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

Friday, September 28, 2012

This week in the garden - #33

The first week of autumn in the garden has been wonderful! The weather has been very pleasant. It has been possible to work outside without feeling that one is melting, melting, melting... (Sorry, I had a flashback to The Wizard of Oz there for a moment.)

I've spent much of the week weeding, trying to remove the rampant weed growth that had established itself in various beds around the garden through the long, hot summer months. It never ceases to amaze me just how much such growth there is. I've removed several garden cart loads already and there is still more to do.

I've also been pruning back the flame acanthus which has grown exponentially, as it tends to do during the summer. Next I need to prune the wild hedge along the back fence which has gotten out of hand over recent months. Maybe next week I'll get around to that.

Autumn is the time when lantana really is at its best. This purple trailing lantana has bloomed sparsely more or less continuously through the summer but now it is covered in its tiny purple blossoms which bees and butterflies love.

Equally floriferous is the nearby "butter and cream" lantana.

A closer view of the "butter and cream" blossoms.

The Gulf Fritillary butterflies are very numerous in the garden just now and they do utilize the lantana blooms for nectaring. Funny how Nature works, isn't it? The lantana covers itself in blooms and squads of fritillaries show up to take advantage of them.

The blue plumbago continues to be covered in blossoms. It has really been a winner in the garden throughout the summer and now into the fall.

The pots by the back porch, with their gerberas and potato vines, continue to add color to my favorite sitting area.

More gerberas and potato vine.

Autumn is the time of the Cape honeysuckle bloom - another example of Nature's wonderful timing because the fall migrating hummingbirds take advantage of the blooms.

An immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbird looking for likely blooms to sample this week.

I hope your week in the garden has been as pleasant and rewarding as mine. Happy gardening!


  1. I was just noticing the same thing about the lantana. Mine had bloomed very sparsely in summer and now it is going gangbusters. I guess it is not happy in very hot, humid weather, which comes as a surprise to me. I thought of it as a tropical.

    1. It really does come into its own around this time of year - at least in my area.

  2. My lantana is going crazy now too. The butterflies certainly are taking advantage, as are the hummers. I was wondering if I should prune my flame acanthus. I didn't prune it last year and as a result, it's scraggly, falling over and not blooming very much. How much should I prune it back?

    1. Normally, in the spring, I cut mine way back, maybe to about two feet. It grows so fast! I never got around to cutting it back this spring and it was way out of control, sprawling all over the place, so I gave it a severe haircut to tidy it up. It's a very forgiving - and tough - plant. I think you could cut it as much as you want without really harming it.

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