Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Color in the Garden - Lion's Tail happily wagging

The mornings and nights are finally cooler.

The sky looks just a little different.

The days are getting shorter.

And it's only going to be 91 degrees today.

Those are the signs of fall in the Central Texas garden.

And great conditions for enjoying Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens each month on the 15th.

It's relief from unrelenting heat, and we're still enjoying the effects of last weekend's 1.57 inches of rain.

The garden seems to have been rejuvenated. There is nothing quite like a good dose of rainwater to perk everything up again.

And so it is with plants in the cutting garden. In my last post, there was a long shot of it bursting with yellows and creams and oranges, and the wild Coreopsis sneaking through the fence to join the show.

This is the star of the show. This Lion's Tail, Leonotis leonurus, is from the Lamiaceae or mint family. It's native to South Africa, and is drought tolerant, which explains why it's happy in our gardens here in Central Texas.

A dwarf variety, these are only 3 to 4 feet tall. I've planted others in previous years and they were up to 6 feet tall.

Their unusual form and profuse blooms add wonderful color to the emerging fall garden.

18 comments:

Cindy, MCOK said...

Great shot of a great plant! I hear we're going to get some REAL fall temperatures in a few days ... Texas gardeners are going to be positively giddy!

Lancashire rose said...

I must try that lion's tail next year even though it may not winter over it is a beauty.

Diana said...

Cindy - Thanks. Can't wait for even cooler weather. My fall asters are starting now too.

Lancashire Rose - It is worth replanting. I have 3 along the back of the cutting garden fence and not only do I love the way they look, I love that they bloom right now when some other things (this year at least) are slowing down.

Linda/patchwork said...

That's another one I need to try next year. Showy and perfect for fall.
This cooler weather is wonderful!

Diana said...

Linda -- It's so cool I don't even mind having to replant next spring/sumemr.

Rambling Wren said...

I really like the bright orange blooms on the lion's tail. I never knew there was a dwarf variety.

getgrounded said...

Beautiful photo, Diana. Your Dwarf Lion's Tail looks so much different than mine? Mine has a smaller leaf, and certainly isn't blooming right now. Perhaps a different variety? I like yours better! Gorgeous.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Because it isn't hardy here (I think) I have lion's tail or lion's mane in a container. Maybe I just ran out of room. Who knows. It didn't start blooming until this week. I think the summer was too hot. Glad you're having better days too.~~Dee

Melissa said...

Beautiful photo. Happy bloom day

Rohrerbot said...

The same thing happened here in Arizona. That last round of rain has given us one last wildflower show. Fall is really perfection here.

Nell Jean said...

Leonotis, what a show!

KLRU said...

Love it! I grew the tall one years ago, and really want to try again. But I'd prefer the smaller version. Such a beauty!! Happy Bloom Day!

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

I love that plant especially since orange is one of my favorite flower colors. Happy GBBD.

HolleyGarden said...

I love it! And what a descriptive name! I'll have to look for one. I don't think I've ever seen one in real life. Happy GBBD!

Jayne said...

Nice plant. I'm not familiar with it, I'll have to research and possibly put it on my list for next year.

scottweberpdx said...

Beautiful post...and so glad you have some relief from a really oppressive summer!

Jean said...

So that plant can get 6 feet tall??!! I had no idea. Yours looks really pretty.

I'm glad you all got all that rain. I'm still scouring the weather forecasts for some!

Diana said...

Rambling Wren - I didn't know about the dwarf either, until I saw it at the nursery.

GetGrounded - I don't know about other varieties but that would certainly explain it.

Dee - It isn't hardy here either, but I planted seeds the first time and then found small transplants last spring. I might try to start seeds in the greenhouse this winter because it's sometimes hard to find the plants.

Melissa - Thanks - Happy GBBD to you, too - a week later!

Rohrerbot - Fall is our best growing season here as well.

Nell Jean - impressive, huh?!

KLRU - the smaller one is more manageable, but I did love the drama of the tall one.

Carolyn - I like orange in the garden too, mixed with yellows and purples for a hot, tropical feel.

HolleyGarden - I hope you find one - they are so distinctive. Good luck.

Jayne - It's not like anything else I have in the garden, that's for sure.

ScottWeberPDX - Thanks - we are glad for the break, too. Amazing how cool 90 can feel.

Jean - We loved the rain. We'd love some more now, too. It made a huge difference in our blooms within a day or two.