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

Friday, July 26, 2013

This week in the garden - #73

They're baaack! The bloodsuckers, that is.

One of the chief, maybe only, benefits of having a dry, dry summer has been the absence of mosquitoes. There have barely been any in the garden all summer, which has made for pleasant late afternoons on the patio. But with last week's rains, they are back with a vengeance. I went to fill my watering can from one of the rain barrels late this afternoon and my hand reaching for the spigot was swarmed by the nasty little biters.
                                                                
Well, we have to take the bad along with the good, I suppose. If dealing with mosquitoes is the price for getting rain, I'll still take the rain.

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I'm resorting to the rain barrels this week because we are now under watering restrictions. My days to water are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday after 8:00 P.M. until 8:00 A.M. So, if my plants get thirsty on other days, it's time to haul out the old watering can.

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Another bad result of last week's rains is that my garden has been overrun by weeds and grass. Well, it wasn't just the rains, it was the rains combined with the fact that the gardener was out of commission for several days with an illness. It's amazing what a difference just a few days can make in summer in this climate. Now, I need to call out my troops to help me bring order back to the garden. I can call but that doesn't mean they'll respond...

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Our temperatures are back near 100 degrees F. again this week and, digging in the beds, you'd never suspect that we had 3.5 inches of rain only a few days ago. It's dry again and likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Some plants, though, are built to take the heat and the dryness.

In the wild hedgerow along the back fence is an eight foot tall and eight foot wide pokeweed plant. It has flourished and bloomed and now it is loaded down with these berries. Once they turn that shiny purple-black, they don't last long. The birds, especially the mockingbirds, love them!


 The 'Senorita Rosalita' cleome continues to be a dependable bloomer.


 Nearby, the angelonia matches it bloom for bloom.


And on the other side of the cleome lives a stand of summer phlox. The scent of these blossoms is wonderful.


 Nothing much discourages gerberas.


The bed of mixed zinnias that I planted from seeds in the spring is flourishing in spite of the fact that I have given it practically no care.


 'Katie' ruellia is another undaunted bloomer.


 The 'Dallas Red' lantana can take the heat just like the city to the north that gave it its name.


The hamelias, of course, are incorrigible. Nothing it seems can discourage their bloom. Except shade. They really must have that hot sun to thrive.


 Some of the roses, like this 'Ducher,' are beginning another round of flowering. Notice the little visitor, a small spider, at the top of the blossom.


Wax begonias are among our most dependable annuals for summer bloom.


This wedelia, planted as a groundcover, has done its job of covering the ground - and more. I love its pretty little daisy-like flowers.


All summer I've been impatiently waiting for the brugmansias to begin to bloom. Well, they are not there yet, but today most of the plants have these well-developed buds. It won't be much longer!

I hope you and your garden are flourishing in the summer heat. Remember, every day brings us closer to October!

10 comments:

  1. I always enjoy your garden posts. Giggled when I read every day brings us closer to October ... Amen! :D :D

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    1. And so true. It's what keeps me trudging through the heat.

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  2. I hear pokeweed is very popular with the birds.

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    1. There's nothing more popular in my yard.

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  3. Pokeweed came up mysteriously when we cut down a large Madrona tree on my MIL's property. Your flowers look great in spite of the heat. Spring and fall were always my favorite seasons there. Here the dry season is nice, kind of late spring to early autumn. It has been rather hot but cools off dramatically at night.

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    1. I envy your northwestern summers, or dry seasons.

      Pokeweed is very opportunistic, probably because the birds poop out the seeds all over the place! That's how mine got started.

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  4. I love zinnia from seed , too, Dorothy I get a blast from the low cost and the long show, marigolds, too! The firebush is just outstanding. I have some dwarves and a newly planted big one.

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    1. Zinnias are among my favorite summer annuals because nothing is easier or more colorful and the butterflies love them.

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  5. Wonderful blooms in your garden Dorothy. I hope you got some of that wonderful rain we had here early this morning.

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    1. We got an inch of rain this morning. Most welcome.

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