of HOUSE with daughter). By the time I'd done all those things, there was a break in the rain and I headed back outside. This time the lens didn't fog so badly and I was able to get a few pictures of flowers (with raindrops). (As I review this post before publishing, at approximately 10:15 pm, it is raining again ... that's the second time tonight.)

Summer bloomers continue to provide bursts of color throughout the garden.

Bauhinia galpinii is still recovering from Hurricane Ike but continues to bloom.


Although I've pulled out the older ones, another generation of Zinnias insists on making their presence known in the garden. I love this color with the Blackie Sweet Potato Vine.



Red firespike is strutting its stuff ... I hope there are still some hummingbirds around to enjoy it!


This is a recently planted Dianthera candicans
(kindly pardon the white sheet in the background which
is protecting the roots of a shrub form Evergreen Wisteria
[Millettia] which I liberated from its container and then forgot to plant
before I left for a long weekend in Santa Fe.)


One of many Abelmoschus which have seeded themselves
throughout the gardens.


Although the summer bloomers are loathe to give up their place in the spotlight, autumn beauties are coming on strong.


The leading lady of the back garden right now is this lovely aster.
Formerly known as Aster oblongifolius, she now goes by
the more exotic name of Symphyotricum oblongifolium.
Her tendency to be a rangy beauty can be checked by
cutting her back in spring and summer.


I've also learned this year that toad lilies respond
well to a little pruning in summer, at least here
in south central Texas.

The Cassia splendida/Senna splendida is also coming into its
own as fall makes its way to my corner of Katy. This particular
Cassia can be a shrub or tree. Most of the Cassias at Wit's End are
in the 4 to 6 ft range but I've seen one towering over the roof of a
garage at a fellow gardener's home. One of my favorite things about Cassias:
they're a larval food source for butterflies in the Sulphur family.

There are a few plants that seem to be confused about the season, however, one of which you see below.

After being blown about by Ike and then experiencing an early cool front, the Bridal Wreath Spirea decided it must be spring. I wonder if this will affect the spring bloom?


The roses and clematis can bloom year round here at Wit's End. Roses in bloom right now include Carefree Beauty, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Caldwell Pink, Martha Gonzales, Mutabilis, Madame Antoine Mari, Lafter, Reve D'Or, Highway 290 Pink Buttons, The Fairy, Old Blush, Belinda's Dream and Perle D'Or.

Perle D'Or

This Clematis is either 'Fireworks' or 'Doctor Ruppel'. It's one of the
100 pots of Clematis I brought home from Lowe's clearance
shelves last year. The price? $10.00. Yep, ten dollars.
I distributed them amongst my friends, family and myself. The old
adage that a clematis wants its head in the sun and its roots in the shade
has held true with this one: it's growing in the midst of more
Blackie Sweet Potato Vine.

And now for a list of everything else that's blooming in the garden today (in the order in which I remember them): Cosmos, Verbenas (various), Gaura, Pink Skullcap, Lavender Skullcap, Rudbeckia, Erythrina crista-galli, Batface Cuphea, Hummingbird Cuphea, Echinacea, Rosemary, Silver Oregano, Salvia 'Anthony Parker', Salvia Leucantha, Salvia greggii, Salvia coccinea, Calylophus, Salvia miniata, Turk's Caps (Pam's Pink, Native Red, Mexican), Cuphea ignea 'David Verity', Cuphea macropetala, Pentas, Pink Salt Marsh Mallow (Kosteletskya), Blue Mist Flower (Eupatorium), Duranta, Hamelia, Justicia spicigera, Justicia (Pinecone Shrimp Plant), Bottlebrush, Calliandra, Clerodendron (red/lavender vine), Coral Vine, Sweet Almond Verbena, Persian Vitex, Verbena bonariensis, Ruby Crystals Grass, Miscanthus sinensis, Anisacanthus, Lantana (Denholm White, native pink/yellow), Salvia 'Henry Duelberg', Salvia 'Otahal', Salvia 'Indigo Spires', White Plumbago, Barbados Cherry, Coral Porterweed, Profusion Apricot Zinnias, Spiderwort, Jatrophas (Pink & Red), Rangoon Creeper, Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium), Philippine Violet, Pigeonberry, Australian Violet, Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea). How in the name of Chipping Sodbury did I end up with so danged many plants????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 comments:

Leslie said...

You have an incredible number of intriguing plants I've never even heard of! I'm glad you've gotten some rain...and that Little Mama is on the road to regaining her rightful name.

Kathy said...

I don't even own as many roses as you have blooming right now. And I'm confused about the clematis shopping spree. Was that $10 for the entire hundred plants?

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That's a great specimen of S/A obligifoli-thingy. It complements the color & form of the nearby Coneflowers. Love the Toad Lily. I bet they bloom for a very long time in TX. Here, if I pruned them, they probably wouldn't bloom before the freeze. The Cassia/Senna makes a great contrast to everything else you have. I love the clear yellow of its flowers shining like a beacon.

MA said...

That is one great sign! Looks like the garden is rallying back after Ike. Good!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Leslie, I'll bet a lot of my plants would grow for you in California. An incredible number is right. I am an over the top gardener for sure!

Kathy, I've been wanting MORE roses, too! I know y'all have to worry about root hardiness there. Here it's blackspot and downy mildew that can knock them back. Or hurricane force winds ... poor Belinda's Dream was partially uprooted by Ike. Re the clematis, yes, it was $10.00 for 100 4 inch pots! At that price, I figured even if only 10 made it, I was still ahead. I think probably 20-25 of those pots had dead plants, though.

MMD, thingy? Have you been watching Python recently? I am so happy with the Aster this year; now that I know the trick to making them bloom, I want more!

MA,it's amazing how much abuse plants can take, isn't it?

Annie in Austin said...

You have a lovely, damp, blooming day, but if plants are like potato chips you're buying those chips by the case, Cindy ;-]

It amazes me how different the flower forms seem on different bauhinias, but we can usually look at the leaves and know they're related. I'm sure glad that one survived Ike and that Little Mama has consented to grow where you want her to!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

EAL said...

I love the images of flowers with raindrops. I sometimes dread looking at you Texas and CA bloom dayers--you beat me every time!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I really can't believe you wrote them all down. Gracious and Happy Bloom Day, my friend. BTW, I want a Cassia. Pretty.~~Dee

ricki said...

It may be your photography, but that toad lily is way prettier than most. I can see your blossoms without too much envy because our climates are so different, but that one I might try.

Bonnie said...

Fall aster is just stunning. Will be on my list to add to the garden.

Gail said...

Cindy,

That is quite a find...all those delightful clemmies! I am a new Toad Lily owner so my little ears perked up when you said prune and then MMD says she can't...I am in that middle area...might could make sense or not to prune! Too funny! Paper or plastic, mam? Uhhh?

I like your new sign, so true about potato chips and plants. Have a great weekend in your garden!

gail

Anna said...

My goodness! You don't look as though you've been through a hurricane. It all looks grand! You are one of those folks who truly loves their garden and it shows.

Carol said...

Yes, how in the name of chipping sodbury did you end up with so many plants, and flowers! Oh, could it be all those trips to the garden center?

I'm happy to see your garden is recovering from Ike, but I know it was not without a lot of work on your part.

Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Cindy, MCOK said...

Annie, I have way too many plants, really I do. It's why I call myself a horthead: I succumb so easily to the temptation of the new and different.

EAL, given our lack of summer rain, I'm more than happy to find it necessary to take pictures of raindrop bedecked plants!

Dee, I can send you seeds for the Cassia if you'd like. I'd send a seedling but I'm not sure how well it would travel in snail mail.

Ricki, the toad lilies have been really lovely this year. Maybe it was getting rain just before they bloomed. I'd say it's worth trying in your garden.

Bonnie, I'm going to keep my eye out for more of this aster. I can think of several spots that would benefit from their presence.

Gail, I was really nervous about pruning them so I pruned a few and left the others. The ones I pruned branched out and were less floppy. I think timing is critical, even more so in your climate.

Anna, the garden shows the effects of Ike more in the front gardens. I didn't take many pictures out there this Bloom Day.

Carol, thanks for hosting GBBD! So you're saying there's a direct correlation between trips to garden centers and acquiring more plants? Interesting. I'll have to test that theory this week!

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