Never ending warm to hot weather has its benefits.

These Cassia never died back last winter. They were snuggled in a corner of the house - protected on three sides by a fence, the house and the breakfast room wall.

And while the nurseries around here now have 2-foot tall plants to sell, mine are a towering 10 feet tall.

I can barely see the beautiful flame-like blooms that give the Candlestick Tree its common name.

There are several more plants along the driveway, but they died back and are now just about 4 feet tall and blooming.

They get less water, too, and less hot sun, which they love.

If you look closely, you can see the drought stress on them and the plants around them. Many plants in the garden are turning yellow and losing leaves from the heat and the lack of water. And insects have set in, sensing that the plants are feeling peaked.

But even with the stress, these statuesque plants bring real drama to the garden.

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