Friday, August 14, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2015

All that lovely rain that we got during the first five months of the year is now only a distant memory. Since the beginning of June, things have gotten much drier in my zone 9a garden here in Southeast Texas, and since the beginning of July, we have been positively parched. Combine that with the triple digit (Fahrenheit) temperatures that we've had most days in August and you will find a garden that is struggling to survive. My plants don't have much energy left over just now to produce blooms. 

Still, there are a few plants that soldier on without regard to heat, drought, or whatever else Nature might send their way.


Hamelia, for example. It blooms from summer right through fall, providing nectar for the migrating hummingbirds, and it is not fazed by heat and drought. 

Neither is Anisacanthus wrightii, another mostly fall bloomer that is a favorite with hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. 

Crape myrtles, of course, fairly relish our hot, humid weather. This is an old tree that we pruned back severely last winter. That treatment caused its blooms to come in a bit late this year, but now it is in full bloom.  

Blue plumbago is another reliable bloomer that doesn't mind brutal heat and drought. 

In the vegetable garden, most of the veggies are long gone now, having succumbed to the heat, humidity, or the insects that love such weather, but peppers, of course, thrive on all that and they continue to produce.

Marigolds provide a bit of color in various beds around the garden.

The African blue basil continues to bloom and to attract bees.

The beautyberries are ripe and the birds have already found them and are feasting on them.

Blooms of the 'Pride of Barbados' grow on long terminal panicles. The panicles start flowering at the bottom and continue in waves over a period of weeks all the way to the very end of the panicle. As you can see here, these panicles are close to reaching the end of their blooms and the bottom layers that have already bloomed are now producing the fruits which confirm that they are members of the pea family.

Even near the end of their bloom period, the flowers still attract butterflies like this Monarch.

Joe Pye weed continues its long period of blooms.

Along the back fence where a wild hedgerow grows, bright orange accents show that the native trumpet vine is in bloom. 
Elsewhere in the backyard garden, the almond verbena is flowering and scenting the area with its lovely fragrance.

And, of course, come drought or flood,  heat or frost, the bottle tree is always in bloom.

 
Thank you for visiting my garden this month and thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for again hosting this monthly meme. Happy Bloom Day to all.

18 comments:

  1. Lovely collection of blooms!
    I just noticed Bertie in the sidebar. So cute!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. Thank you, Lea. It's a small collection but I'm grateful for every one.

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  2. I lived for several months in Wichita Falls, TX (too many years ago) but I did not garden and all I remember is cannas. I enjoy seeing blooms that will never survive in my upstate New York garden - I love crepe myrtles. I could wish for Smell O'Blog after seeing your almond verbena.

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    1. Smell O'Blog would definitely be worth it. Almond verbena has a wonderful fragrance that perfumes the whole side of the garden where it lives.

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  3. Crape myrtles are a late summer highlight. Yours is lovely. Reading about your pruning success inspires me to do the same.

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    1. I had a lot of trepidation about committing "crape murder" as that severe pruning is called around here, but much of the tree was dead and it called for drastic action. Happily, it seems to have worked out well and the tree has responded with lots of blooms.

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  4. You have a nice collection of blooms despite the hot and dry weather. We had two days of rain and thunder and that helped a LOT for my parched garden, would have liked a few more days but no more rain to come for the next 10 days so I am back to watering.
    I love seeing beautyberries on other people’s blogs, wish I could have it in my garden but with eventual height of 3m and spread 2.5m I think it would be a too large structure in my garden.

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    1. Beautyberry is a lovely plant and one of my favorites. I have several, both purple and white varieties, scattered around my 1/2 acre garden. The birds do love them.

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  5. I had no idea Anisacanthus is so drought tolerant! I planted one last year, and was glad to see it begin to bloom a few days ago - right in time for Bloom Day. We've had an unusually hot and dry summer here in the PNW. Knowing what I just learned, I will let up on the watering - at least on this one. Thanks for the heads-up, and happy GBBD!

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    1. I have found Anisacanthus to be one of the toughest plants in my garden. It seems impervious to every challenge the weather gives it.

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  6. Love the blue bottle tree! It's been dry here, too, though not quite as hot as your garden, I'm sure. It's a good time to see what is strong enough to survive these temps, and you certainly have some lovely and vibrant blooms in spite of the heat. I've always loved blue plumbago, and wished it was hardy here. Happy Bloom Day, Dorothy!

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    1. Blue plumbago is another very tough plant, one that blooms continuously for me from summer until first frost.

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  7. Your blooms are looking beautiful despite the hot weather and the bottle tree is thriving!!! Happy Bloom Day to you!

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    1. I can always count on my bottle tree to be in bloom!

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  8. I can't believe you have so many blooms, Dorothy, with your heat and dryness. So glad to see the monarch. At last they have started visiting my garden again. Happy Bloom Day. P. x

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    1. Monarchs have actually been fairly plentiful in my garden this year for the first time in about three years. It always makes me happy to see them.

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  9. Beautiful garden despite the heat! The beautyberries are, well, beautiful!

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