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

Friday, July 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2011

The exceptional drought which has plagued Texas for months drags on, discouraging both gardens and gardeners.  There is no end in sight.  Perhaps this is our new norm in this time of climate change.  If so, it is good to know there are a few bloomers we can still depend upon.

"Heat?  What heat?  Drought? What drought?"  The old 'Caldwell Pink' polyantha blooms from April to December, regardless of the weather.

The crape myrtles have never been so floriferous as they are this year.  This ancient tree stands near the back of our property.

The stand of butterfly weed has bloomed beautifully all summer but has had few butterflies to enjoy it.

 The native bees, like this large carpenter bee, have not been shy about utilizing it.  Maybe they think it is "bee weed."

The flame acanthus still burns.

Jatropha has bloomed profusely for several weeks now and seems just about ready to take a rest.

This brilliant-hued morning glory graces the trellis at the corner of the house.

'Mystic Spires' salvia blooms on, undaunted by the brutal weather.

Of course, peppers positively like it hot, including this ornamental next to the lemon grass in the herb garden.  It is full of tiny blossoms and fruit.

This crocosmia, a passalong from a neighbor, is also unconcerned with the heat.

I planted the 'African Blue' basil because it is such a favorite with bees, but it has so far had few visitors in this dry season.

The spider lilies bloom on.

And the 'Texas Star' hibiscus shines on.

'Belinda's Dream' has not bloomed as much as in a normal year, but now and then she sends out a few of these beauties just to keep our spirits up.

The several Hamelia patens shrubs around the backyard are in full bloom now, and a good thing, too, for their main customers, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, are already beginning to show up on their fall migration.

'Big Momma' Turk's cap lives up to her name, filling the beds along the south side of the house.

And what is this, hiding among the leaves and sipping from one of 'Big Momma's' blossoms?  Why, it is a Gulf Fritillary butterfly, the first one I have seen in my garden for weeks!  Gulf Fritillaries are normally numerous in my garden at this time of year, but in this year of drought, they and most other butterflies have been mostly absent.

The pretty little blooms of pink lythrum peek out from a bed of summer phlox.

The variegated potato vine has been in bloom constantly since early spring.

Regular readers of the blog might possibly remember that I mentioned here that I was going to plant a few cotton seeds in one of my beds in honor of my father who was a cotton farmer.  Well, my cotton crop has done poorly.  I'll never be the farmer that my father was, but the few surviving stalks of cotton that I have are blooming now and here is one of the blooms to prove it.

I hope the weather where you are on this Bloom Day is more benevolent, and by the time we meet here again next month, I hope I'll be complaining about too much rain!

Happy Bloom Day and don't forget to visit our wonderful hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see a list of all of this month's participants.


  1. You have great photos on today's post. It must be very different gardening in such a warm climate....I see on your sidebar that it is 97 where you are today. We will only get temperatures like that for a week maybe.

    Happy GBBD!

  2. Love that potato vine and the cotton bloom is sweet!
    Happy GBBD :)

  3. Every climate has its challenges, Diane, but this summer here with its drought along with those high 90s every day has been the most challenging that I can remember.

  4. I'm very fond of that potato vine, too, Christine. It has been a real trooper through our extra cold winters the last couple of years and now our very long and painful drought. One of my garden's winners.

  5. I do sympathize with you on the drought--Texas has really had it rough this year. But you certainly have lots of lovely blooms in spite of the weather. I'm so jealous of the crepe myrtles--I wish we could grow them here in the Midwest. I'm sure your father would be proud of that cotton bloom.

  6. The crape myrtles have really proved their worth this year, Rose. Some area gardeners avoid them because they are so common, but they are common because they can take whatever our climate dishes out. I have really enjoyed mine this summer.

  7. Great photo of the Gulf fritillary!

  8. You have some pretty flowers in spite of the drought. My husband and I were just remarking as we sat outside this evening, that the two plants we can always count on to hold up in the heat and drought are the crape myrtle and oleander. What would we do in July without them? I hope the weather eases up for you soon!

  9. I was very happy to see that Gulf Fritillary, queerbychoice. They've been so scarce this year.

  10. Crape myrtles and oleanders are very tough plants and are the backbones of many gardens here, dorothy. Thanks for the good weather wishes. We need all the help we can get.

  11. Thanks so much for our kind remarks on my GBBD post. I too grow Caldwell Pink and am delighted to see its blooms despite record heat... Belinda's dream is a fav in Alabama too! Happy GBBD

  12. Old roses like 'Caldwell' are just the best for us here along the humid and hot Gulf Coast, redneckrosarian. Roses are wonderful plants and it is good that there are some that will do well for us.

  13. Sorry I'm late in commenting,I enjoyed your post and photos!Love Mystic spires and I have never seen spider lily before!

    Thank you for a delightful tour!


  14. Wow, given the conditions you've been experiencing lately, your garden is putting on a wonderful show. It's terrific to see such drought tolernat plants in bloom. Great photos. How wonderful to see one of your cotton plants blooming.

  15. Thanks for dropping by, Karen. Yes, 'Mystic spires' really is a winner.

  16. My garden is full of tough plants, Bernie, but they have really been put to the test this year.

  17. Everything looks great! I think it's wonderful that you're trying to grow cotton and am glad you have some blooms! Perhaps you were meant to be put through your paces and learn how to grow the cotton through trial and error. Keep on going! :)

  18. It's been fun attempting to grow the cotton, Wendy. It certainly gives me more appreciation for my late father's skills. It really is quite an ornamental plant and I think I may make it a regular part of my garden, as a nod to my heritage.