Sunday, July 12, 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly...

"To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun."
-- ecclesiastes 3:1-8

So, as the Death Star blazes on (100+ for as long as I can remember ...103 today), some things in my garden are still doing well -- many things, in fact. These plants have popped up recently and come into their own. These are some of my hot St. Tropez-on-the-beach-loving plants!
Grandpa Ott morning glories greeting the day on the back fence in the cutting garden.
Look hard for the 3 new Butterfly weed plants in the center of the bed - finally filling a hole left by last year's Viburnum exorcism!
Coral trumpet vine is bursting with trumpets -- can you hear her?
The huge Duranta bush looks like purple fireworks exploding in this corner.
And one of my very favorites, the Pride of Barbados, is giving us a long show this year. This tropical normally doesn't bloom until August and I'm so excited to see them so early. I hope they can last the whole, hot summer.
Another Pride of Barbados.
Like the Pride of Barbados, this Cassia alata, or Candlestick Tree, normally blooms in August. I have two in a slightly less than perfect spot - they routinely stop growing at about 2-2-1/2 feet tall, and this one is blooming already! My other 3 are in a hot protected corner in the back and they are easily 10 feet tall! They aren't blooming yet, but they never even died back during our mild winter last year. Can't wait to show them to you.
A few spindly vines still have wonderful tropical colors to offer. They just need to GROW and fill in! The orange one is a Mexican Flame Vine and the other is a Morning Glory.

Ok - did enjoy the tour?

You might want to shield your eyes now -- parental discretion is advised for the following photos. These are the bad and the ugly. Things stressed by the heat and the sun and not enough water, or, conversely, too much water or scalding on the leaves. I desperately try to water before 9 a.m., but life doesn't always cooperate and at 106, 1 missed day of watering can mean death. So, sometimes even careful watering with warmer temps can damage.

Ready? Are you sitting down?
My new Avocado plant. I think it fried in the heat, I thought it like sun...maybe not OUR sun, though.
My lacebark elm is stressed and I'm going to have to get a drip hose on it to deep water tomorrow.
A Mandavilla vine recently planted with roots too close to the surface in the cutting bed.
The variegated lemon tree has a few sad leaves.
And the Sago is suffering, too.
The black elephant ears were great until about 2 weeks ago. These are in full sun, and on a less than scorching summer, which we USED to have, they are fine that way. But, that's not this year!
Variegated shell ginger struggles, too
And apparently, I have the dreaded day lily rust that came to Texas in the last year or two. I may have to remove them before the other plants in the bed succumb to it.
Even the tropical Plumeria has a few sad spots.
And this one is just plain UGLY. But amazing, nonetheless. This is a Texas Bluebonnet. They normally bloom in March, but I did see my first bloom this year on February 28th and posted about how amazing THAT was in this Seriously? post.

Seems we could all write a lot of "Seriously?" posts these days, couldn't we?


rambleonrose said...

It certainly has been a mix of triumphs and tragedies this year! That Pride of Barbados is just's things like that that keep up gardening even in the most challenging circumstances!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I've got a bunch of burnt plants too. Seems like I can't keep them watered well enough.

Janet said...

Looks really toasty in central Texas! We finally had some rain today...could use a lot more. Pretty wild about a bluebonnet blooming now.

Annie in Austin said...

Tropical is right - nice color you have there, Diana! The milkweed is doing okay here, too but there are plenty of places where one must avert the eyes.

The annuals and even most perennials are not tragic losses if they don't make it, but stuff like your tree - those are the really scary possible losses.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This summers' weather is really giving your garden a rough way to go. Those temps are just scary to me. I hope you get a break in the heat soon. It is beginning to sound like desert weather reports coming from your area.

katina said...

I've got a 4 year old avocado tree I grew from a pit at my it sits by the window, somewhat shaded because they put that sun-reflective stuff on the windows, meaning that it doesn't get 'full sun'

Pam/Digging said...

Ah, poor plants. The shell ginger you gave me is struggling to get established in these conditions. Even hardy plants like giant liriope are browning along the edges. It's depressing, isn't it?

Diana said...

RambleonRose - You're right, it's a good thing I have enough heat-lovers to keep me going right now!

Debbi - Even my pots are wanting more than once a day sometimes and I just can't do more than that.

Janet -- Toasty isn't the word, 28 days over 100! That bluebonnet sure is pretty confused.

Annie -- I deep watered the tree with a drip hose for an hour last night and it's neighbor is getting the same treatment today. You're right - everything is relative and I should remember that.

Lisa - they say we are even getting sand from the Sahara from across the ocean -- is that weird or what??!

Katina - I have moved the Avocado into the shade -- hope it wasn't too late. It was an impulse buy.(You know how that goes!)

Pam -- it's sure tough. I am spending an hour hand watering every day and it's getting old.

Lancashire rose said...

I felt uplifted then depressed by your post. I have never heard of day lily rust. I learnt last year that Mandevilla does not like full sun. I put it where it has only morning sun and it did much better. Also it really likes deep roots so the roots are probably getting scorched in the pot- a bit like clematis. Still you have lots going on. I won't be home until mid August and I am getting very nervous about what is going on in my untended garden.

Gail said...

I tried to avert my eyes from the sun's devastating effect on your garden, but like a moth to a flame I had to look! Oh Diana, I am glad you have beauties to make the losses easier to deal with! The tropical colors and plants are lovely...gail

Diana said...

Lancashire Rose -- I think your garden is filled with many more drought-tolerant natives than mine, so I have hope for you. And we have cooler temps and even (gasp) rain, in the forecast, so don't despair. Enjoy your time at home.

Gail - I know, it's like watching a train wreck, isn't it? But quite frankly, I am tired of looking already! I am trying to focus on all the beautiful, heat-loving things instead!

getgrounded said...

Diana, that coral trumpet vine is outstanding! I've never seen one before. Thanks for the post - at least I can see a few blooms in someone's yard. Most of my yard looks like the latter half of your post, unfortunately.

Diana said...

Getting Grounded -- I highly recommend the Coral Trumpet Vine. Min is HUGE and in a lot of shade and a profuse peach-y bloomer. I wouldn't call it coral at all - but what do I know?! Sorry your garden is suffering. I'm going to go away for a while and get cool and bring back some perspective (maybe!)

Kathy said...

I'm glad you showed the good, the bad, and the ugly. It makes me appreciate my lack of heat even more. But you know, whatever the weather, it seems some things thrive and other falter. The rain just about ruined the strawberry crop but helped the blueberries. Lettuce still going strong, but tomatoes are scratching their heads, wondering where summer went.

Diana said...

Kathy -- and thanks for reminding me of that. Two years ago we had the summer that it wouldn't stop raining and we lost a number of things that didn't like wet feet. It's always something -- I think it's partly the unending challenge that makes us enjoy gardening (and beating our heads against the wall!) Lucky you to have lettuce.