Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not bad, not bad at all

Despite temperatures well above 100 degrees for most of the past 2 weeks, the garden's looking pretty good.
Front garden in summer

A handful of unexpected but welcome July showers triggered many of the drought-resistant perennials to burst into bloom, like this Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens). We got rain nearly every week in July, totaling more than 5 inches for the month.
Texas sage

Although some plants are not in bloom, their foliage provides texture and color.  Clockwise from upper left: Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalphinia mexicana), gray globemallow (Sphaeralcea incana),  Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides), Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima).
Mexican Bird of Paradise, Mexican feathergrass, Texas lantana, gray globemallow

Counterclockwise from bottom left: yellow zexmenia (Wedelia texana), blue-green gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida), and purple trailing lantana (L. montevidensis). The spots of red are rock (or cut-leaf) penstemon (P. baccharifolius) while the pink is Salvia greggii.
Zexmenia, euphorbia, lantana, penstemon

Some of the salvias hadn't had their mid-summer haircut before the rains, and look rather woody, but the trims will have to wait until these blooms fade. I think the bees appreciate the reprieve.  This variety of S. greggii is called 'Lipstick'.
bumblebee on 'Lipstick' salvia

Front to back: White autumn sage (S. greggii), , blue plumbago (P. auriculata), yellow bells or esperanza (Tecoma stans).
White autumn sage, esperanza, plumbago

What's happening in your garden this summer?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Words and photos © 2009-2013 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

20 comments:

  1. Everything looks great.

    This heat has been hard on a lot of gardens. Hopefully, it will let up soon.

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    1. Hard on people, too! I've been struggling all weekend to prep the veggie garden for fall. Staying well-hydrated and taking frequent breaks is important.

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  2. While the weather has been relatively generous this summer, combined with my travel schedule, my garden is a bit kaput. How are you irrigating? Drip system, sprinklers, or hand-held?

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    1. We installed drip irrigation when we started the garden in 2009. See http://shovelreadygarden.blogspot.com/2009/06/shovel-ready-project-installing-drip_21.html I haven't used it much this year, and some of my newer plants are showing stress. I need to run some lines out to those drier spots this fall. I will hose-irrigate on occasion, but honestly, it's just too hot for much of that nonsense. We'll run a hose out to the baby bur oak on particularly dry months.

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  3. Looking good! We share a lot of the same die hard plants and mine are also living through it all. David/:0)

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  4. Lookin' good! Amazing what a little rain can do. I wasn't quite so lucky in the rain department, but we did get 2 inches which was very welcome. Here's hoping for a wet and cool August. Don't laugh. It could happen :)

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    1. Anything's possible. They've stopped calling it 'global warming', now it's merely 'climate change' - and wet and cool in August would definitely be a change!

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  5. Your yard looks awesome. Looking like a garden in May rather than the oven we all know as August in Texas. I want to get some of that globe mallow. In this post you identify it as 'gray globemallow (Sphaeralcea incana)'. In a post dated May 29, 2012 you refer to it as 'orange globe mallow (Sphaeralcea munroana)'. Do you have (2) varieties of this plant? If so, which one has been the hardiest?

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    1. You made me go back in the archives for this question, D! I just have the one globemallow. The original container is long gone and the plant tag has disintegrated. But in a handwritten garden journal I found a notation of a "gray globemallow" purchased October 15, 2011 at the Wildflower Center fall plant sale, which would be S. incana. The triangular leaf shape and the cupped orange flower resemble the S.incana photos on the NPIN website. My shrub is already 3 1/2 feet tall and 5 feet wide, while S. munroana is reportedly a smaller shrub (1-3') with a pinker flower and a geranium-shaped leaf. And, at the fall plant sale in 2012, the Wildflower Center sold only S. incana. Since I wrote S. munroana in that May 2012 post (scratches head), I'm going to shoot the kindly folks at the Wildflower Center an email to ask if they sold any S. munroana at the fall 2011 plant sale. But all indications are that I misidentifed the shrub in that May 2012 post. As for hardiness, I don't rightly know, as we've had very mild winters the past two years.

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    2. Thanks for playing Plant Detective. As I said your plant looks great and I would like to find one or two of the same variety. You have a very enjoyable blog, you do a great job.

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  6. An August performer! Your garden is looking great, Caroline, not tired at all (so unlike mine at the moment).

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    1. I've got some definite tired spots, but I didn't reveal them in this post. ;)

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  7. Love the first photo, the view of your front garden! And I especially like the bee on the Salvia.
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie
    In the northeast corner of Mississippi where we have had some good rainfalls and temperatures only in the 90s, not the usual over 100 for July and August. A great Summer!

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  8. Hello! I'm visiting from the Bloom Day linkup. I like how you included some foliage in your shots. When it gets hot, that's about all I've got left in some places! I'm working on changing that, though, slowly but surely. Lovely garden!

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  9. Beautiful garden! Looks like you have been watering for sure with all your heat. This year we have had more rain than I can ever remember. 10+ inches in June, 14 inches in July, so far 4 inches in August here in upstate South Carolina. Too much!!

    You might be interested in my Garden Bluebird House Give-Away, check it out.

    Bluebird House Give-Away
    My Japanese Iris Pictures

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  10. Love the photo of the bee on the Salvia greggii! That's a plant we can't grow here in my zone 5b garden, but I wish I could. Happy Bloom Day!

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  11. Did you ever hear back from the people at the Wildflower Center regarding the gray globemallow?

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    1. No, I did not. If I do, I'll update this blog post!

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