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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blooms in August!

I haven't been posting much lately because the garden has taken so much of my time. Actually, the garden takes my mornings and then I need the afternoon to recover. I always say I am only going to work outside for an hour, and then it's approaching noon before I finally come inside to peel off my sweat-soaked clothes and take a shower. Then I collapse into a chair, drink water for an hour and try to make myself get up and do a few household chores. Or take a nap. Usually it's the nap.

The vegetable garden is finally winding down; this morning after watering my special needs plants, I grabbed the camera to shoot some pictures of the plants that are determined to bloom despite the heat.

Turk's Cap, blooming prolifically, is a magnet for hummingbirds.

Bog Sage would prefer being in a bog right now, but once it is established in the ground it will be fine with a weekly watering. I had to move it last fall and it hasn't fully recovered.

Horse Herb, whose tiny flowers attract little butterflies.

Scrubby Skullcap in front of the Horse Herb.

And this Oxblood Lily is blooming early this year.

Greenthread needs to be deadheaded, but I'm going to show it anyway.

Poor Salvia Greggii, who bore the brunt of puppy digging. I cut it back last week to help it recover and it is already blooming again.

Confetti Lantana, always a steady bloomer and favorite of swallowtail butterfly.

Blue Mist, another steady bloomer. This one is always covered with Monarch and Queen butterflies.

Plumbago is doing so much better since I moved it to a sunnier location this spring.

Mexican Poinsettia, whose red leaves are the attraction for us and the minuscule flowers attract bees.

Mealy Blue Sage, always blooming.

Dwarf Mexican Petunia 'Katie', which usually blooms all summer, but has been slow this year.

Red Yucca that I literally hacked into pieces just a few months ago, and now each piece is thriving and blooming in its new location.

Rhonda Kay water lily, just opened minutes before I took the photo, one of the few whose blooms are still open in late afternoon.

Sioux, a changeable water lily.

Ellisiana, a miniature water lily and my first lily over fifteen years ago.

Purple Shamrock, hanging in there but hasn't grown much in five years.

Flame Acanthus, not happy transplanted to a pot, but blooming anyway.

And last, an update on the courtyard. The hyacinth bean vine is growing well, but so far no blooms. The pot against the wall has blue salvia and white periwinkle. The brugmansia bloomed once and is alive but not really growing. The poor flame acanthus is not happy in the pot. We can't seem to get a watering schedule to suit it and will get it back in the ground this fall.

And now a sad picture of a cluster of fall obedient plants. They were looking so good, and then the puppy claimed them as her favorite resting spot. Now the puppy is gone and it looks like aliens left crop circles here and in other flower beds.

Another garden project I've been working on is plant markers. Sometimes I just can't remember the name of a plant, especially the new ones. For some reason I never can think of Turk's Cap when asked what it is. I think it's a mental block. So maybe now I won't come off as a total idiot when someone asks me the name of a plant.

In the vegetable garden, pvc row markers that slip over pvc posts. Easy to move every year as crops are rotated.

The garden is nearing its end and that is a welcome relief to me. I dread getting up in the morning because of the garden. Between insects (rotten aphids), disease, and heat, I'll soon pull out the black-eyed peas, purple hull peas, beets, tomatoes, and cucumbers. The okra will go a lot longer and I think the peppers will be okay now that I have put a cover over them. The fruit was beginning to sunburn and I want my red bell peppers!

Next year I am going to grow more on trellises; they keep the vines from sprawling all over the place and make it easier to pick the vegetables as well. I also want to make supports for the tomato cages and peppers that double as markers so we can tell the varieties apart. You can see the row cover at the end of the row of peppers. I wish I had had enough to cover all the peppers but so far only the bell peppers seem to be burning. Next year I want to plant them on the east side of the house. Behind the row cover is Hubby's ham radio antenna tower. It's not even full height yet. Lovely, no? But a big, honkin' tower and radio room for Hubby equals a sewing room for me, so I'll learn not to look at it.


  1. I can see why your days have been filled with yard work! I'd be exhausted in the afternoon, too. I've limited my yard to grass and a few hardy perennials that do not need my attention. I've added four pots of geraniums on the front step - easy peasy.

  2. I love your garden. I would love to have one if we weren't gone 1/4 of the time, but I also know I wouldn't be devoted to that garden! Love it at first - then well...

    What did I miss - when and where did puppy go?

  3. Boy, you have a LOT going on in your gardens. I hear you about working in the mornings and then ready for a nap in the afternoon. Right now it is looking like we are going to get some rain, and I'm waiting for the appliance repair man to get here to check out my 18 yr. old fridge.


  4. No wonder you get tired...lots of lovely flowers and a HUGE vegetable garden...but it all looks wonderful!

    My hyacinth bean vine is finally blooming ...yours will soon, I am sure! :)

  5. Wow! That is a lot of garden! Love your flowers, especially your water lilies.


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