Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Summer keeps hanging on in the garden...

It's December 15th, and it's not beginning to look even a little bit like Christmas here in Central Texas!

Unseasonably warm days have my garden confused.

Many summer plants are still thriving, or even putting on a second bloom.

While we've had a few close calls, I haven't had a real freeze at my house yet this season.

Some plants had a few leaves turn and die but the lowest temperature I have measured is 33F.

I love living here -- where we can garden almost 12 months a year. Sometimes that means the plants and I don't get a long winter's nap.

Having lived several times in much colder climates, I would like to see a little snow in the winter.

That's why there are airplanes!

The dogs, Tanner (the tan one!) and Dakota, don't mind one bit. Indian summer suits them just fine as they enjoy watching me work in the garden.

In the cutting garden, I've had these daisies blooming for months.

The Katy Road Carefree Beauty rose is very happy and producing wonderfully fragrant blooms.
Mexican Oregano is flourishing and has bloomed non-stop since the Spring.
The fall-blooming Mexican Mint Marigold, which began blooming in September, is also experiencing a long bloom season. I normally have fewer Fall-blooming plants in the garden, but this year, the Mexican Mint Marigold has had to compete for the spotlight.

This creeping Wegelia perennial groundcover, whose bloom is winding its way through this variegated grass, seems to come into it's own very late in the summer and doesn't last long. I've seen more growth than ever this year with these warmer days.
My Black and blue salvia was overshadowed by other growing plants this summer and had virtually died back. This brand new shoot came up from the roots a few weeks ago and burst into bloom.
Exotic red blooms cover my Bottle Brush tree, blowing in the breezes above a blue agave.
And, the ever-reliable button mums just keep coming back year after year to put on a big Fall show.

For a garden tour of what's blooming all over the world, you can visit Carol, at May Dreams Gardens, where she hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.


Cyndy said...

Diana, You've got so many beautiful things blooming right now - it must be lovely to garden all year, though I know it was a tough summer in Texas. The succulent lady is just that!

Diana said...

Cyndy - you're right - it is fun to have blooms almost year round. (But sometimes I'd like a break!)

Patchwork said...

Amazing! I don't live that far from you, and we've had lows of 20 twice, so far. No blooms in my garden, except the good old pansies and cyclmen. Guess we're in a cold pocket.

Just wish we could get some rain.

Thanks for sharing.

noel said...


isn't year round gardening a if i can only tell the weeds not to be so active during this timeframe, i would be in heaven

Gail said...

Diana, You are having an endless summer of bloom! Don't be surprised if I do take you up on your offer to visit Austin this winter~I am already tired of cold! Have a sweet day~ xxgail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It all looks so colorful! I really enjoyed seeing them.

Amy said...

Those button mums look great, and bottle brush is one of my favorites. Definitely doesn't look wintry in your garden!

Mac_fromAustralia said...

I love the crazy-haired lady in your first pic, and your beautiful dogs. And of course your bottlebrush!

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

All those gorgeous blooms in December! I saw someone mention Mexican oregano the other day and wondered if it was the same as the "Cuban" coleus variety... but judging by your photo, it's different.

Crowe Homes said...

Hey there! Great to see you, thanks for having Carrie and I. Read the Statesman column and, wow! I knew you were a garden expert, just didn't realize you were an expert's expert. Never thought about smelling the roots, something to add to the kit-bag.

Diana said...

Patchwork - Well, you know even in Austin we have a wide range of temperatures all the time. So fun when we're all on Twitter talking about our lows for the previous night!

Noel - LOL - you're so right. Gardening year round would be much more fun without weeds! But right now it's nice to see green all around.

Gail - you have had some really rough weather. You're always welcome here for a respite!

MMD - And we love seeing your delicate blooms when everything here is fried!

Amy - I'm sure it isn't winter-y in your garden either!

Mac - My dogs are always in the garden -- sometimes with me, and sometimes digging behind my back!
I'm going to have to remove that plant and take it to the greenhouse this week as I think we will finally have a freeze on Christmas.

Eliza -- Mexican Oregano is a very woody herbaceous perennial. The scent is very spicy. It loves the hot weather and is drought tolerant, so we use it a lot here in our landscape beds.

John -- You are too kind! This really is my passion. Getting to write regularly for the paper about it is such a treat for me. You can look for me the third Saturday of each month - that's my regular gig.

Kate (daisygil_io) said...

Hi Diana - You have so many lovely flowers still blooming! I could almost feel the warmth of the sun by looking at your photos. It's quite chilly here in NY. ;) I love the succulents in the first photo. Looks like Medusa's head!

Diana said...

Kate - I'm sure you are all bundled up in NY. 82 here yesterday. My post this morning is our amazing warm weather skies. Thanks for stopping by.