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

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2010

Can you believe that it is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again already? Mid-August? Is that even possible? Sigh. The days do tend to fly by when one reaches a certain age.

Nevertheless, I know my duty as a garden blogger, so out to the garden I go to show you what is blooming here this hot and dry month.

Well, you knew the first thing I would show you would be a crape myrtle, didn't you? These wonderful trees give us these blowsy blossoms all summer long - damn the heat and the drought! And in the winter, the seeds feed the birds. What's not to like? In fact, all the crapes in my yard were planted by the birds from neighbors' trees, so I have no idea what variety this is. The bird didn't tell me.

All my durantas died back to the ground during our extra cold winter, but 'Sweet Memory' has come back and is just beginning to bloom.

Another plant I thought I had lost to the winter was bulbine, but a few sprigs survived. Now those sprigs have grown and multiplied and they are blooming again.

My Hamelia patens seemed late with its blooms this year, but it's finally getting up to speed, and the hummingbirds are grateful.

The smaller of my two Esperanzas (Tecoma stans) is blooming its little heart out. The bigger one is growing vegetatively but shows no signs of blooming yet. Another mystery for the gardener.

Likewise, one of the Brugmansias is blooming and the other one isn't. But even the one that is blooming isn't blooming as prolifically as it did last year. I suppose it could have something to do with the fact that I moved them during the winter - again.

The coral honeysuckle vine has never been without blooms since early spring.

Yes, this is jatropha, another plant I had given up for dead after winter. It had died all the way back to the ground but now has regenerated and is full of these butterfly-inviting blooms.

Vitex 'Purple Montrose' is finishing up its second bloom phase of the year. It's hard to find one of its blossoms that doesn't have a bumblebee on it.

All over the garden, salvias and sages of many kinds bloom on, heedless of the weather. This one, I believe, is 'Indigo spires'.

It's not only flowers that are blossoming on the salvias. Baby green anoles peek out from the leaves of just about any plant that you look at.

Last week I severely pruned my Anisacanthus wrightii 'Flame acanthus' that had flopped all over the place and I commented that the hedge would be in bloom again within another month. Well, you can lop about three weeks off of that estimate!

I don't know the name of this purple verbena. It was in a mixed planter that I bought for some quick color in the spring and the variety wasn't identified, but it has been a real winner. It has been in bloom all summer.

The 'Texas Star' hibiscus has lived up to its reputation as a prolific bloomer.

And this mystery hibiscus also has been in bloom since spring and continues to send out two or three of these lovely blossoms every day.

Nothing daunts 'Katie' ruellia for long. She just keeps on truckin'.

The same can be said for my old species canna. I don't know its name so I just call it Mrs. Lui after the neighbor that first gave it to me, but it is a winner. It blooms repeatedly throughout spring, summer, and fall, and hummingbirds and butterflies absolutely love it.

'Turk's cap', of course, is another hummingbird pleaser.

This Gulf Fritillary butterfly doesn't know or care that this butterfly weed was planted to attract Monarchs. When the Monarchs are away, the Fritillaries will happily fill that niche. There's even a passionvine planted nearby for the Fritillary to lay her eggs on once she finishes sipping nectar.

So that's my garden tour for the month. I heard on the radio earlier that the heat index today may be up to 119 degrees Fahrenheit, so you'll forgive me if I head indoors where it's cool. Why don't you mosey on over to Carol's May Dreams Gardens and check out some of the other gardens participating in this month's Bloom Day?

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Great colors for this time of year. Happy blooms day!

  2. Beautiful Dorothy. I wish my Flame Acanthus would get some blooms on it.

  3. aloha,

    so many beautiful blooms today, your subtropical garden looks great and i love your esperanzas - its stunning!

  4. Thanks Yvonne. The colors are bright at this time of year - just like the sun.

  5. Hang with it, Jayne. I predict your flame acanthus will bloom this year. It's just taking it a while to get established. And even if it doesn't bloom, hang with it anyway! It'll bloom next year.

  6. Wow, you have a fabulous garden. So many plants I cannot grow here in my zone 4b. Happy GBBD.

  7. Thanks, noel, and aloha to you! Esperanza is a great plant for us here near the Gulf Coast. It blooms prolifically until frost.

  8. And I'm sure you have many in your 4b garden that I couldn't grow here, AGoT. That's the wonderful thing about GBBD - getting to see gardens from all around the country.

  9. I'm so glad you posted your hamelia patens. I took a picture of mine, but I had the wrong name for it, so it didn't make it to the blog. Now, I know what to call it. Thanks.

  10. Glad to be of service, HGG! I often learn names of plants from the blogs that I follow.

  11. So many wonderful plants... I must say I get jealous every time someone posts a photo of a crape myrtle! I do have very good luck with brugsmansias though ... moving them into the basement every year for a period of dormancy during the cold months... certainly enjoyed your post! L

  12. Thanks for visiting, LC. My brugs usually bloom better in the autumn so I'm hoping that they will come on and give me a spurt of blooms beginning next month. Blooms are sparse just now, but if I had to stand in the hot sun all day long, I'm sure my blooms would be sparse, too!

  13. Lovely blooms, and so many different ones from what we have here in the Midwest. For certain, we don't have baby anoles in our gardens:) The Brugmansia is gorgeous, and I'm so jealous of the crape myrtles--wish we could grow these lovely trees.

  14. We are fortunate in the great variety of plants that we can grow here, Rose, and we are fortunate to have anoles. They are such neat critters. But there are many plants that do well in the Midwest that can't take our combination of heat and humidity so I suppose it all balances out.

  15. You've got some lovely color there! I love seeing all the wildlife in your garden. I never thought of cutting my flame acanthus back in summer, so am glad to hear it can be successfully done. Right now I hesitate to do it just because I want the hummers to have enough (one of my hummingbird feeders broke!).

  16. My hedge of flame acanthus is long established - 15 or so years - and, in my experience, nothing daunts it, Jean. Neither heat nor cold nor being whacked back in the summer when it sprawls all over the place. This is one tough plant!

  17. aloha

    i'm enjoying touring your garden with you today, i'm really enjoying my visit. the color in your subtropical garden is spectacular :)

  18. You have wonderful color in your garden.Love the choice of plants. Many I can not grow, but I do have a blooming Duranta on my post this month. It lives in a pot, which will be moved inside soon. Since your Duranta got set back from a cold spell, I will be moving mine in much earlier. Thanks for the tip.