Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - June 2011

We're having a heat wave. But not a tropical heat wave, no no NO. Tropical heat waves are characterized by brief afternoon showers and warm sea breezes. In Central Texas, we're having a dry, blistering, parched heat wave, with eleven days so far this year over 100° F.

Here's a few plants that can take what the sun dishes out. Not a one of these bloomers is in the front garden, which looks nearly as sad right now as it did six months ago.

Many of my bloomers are edibles. Here's a tiny bright yellow blossom from an "Armenian cucumber" which is actually a melon: Cucumis melo var. flexuosus.
Armenian cucumber blossom

And here's a big bright orange blossom from a 'Costata Romanesco' heirloom Italian zucchini. Looks like the ants are taking over pollination duties this year.
'Costata Romanesco' squash blossom

I love how the pale purple blossoms of 'Ichibon' japanese eggplant cast their faces shyly downward.
Eggplant flowers

Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) continues its bloom cycle, although many of the blossoms are browning on the stem.
Mexican oregano

Now for the non-edible bloomers. Well, people don't eat Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. Drummondii)-- at least, I don't think so!--but hummingbirds sure do. I've spotted several females drinking from its twisty nectar-filled blossoms. Of course, the birds flit off as soon as I even think about grabbing my camera.
Turk's cap

Normally, this 'Old Blush' rose would be blooming up a storm, but between the heat and the drought, it's only managed to put out a few small, pale flowers.
A wan Old Blush blossom

Even this old-fashioned Lantana camara is languishing in the heat. When it's too hot for lantana to bear, you know it's too darn hot!
'Ham & eggs' lantana

The flame acanthus is just starting to bloom, much to the delight of the hummingbirds and bees.
Flame acanthus blossom

Stay cool, little bee!
Bee visits flame acanthus

Fly on over to May Dreams Gardens and see what blooms the world's garden bloggers are buzzing about this GBBD. Tell Carol I sent ya!

Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. For all the heat and drought, you have a nice showing of blooms. That flame acanthus is RED!

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

  2. Such lovely blooms to share despite the dry parched conditions. Living in a 'dry' tropics zone myself, I know something about a blistering searing tropical heatwave and they're not that much fun. It does make gardening a challenge sometimes.

  3. I didn't know my Armenian cucumber was actually a melon--thanks! You're right: when old-fashioned confetti lantana is suffering, you know it's WAY too hot. Your flame acanthus is very pretty. May have to lighten up on my "no hot colors" mindset to find something that can survive!

  4. Thank goodness for flame acanthus and Turk's cap in this weather! The deep orange on your acanthus is gorgeous; mine are a much lighter shade this year (the more I cut them back in winter, the darker they bloom). And I love the delicate color and shape of the eggplant flowers.

  5. Your Turk's Cap looks good. Have tried it a few times, but it seems the deer like it, too. They didn't read the 'deer resistant' list....again.
    Stay cool...

  6. The Turk's Cap is certainly looking good. And I've always loved the old school Lantana - it was always found in my grandparent's Wimberley garden. Happy GBBD!

  7. Great blog! Love the title. We are really in for a challenging summer here in Texas this year.

  8. Hi Caroline,
    I love them all, but that flame acanthus is my favorite. Wow!
    Do you think it would grow in Houston or does it hate humidity? Thanks.
    :0) David/Tropical Texana

  9. David, the Aggies say it will grow in Houston, as long as it's in a sunny, well-drained spot. I saw a hummingbird visiting mine today, and the bees love it too.