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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No relief in sight

Last week's wonderful rain is just a dim and distant memory. The sprinklers are out once again and even plants that normally can stand up to a beating by the weather are beginning to show signs of stress. As I was watering today, I noticed that a couple of my 'Radazz' Knockouts are showing several brown leaves and are looking distinctly peaked. I've not spent much time watering the bed they are in just because I was confident in their ability to tough it out. But even the toughest plants must occasionally have a drink and so I watered the bed deeply today in hopes of giving the plants there a boost.

Throughout the yard, plants are shutting down, conserving their energy and their water. In the vegetable garden, just about everything is basically fried. I made zucchini bread for our future breakfasts and fried some yellow squash for lunch today, the last of my squash crop. There are a few more zucchinis on the vines, but they are the size of watermelons. They came on while we were on our trip and nobody picked them. By the time we got home, they were humongous and inedible.

About the only things still producing in the vegetable garden are a few of the herbs and my peppers. I told my husband today that maybe in the future I should just specialize in growing peppers. It's the one thing I can be sure of success with in the summer garden, because they do like it hot! Even the sweet peppers like it hot.

Blooms throughout the garden are in short supply, making the plants that are in bloom doubly important.

Nothing seems to daunt the flame acanthus, and a good thing, too. Today I saw a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird sipping from these blossoms. Bees and butterflies visit often, too.

The butterfly weed seems to be positively enjoying this weather. Every plant I've got is in full bloom now.

Yellow bells (Esperanza) can take the heat and the drought.

And so can yellow cestrum.

A few of the daylilies, the red and the white Texas star hibiscus, as well as a couple of other hibiscus plants and a few other plants continue to bloom. The old crinums carry on as if nothing were amiss. But these are the exceptions. Throughout the garden, some plants have taken just about all the abuse they can stand and I'm likely to lose more of them despite my best efforts to keep them hydrated. Looking ahead, I see no relief in sight.

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