Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh, Happy GBB Day!

It's Bloom Day here in Central Texas, where the ground is still damp, the morning skies are a little gray and the gardeners are on Cloud 9.

Carol, of May Dreams Gardens, invites us to share our garden blooms on the 15th of every month.

Enjoy a little trip through some interesting things in my garden today.

This isn't everything that's blooming here today, just things that have burst back into life after our 7 inches of glorious rain last weekend.

It's amazing what a good dose of real rain water will do for our gardens. And it was even down to 69 degrees last night.

Fall is just around the corner.
This is a Hyacinth Bean that was turning yellow and not flowering before the rains.
Sadly, the rains washed my BT off this Butterfly weed. Can you see the hundreds of baby caterpillars eating at the buffet there? Ewwww. They have almost destroyed the plants, so I think I will have to spray them again.
The Abutilon is very happy, and has managed to bloom all summer in spite of the drought.
I'm ever so proud of this beautiful clump of Oxblood lilies, passed along to me by MSS of Zanthan Gardens.
The Sweet Alyssum are bursting with blooms thanks to the cooler weather.
My favorite purple 'Homestead' Verbena.
Straight neck squash blossoms promise wonderful produce to come.
That pesky Cypress Vine is out of control again. I like it right now, but thank goodness for winter!
This is a canteloupe bloom. It's taking over my whole garden -- it's bed, the pathways on either side of its bed and part of the other two beds! It better make me some fruit.
There's another view of the squash with its blooms peeking out. And, there, see the canteloupe tendrils sneaking over in front of it?
Morning glories saluting the day again.
My Cosmos in the cutting garden are have gotten their second wind now.

The Esperanza are stunning -- they were happy in the drought and now they are happy with the rain. Can't complain about that, now can you?
The Hibiscus in pots have multiple blooms for the first time in months.
Autumn Joy Sedum is blooming its little head off.
Another little Oxblood lily.
One of the few Agapanthus that the darn hound dog didn't dig up. What is it with her and bulbs at this time of year? Is there something going on here that I am missing?
These poor little Salvias have been stunted all summer long - and bloomless. Yeah for rain.
The Turks Cap is full of little red hats of happiness, and the Mangave 'macho mocha,' given to me by Pam, of Digging, is pretty happy here, too.
The flickering flame-like blooms of the candlestick tree, Cassia alata, are lighting up my garden.
And, of course, what would a lot of rain be without a pretty mushroom?
A few little Lobelias, planted with no success several years ago, have made a bit of an appearance now. I don't think they will really make it where they are though -- I might have to think about moving them.
The wedelia is so slow to grow here, but I did get several blooms out of this one this week.
And the Buddleia is finally blooming again. The other one is borderline dead, but it's showing signs of a few green leaves this week. I hope it survives.

All in all, it's a great bloom day here at Nature's Garden.


Pam/Digging said...

I'm on Cloud 9 too, Diana. What wonderful weather we've been enjoying. And all that rain! Your garden looks even more flowery than usual thanks to the nice, long drink.

Janet said...

So glad you all got some rain, hope you weren't washed away! Will be sending you the seeds for the Hibiscus coccineus in a day or so.... :-)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

How happy you & the plants are, and I'm happy for you too. I enjoy seeing all the different ways Texas gardeners use those Oxblood Lilies. They are so beautiful. The Cassia is such a great looking thing, it's one that I always admire in Southern blogs. It's odd how your dog digs up the bulbs only at certain times. I wish I knew why, but fortunately, my dogs weren't diggers.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

7" of rain!! OMG what a blessing.
The flowers are just beautiful. Happy GBBD.

Diana said...

Pam -- It was a wonderful thing and I loved being stuck inside listening to it pour and watching the plants drink it up.

Janet -- We go just the right amount, acutally. Though there was scary flooding not too far from us about an hour or so up the road. Oh, goody, seeds are coming! Can't wait.

MMD - Well, my newest dog is the digger and she got "cured" with a hot wire last fall and we took it down. Maybe we need to put it back for one little zing again! Seemed like once was all it took, but I guess it doesn't last that long.

Lisa -- It was a blessing, and the plants are saying "thank you, thank you," now.

Linda/patchwork said...

It's amazing how the rain made everything come to life again so quickly.
I hope this is the new trend for us.

Diana said...

Linda/patchwork -- Yes, a trend -- that would be good -- a trend!

Meredith/Great Stems said...

I just love the beautiful artwork in the opening photo -- so colorful! The rain has brought such relief to us all, and the flowers are putting on quite the show in response. The cooler weather has been wonderful, too -- now we just need more rain to fill up those lakes of ours! Your flowers are gorgeous!

Gail said...

Diana, Amazing what a lot of rain and lower temps can do to revive a garden! Your flowers look beautiful and happy! I wish we could grow the cassia...it's wonderful. I admit that I am partial to pinkish flowers...but the Oxblood rain lilies are fantastic~~gail

Diana said...

Meredith -- I know, don't you just love garden art? Another creative outlet and another excuse to shop! Happy GBBD.

Gail -- You know, that Cassia comes on late even here in our heat. (In a "normal" year, that is!) If I can keep the dog out of them, I might get some more Oxblood lilies - they are so striking. Happy GBBD.

Annie in Austin said...

You have so much in flower, Diana! I lost my hyacinth vine and abutilon - glad yours stuck around long enough to feel the rain. I'm jealous of your squash blossoms!

At least you have a chance to train the dog -squirrels dig just as much here but who can make a squirrel behave?

Are you talking about the many little yellow-orange insects on the milkweed? They're Oleander aphids, not caterpillars so the BT has no effect on them. Sometimes ladybugs show up to eat the aphids or just spray them off with water to keep the numbers down.
The BT kills caterpillars, so it will kill Monarch butterfly larva - milkweed is their host plant.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Diana said...

Annie - you're right about the squirrels - but my dogs would like to take care of them! I hand-moved three caterpillars off the milkweed a few days ago because these are new plants and they are just about eaten up. I'm happy to leave them next season when they are established, but they will decimating the plants. I thought those were just-hatched caterpillars as they look so much like the teensy caterpillar I saw next to them. Just looked at them and they are no longer moving ... I can just use soapy water on the aphids, right?

Iris said...

What a big collection of happy blooms! I'm particularly envious of your agapanthus. Maybe I'm supposed to deadhead mine? At least I've got some oxbloods planted by some previous homeowner more than 20 years ago. I love your lobelia's intense color!

Diana said...

Iris -- I don't deadhead the agapanthus, but the DOG is digging them up. I caught her with a stalkin IN HER MOUTH this morning. Arrgh! Don't you love your Oxblood Lilies? Happy Bloom Day!

Linda/Central Texas Gardener said...

Diana, just too lovely! I can't believe you have alyssum and agapanthus blooming. You're like Butchart or something.

On the milkweed, I'm with Annie: the aphids love this plant and provide fuel for beneficial insects. The aphids won't harm any other plant. Plus, this is a larval food for Monarchs. Rather than use Bt, I'd plant more and let 'em do their natural insect-attracting thing. It's worth it!

Diana said...

Linda-CTG -- I know, I know! I'm just letting them get established. They have struggled for the last few weeks with drought and dogs and now being eaten. I planted them for the butterflies, they just have to wait until next spring! ;-)

Lancashire rose said...

Your garden is looking spectacular following the terrible summer. So many blooms. Don't worry about the aphids on the milkweed. I'm told that they will not do any harm!

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

SEVEN INCHES??? Wow! And good for you!! I see your garden is loving it. You have some beautiful blooms, Diana! I'm so jealous of your Oxblood lilies. A friend from Austin sent some to me, but they didn't bloom for me. I have to dig them in the fall and I think they just don't respond to being disturbed and replanted like that. :-( I'll just admire yours!

Frances said...

Cloud 9 sounds like the IN place to be, hooray for your rain! The blooms do look happy too. Those oxblood lilies inspired me to order some last year. Scrawny little plants with small flowers offer hope in years to come of displays such as yours. :-)

Diana said...

Lancashire Rose - you're right - the milkweed is looking a little bit better already.

Kylee -- there are so few bulbs that we can grow here -- I'm glad the Oxblood lilies are among them!

Frances -- Now that I've had them bloom once, I can't wait for them to spread!