Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2011

Let it be duly noted in the record that October 2011 was the month when Southeast Texas finally began to get some relief from our long drought and our interminable summer.  The temperatures began to moderate ever so slightly and, last weekend, my yard got a total of 3.3 inches of rain!  That was more than we had had in the six previous months.

The long-suffering plants in my garden have responded to these pleasant conditions with a new flush of bloom and a perkiness of spirit to make a gardener's heart glad!  Let me show you what I mean.

The tropical milkweed is one of those plants that never missed a beat all summer long.  It has been in constant bloom.  Unfortunately, there haven't been many butterflies to take advantage of those blooms or of its leaves that feed the caterpillars of Monarch and Queen butterflies.  There have been a few Monarch migrants straggling through recently.

The brugmansias have suffered severely from the drought but they are finally blooming.  However, their bell-shaped blossoms are only about half their normal size.

The name of this Buddleia davidii is 'Royal red.'  I would have named it 'Royal purple,' but that's just me.

Several hibiscus in the garden have done surprisingly well this year, especially this sunny yellow one that has put out bloom after bloom all summer and fall.

And it has been matched bloom for bloom by this sorbet pink hibiscus.

'Graham Thomas' has pouted a bit during the long drought, but has now caught its second wind and is blessing me with its wonderful squashy blossoms.

The 'Radazz' Knockouts continued to struggle to produce a constant blush of bloom throughout the season.  Often the blossoms were smaller than usual but they were ever constant.

I am entranced by the delicate violet-like blossoms of the chocolate plant.

No survey of blooms in the garden would be complete without mentioning the yellow bells of Esperanza.

Almond verbena.  Wonderful plant.  Wonderful highly-scented blossoms.  Bees absolutely love it.  So do hummingbirds and butterflies.

The prairie asters are beginning to put on their annual show.

Autumn sage blooms pretty much constantly throughout the year but is definitely at its best in autumn.

The Blackfoot daisies are responding to the more moderate weather with a new flush of blooms.

 And so are the pavonias.  (The dirt and dust on the leaves were kicked up by our recent rains.)

The shrimp plant's blossoms really do look like one of those large, succulent Gulf treats.  The plant is covered in these blooms.

Low-growing 'Katie' ruellia is not as invasive as some of the ruellias and it does have lots of these wonderful blue blossoms.

 It just wouldn't be my garden without plenty of tithonia, Mexican sunflowers.

This tradescantia is blooming its 'Purple Heart' out.

The confused white loropetalum has been sending out a few of its fringy blossoms lately, although it normally blooms in spring.  It's just celebrating the change in the weather, I think.

This purple porterweed doesn't seem to care about the weather.  It just keeps on blooming.

The same can be said of Turk's cap which has been even more full than usual of its red turban-shaped flowers.

The 'Rouge cardinal' clematis bloomed beautifully in the spring and now is giving me its second flush of these wonderful blooms.

Even the old 'Barbara Karst' bougainvillea is getting into the act.

The pretty little blossoms of the Evolvulus glomeratus, 'Blue Daze,' are a sweet sight for a tired gardener's eyes.

A glory of the morning garden is this morning glory which always makes me smile to see it.  The vine is raggedy and is wilted through much of the day, but it is always completely covered in these gorgeous flowers.

Autumn is really the best time of year to be a gardener in Southeast Texas.  This year, I'm happy to say, is no different.  Happy autumn - or spring, as the case may be where you are - and happy Bloom Day!

Don't forget to visit our gracious hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see a list of the other Bloom Day participants.


  1. Your garden does not seem worse for wear from the lack of rain, but I am glad you are finally getting some. It must have been so stressful for you and your plants during that awful period. Perhaps everything will calm down a bit for all of us...no more hurricanes, droughts, or earthquakes...I hope! Happy GBBD!

  2. We can all hope, Sage Butterfly. Somehow I doubt that our hopes will be realized, but perhaps dealing with adversity makes us stronger. It certainly separates the weak from the strong in the garden.

  3. Your blooms are so fabulous. I love the hibiscus and mexican sunflowers. Thank you for sharing. Happy GBBD!

  4. I can't believe how many flowers you have given your drought conditions--nature is amazing. I am so glad TX finally got rain. I wish I could have sent you some of our excess--we were overwhelmed with rain. Happy GBBD.

  5. It is good to see Texas gardens have a reprieve from the heat and welcome the rains. The gardens certainly show the effects with lovely blooming. How was the butterfly populations with the excessive heat and drought? I noticed an increase up here over last year.

  6. Are you far enough south not to have to take cuttings of porterweed to keep through the winter? One of my cuttings is already blooming. I'm glad to see you have white loropetalum despite its being disparaged by the famous horiculturist. They all have some fall fringes, just for fun.

  7. Despite your dreadful drought I wouldn't have expected to see so many flowers in a Texas garden. My friend emailed me last Saturday evening to say that they were out dancing in the rain with the kids as they had waited months for it to fall.

  8. aloha,

    wow, it looks great for drought conditions,the variety of flowers is dazzling :)

  9. I wish you could send rain, too, Carolyn, but we're just grateful for what we've gotten.

  10. Sadly, our butterfly populations have taken a real beating this year, gwgt. I am seeing a slight pick-up in numbers just now, but normally the garden would be overrun with the beautiful fliers at this season. Not so this year.

  11. The porterweed made it through last winter, Nell Jean, and it did get quite cold here for a while, so I'm hoping it will carry over again.

    I'm fond of that white loropetalum, no matter what anyone says, and I'm enjoying the stray blooms it's giving me this fall.

  12. Last weekend's rains really were cause for rejoicing all over the area, Rosie. It's so nice to see the local ponds with water in them again, and the plants look wonderfully refreshed. Unfortunately, the rain came too late for thousands of area trees.

  13. I'm so happy that you finally have gotten some rain! I know that your area has suffered terribly this year from drought. Your garden certainly seems to be celebrating with all these lovely blooms. I hope the rest of autumn continues to bring you good weather.

  14. Thanks, Rose. It's been a real relief to finally get some moisture. I hope the relief will show up on my water bill this month, too!

  15. Happy Bloom Day from Zone 5 in the midwest! You have a lovely variety of blooms in your garden this month.

    I found the Barbara Karst' bougainvillea very interesting. Are the red parts of the plants the new leaves? Or are they actually part of the bloom?

  16. The red parts are the bracts and the white part in the center is the actual bloom, Jane. This old plant has not been much of a bloomer in recent years but it is actually doing well this year. Go figure!

  17. It must have been such a relief to get those 3 inches of rain! Your plants are certainly looking lovely! Congratulations in keeping your brugmansia alive through the drought. They are such thirsty plants. I always feel a liitle guilty for growing them in my arid climate, but I just love that fragrance. I can't imagine not having them in my garden.

  18. I so enjoy the virtual garden tours of all gardening zones made possible by GBBD. Your photos and blossoms are beautiful and so different from my zone 6 garden.

  19. One of my brugmansias just barely came through and hasn't bloomed, but the one I showed you is doing fairly well now, dorothy. You're right - they can be a challenge when it doesn't rain, but are so rewarding.

  20. Bloom Day is my favorite day of the month for just that reason, joene! I just love seeing what everyone else around the world is growing and what plants we have in common.

  21. Dorothy, thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. You have very unusual flowers for me :) Hibiscus you grow in the garden, I can grow only as a house plant. I love it.

  22. Your garden looks wonderful. The drought was horrible this year! Loved seeing your Graham Thomas. And I would have never guessed your brug blooms were smaller than usual! Your chocolate plant blooms are so sweet, and your clematis looks so happy. Happy GBBD!

  23. We take our flowers for granted but for others they are unusual, and isn't that really the greatest thing about Bloom Day, Ewa? Getting to see what everyone else takes for granted!

  24. That 'Graham Thomas' is my very favorite yellow rose, HolleyGarden. I'm really pleased to have it in bloom again.

  25. How wonderful to have an end to that drought! Everything looks so colorful and hopeful again.

    I love C. 'rouge cardinal'! Stunning!

  26. It is amazing the difference a little rain can make, Julie. I'm just hoping that we get more of it soon.

  27. Lovely post...and it's so good to know you finally are getting a respite from your horrible drought!

  28. Thanks for dropping by, scottweberpdx. Yes, the rain truly was a welcome relief.

  29. Look at all those lovely blooms! What a relief to finally get some rain. I hope you get some more. I don't think I've seen yellow hibiscus blooms before. It sure is cheerful! I hope to get more than one tithonia plant to grow next year.

    Thanks for your comment on my GBBD post.

  30. Thanks for visiting my garden, Corner Gardener Sue. Tithonia is a real winner year after year in my garden. Bees, butterflies and hummingbird love it and I highly recommend it!