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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2011

Boring.  That, I am afraid, is the theme of this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day in my zone 8B garden here outside of Houston.  Same boring heat.  Same boring drought.  And pretty much the same boring blossoms I've been showing you all summer.

What, indeed, could be more boring than Hamelia patens?  It is boringly predictable and dependable.  Starts blooming in late spring and blooms all the way to the first frost - usually in December.  Nothing exciting at all, except when the hummingbirds are in town.  Then it is a hive of activity and a smile a minute.

The almond verbena has been every bit as predictable as the Hamelia, with the added frisson of that heavenly scent that wafts through its section of the garden, especially late in the day.

Tithonia has proven itself again this summer as a true SUNflower.  Yes, it does wilt badly in the middle of the day, but that is just a ploy.  It is undaunted by the heat and the drought.

'Montrose Purple' Vitex has had several flushes of bloom throughout spring and summer.  I've lost track of the number, but they are always welcome.

And, of course, there are always the yellow bells of Esperanza.  I'm afraid we just take it for granted here.

What would our late summer gardens be without the wonderful salvias?

Well, here's something that is not exactly boring.  It is the chocolate plant, Pseuderanthemum alatum.   As you can see, it has sent up two small bloom spikes, although the blooms are not quite there yet.  It may be cheating just a little bit to include it here, but, my blog, my rules!

The yellow cestrum has been in bloom continually - no exaggeration! - since early spring.  This plant has not missed a beat and it has been a constant magnet for butterflies and bees.

I'm fascinated by the weird blossoms of the purple porterweed.  So, too, are any butterflies that happen to be in the area.

 Jatropha has been another faithful - boringly faithful - bloomer this summer.  It seems to thrive on the heat and the drought.

'Pride of Barbados' features the hot colors of summer.

Finally, a hint, perhaps, that autumn is actually on the way.  The garlic chives are in bloom.  Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, they, too, are great favorites with the butterflies.

In just over a week, autumn will actually be here.  That long-awaited and longed-for season, the favorite of so many gardeners, including myself.  We can only hope that September 23 does in fact bring an end to this interminable summer not just on the calendar and that we finally get some relief from our heat and drought.  And I hope that in October I will have something to show you that is not at all boring!

Don't forget to visit our wonderful hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see the list of other very non-boring gardens that are participating in this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Thank you for visiting my garden.  Happy Bloom Day!


  1. What lovely plants. I wish I had more boring and predictable plants like yours. Great photos!

  2. I think this all looks pretty good. My daughter lives outside Houston and she was really glad to spend a summer month up here in Heath.

  3. Your daughter was fortunate to be able to get out of town for a while, Commonweeder. It truly has been the most miserable summer I can remember.

  4. My goodness...your garden doesn't look one bit boring! I enjoyed seeing all your colorful flowers, especially the Tithonia and Jatropha. Those two are completely new to me. I'll have to look them up and see if they will grow in my zone 9 CA garden. Thanks for sharing your lovely flowers!

  5. I, like you, look forward so very, very much to the Autumn here. Unfortunately it's early Spring at the moment and that's not something I get excited about. Your sentiments about your garden in Summer is exactly what I feel now as we hurtle towards our hot and humid Summer.

    I have to say though, that what you find boring can be quite lovely to the rest of us. I've only just planted by very first Pride Of Barbados and I'm so looking forward to see it mature and bloom.

    Jatropha is something else I've been meaning to try, and I do so love your Tithonias! Loved seeing your Vitex and purple Salvia as well. Not boring at all. Thanks for visiting my blog and I'm glad you enjoyed the photo of that beautiful blue Day Moth.

  6. Tithonia and jatropha do wonderfully well here in zone 8B and I'll bet they would do even better in zone 9, Dorothy. Tithonia reseeds freely, so if you once plant it, you'll have it forever, and jatropha makes a very nice shrub.

  7. I love photographing butterflies and moths, Bernie, so I did especially enjoy your moth picture. And I thank you, also, for visiting my garden.

  8. beautiful blooms...i'm so jealous of your Vitex...we have a neighbor with a large one and it's stunning!

  9. You have a lot more blooming in your garden than I do, Dorothy. I do have stands of tropical milkweed--all I need now are some Monarchs to enjoy it.

  10. aloha,

    beautiful, its great you can grow alot of sub tropicals in your area also, we have alot of plants in common...thanks for visiting me.

  11. Well, boring is in the eye of the beholder, I am usually quite happy if I find a plant that will bloom for several months in a row - and if it attracts butterflies on top of that, I'm really excited.

    Happy bloom day!

  12. Boring is the same feeling i have with my plants and my gardens, as you have read in my post. That is because we have been seeing them again and again. Just like our Caesalpinia pulcherrima or Pride of Barbados, we have a few perennial plants which are already blooming always for more than 10 years...boring. Those Stachytarpheta jamaicensis or porter weed is really in our marginal lands as weeds, nobody plant it domestically as ornamental plants...boring! etc, etc.

    But i realized, because some people in the world do not see our plants specially because they have different climates, mine are not boring anymore to them, and yours are already beautiful for me. Isn't blogging lovely? We can make some people at the other side of the world feel good.LOL

  13. Thanks for dropping by, scottweberpdx. That vitex really is a winner!

    I didn't show you my milkweed this time, but it is doing quite well, Jayne. Unfortunately, the reason it is so lush is that it hasn't had any Monarch or Queen caterpillars to munch on it.

    I find it amazing, noel, that we here in Texas and you in Hawaii do actually have some plants in common.

    One of the criteria for any plant that I add to my garden is that it must be useful to critters, Town Mouse, so that accounts for so many that attract butterflies.

    I do love the worldwide conversations that we can have through our blogs, Andrea, and I always look forward to seeing what you've got growing there in the Philippines!

  14. Your garden is anything but boring, Dorothy! Living in the Midwest, I'm not familiar with or can't grow many of these plants, so your different blooms are a visual treat for me. With the summer you've had, I'm amazed you have anything blooming at all. I hope October brings you a welcome change in the weather.

  15. You've got some big showy bloomers right now. I bet your property is the envy of the neighbors. One plant that I definitely want to own is almond verbena. It smells amazing. Do you have yours near a door or somewhere that you pass by regularly?

  16. Oh, Rose, I hope so, too!

    I always enjoy Bloom Day so much for the opportunity to find and visit gardens in different parts of the country and different parts of the world to see what is blooming there. That was a very good meme that Miss Carol started all those years ago!

  17. Yes, Abbey, my almond verbena is near my entry, so it is a wonderful welcome to visitors and to me every time I go through my front door. It truly is a marvelous plant. If only it were evergreen, it would be perfect!