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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2012

August. Easily the most miserable month of the year in Southeast Texas and not only because it's the month when I officially become a year older. No, it's mostly because of the weather that we endure this month. At least that's what I tell myself.

Last year during August we had 30 out of 31 days that were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and no rain. This year, the temperatures have actually been much more moderate than that, though still hot, but again, we've had no rain this month. The garden and its blooms are suffering.

Still, here it is Bloom Day once again so out into the garden I go in search of whatever blooms I can find. I'm embarrassed to say that most of them you will have seen here many times before. Maybe I need to make a run to the nursery and get some new plants with some different blooms.

This ruellia, 'Chi Chi,' is actually a thug in the garden, but I have it contained in a bed along my back fence where it is not so easy for it to spread. And I do enjoy these pretty pink blossoms.

This is evergreen wisteria and it actually is not a thug unlike the purple variety. This is my third year to have it in my garden and it has not spread at all. Moreover, it has been full of these blooms all summer.

Some of the daylilies, like this one, continue their bloom period into this last official month of summer. (Of course, here, summer actually lasts into October.)

 Much of the milkweed is resting now and preparing to put on another flush of bloom, but a few of the plants still sport their colorful orange and yellow blooms.

The old Clerodendrum bungei, also called Cashmere Bouquet or Mexican hydrangea, is full of these lilac-pink blossoms.

And nearby, a relative, the Clerodendrun 'Bleeding Heart' vine sports many flowers, not all of them yet "bleeding."

Esperanza, "Yellow Bells," blooms all summer long regardless of the weather and is a smorgasbord for bees and butterflies.

The unique flowers of the strawberry bush are long gone and now it is full of these "strawberries" that give it its name.

The pequin pepper blooms continuously over several months and produces a plethora of these tiny hot peppers which the birds, especially the mockingbirds, love. I grow it mostly for the birds. In fact, one common name for the plant is "bird pepper."

'Pride of Barbados' has outdone itself in producing blooms this summer.

This seems a bit late for 'Queen Anne's Lace' to be blooming, but there it is!

The yellow cestrum considers any month of the year appropriate for its blooms.

The swamp hibiscus, known here in Texas as the "Texas Star," continues its summer-long bloom in both the white variety and...

The more common red variety. Those drops of water on the petals are not rain, unfortunately, but drops from the sprinkler.

The Jatropha curcas has been a real trooper through this miserable season, gracing its spot by the little fish pond with wave after wave of these blooms.

And, speaking of troopers, I can't do a Bloom Day post in summer without mentioning Hamelia patens which just blooms its heart out all summer long. One of the plant's common names is "Hummingbird Bush," and at this time of year, it becomes evident how it got its name. My garden is alive with hummingbird activity  now. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been passing through on migration and sipping from the Hamelia for weeks now, and just within the last few days, Rufous Hummingbirds started showing up in the yard.

An adult male Rufous sits on a favorite perch just above one of the Hamelia shrubs so that he can head off any other hummingbird that tries to feed there.

Nearby, an adult female heads toward the one of the sugar water feeders I have set up for them. These little flying jewels may not qualify as "blooms" but they are certainly adding a lot of color and movement to my garden these days!

Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day once again, and thank YOU for visiting my garden this month. Happy Bloom Day!

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful flowers. The color of that wisteria is so deep and rich; just delicious!

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    1. The wisteria really is a winner, Linda.

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  2. For being the most miserable month of the year you have lots of beautiful flowers! Loved your daylily and the colour of your wisteria is amazing. I tried growing a strawberry tree in my garden, but it died a particularly wet and cold winter here in London.

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    1. I'm not sure how much cold the strawberry bush can take, but it certainly hasn't reached its limit in the two years that I've had it in my garden! It's such an unusual plant, it seems to add a bit of whimsy to the garden.

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  3. Nice pictures. Showing the same blooms repeatedly doesn't necessarily indicate a need to visit the nursery... rather, I think it suggests some good choices were made when planting the garden!
    My carrots are blooming too...

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    1. Well, you've sort of hit the nail on the head. Most of the plants in my garden are old tried and true standbys, many of them passalongs from other gardeners. I rely on their expertise because the dirty little secret is, I'm not that good a gardener.

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  4. It's not a wonder that you don't get rains, it has been here for so long and so heavy, flooding 90% of Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Till now most places are still flooded, and this is the first time we experienced it. Don't worry about me, i and my family are safe though!

    Your flowers except that Texas star are ours too. But that Tecoma stans flower perennially here.

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    1. Oh, Kalantikan, I am so sorry for the troubles the Philippines have had recently with the terrible floods. I hope the situation abates soon.

      It's interesting that so many of our flowers are shared even though we are separated by half a world. The Tecoma stans is a wonderful plant for me. Here, it blooms not completely perennially but from early spring to the first frost in late November or early December.

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  5. I love your flying "blooms," too! We have only the ruby-throated hummingbirds here, and I have been enjoying their antics the past few weeks, knowing they will be off for warmer areas like yours very soon. Lots of lovely blooms, most of which are new to me--the Hamelia is a beauty!

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    1. I have several Hamelias in my yard and they are all hummingbird feeding stations at this time of year. The hummingbird traffic here has been truly amazing this late summer and it is a real treat to have the Rufous.

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  6. Pretty blooms. I will have to keep an eye out for the purple evergreen wisteria. I have always wanted a wisteria, but have been afraid to plant one! This one sounds like it will behave. Love the bleeding heart vine, too. So pretty! Great shots of the hummers!

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    1. I can recommend the evergreen wisteria unreservedly, HG. It is a well-behaved plant with lots of very pretty blooms.

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  7. Your Texas blooms are amazing... and your hummingbird? Sweet! Been trying for weeks to capture one through my lens but they are teasing me.

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    1. I find that photographing hummers takes a bit of patience and a whole lot of luck, Carolyn. Funnily enough, the Rufous Hummers seem a bit more cooperative about posing than the Ruby-throats.

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  8. I think your blooms are fabuluous...especially that dark, sultry Wisteria...gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Scott. For August, the most miserable month of the year, I guess my blooms are doing okay.

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  9. Hi there and Happy Birthday this month, Birdwoman! You have some beautiful and unusual blooms in your garden, and that Queen Anns Lace is lovely. I bet the hummingbirds love to visit your yard!

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    1. My yard is Hummingbird Central these days, Dorothy.

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