Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Survey Commences

Cloudy weather brought us a little cooling with humidity from the rain. Working outside leaves one kind of damp. Summer is still with us. I cleaned out the stump bed where Guly Muhly edges the side next to the driveway.

Pentas behind Gulf Muhly.
That awful grass with the star-shaped seed heads went to seed while I wasn't paying attention.
I pulled it all out along with dozens of weeds and put down fresh pine straw
raked from the other side of the yard. Some Melampodium was pulled to
make more room for Duranta that has decided to grow and bloom.

Gone to seed and dead is the frilly gaillardia from seed. I sprinkled seed heads just in case.
At the top of the mound are five Lantana montevidensis that started out as rooted cuttings.

I cut back some dying lily stalks and ugly Shasta daisy stalks. 
As best I can tell, all the Stokesia died out. It does that some years. 
It will come back as little seedlings here and there and we will start over next spring.

Late August is a discouraging time in the garden when there was a drought.
If you look close, there is new rose growth, blooms on Loropetalum, signs of impending
bloom among the fall blooming salvias. Red leaves on sassafras signals fall coming.

A mandevilla shares the grape arbor with ripening scuppernong grapes.

I sprayed the wasp nests in the greenhouse (I'm allergic).
Ike the Cat is eager to start moving back in as soon as the weather cools a little more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

and the Winner Is, in the Drought and Heat:

Lantana! Yellow Lantana has suffered more from the heat than Lantana montevidensis.

This is what I noticed first as I drove in from town:

Butterflies found Lantana, too.

Salivia leucantha behind is getting ready for fall bloom.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Duranta joins Datura as a Drought Fighter

Back in February I was wondering if my Duranta was dead. It finally sent up little sprouts and I planted out the pieces I had rooted just in case.

On the way to the mailbox I noticed that last year's big Duranta has reached 5 feet tall and is blooming. I've been staying in out of the heat. We  had rain early in the week, then a trace yesterday, lots of thunder and lightning this afternoon. I ducked out just long enough to get an illustration pic for today.

Lemon grass, Madagascar periwinkles and Duranta

Rooted pieces of Duranta have endured. One has come into bloom.
Duranta with Melampodium, an annual for hot and dry.

Duranta is wonderful with yellow. Maybe next year I'll have Duranta and Esperanza together.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bloom Day and Summer Fruit

There was little rain this month and everything is crispy in the heat.

White Datura manages a few blooms every night to perfume the air. They last until the sun takes them out.

Pentas are dry but butterflies are finding a few blooms for nectar. I'm watering them today.

Shrimp plant continues to bloom despite dry conditions. My photos were not good.

Curcumas are the only gingers blooming.
Drought has revealed the blossoms.
They are usually hidden under foliage.

Scuppernong grapes are ripening and sweet. We watered.

Esperanza has finally bloomed those grand yellow bells.
Pride of Barbados is putting on seed pods and wilting in the heat.
Hard pears are almost ready to make preserves.
We had one peach pie from wild peaches.

Pineapple Pears are ripe and buttery sweet.

Not a partridge in the pear tree, but a mockingbird.
The baby birds have flown.

That's the best of Bloom Day this August. There are scattered roses, enough tithonia on dry plants to attract butterflies, a bit of Moonbeam coreopsis and some listless lantana. Purple Heart is surviving to give that rich purple color. I'm starting to water again after staying inside out of the sun for more than a week. Every day holds promise of rain but it usually passes us by.

Happy Bloom Day to all.