June 2008 Bloom Day

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for getting everyone involved in Bloom Day each month.

The heat wave is getting to everyone, my dear flowers most of all. The Lily of the Nile Agapanthus normally blooms in May and the blooms last for weeks. This year they are already almost gone because of the hot dry winds and scorching heat. That makes me sad, as I always enjoy their longevity and brightness in the front yard.

This one is interesting; it’s a new plant added this year to join the other Agapanthus. When it bloomed, it had one lavender bloom and one darker purple. Nice!

This is most likely the last of the daylily blooms . They are fading fast in the record-breaking heat that seems to be never-ending.

This is a sweet little unnamed Sedum that I picked up at Natural Gardener and it immediately took off in the back garden. It looks great around the large rocks.

I put a new lattice behind this Primrose Jasmine this year so it could climb easier. It took off and finally grew after I followed my Dad the Farmer’s advice and sprinkled my beds with Ammonia Sulfate. He grows peanuts in western North Texas, and years ago his County Agent told him this trick. The ammonia helps the plants absorb the available nitrogen, and the sulfate is acidifying. I usually try to just use compost, but I had things for years that weren’t growing and weren’t blooming, and this year they took off. I guess he was right, but don’t tell him I said that.

This is another plant that never bloomed for 3 years, and never grew at all until this year after the Ammonia Sulfate application. Now it’s gorgeous! I never knew what it could look like, and I’m so glad I didn’t just give up on it. Pam at Digging identified it for me as Mexican Oregano. I planted it so long ago and never saw it do anything that I had forgotten what it was.

And finally, my hibiscus are finally flowering! I bought these in April at Emerald Gardens. They were leftovers that didn’t sell last year, and the store had no idea what the blooms were going to be like. Because of that, I got these huge (3 gallon) plants for only $7.50 each. Since I adore Hibiscus and buy them every year anyway, I splurged on 3. I have been holding my breath in anticipation to see the blooms, and I haven’t been disappointed. They aren’t prolific bloomers, and the blooms only last one day (typical of hibiscus), but these are worth it. I managed to get all 3 in recent days.

This bloom is nearly 6″ across! Quite spectacular, and the color is incredible.

No slackers themselves, these two are about 5″ across, and I adore the colors. Since they close up permanently the evening of the day of their bloom, I’ve been cutting them in late afternoon and bringing them inside to enjoy through the rest of the evening.

Other things that are still hanging in there with a few blooms are the Bicolor Iris and Althea (Rose of Sharon), pictured in May. Other bloomers without pics right now are Guara, Coral Honeysuckle, lingering Pomegranite flowers and one fruit, Hydrangea, Caladiums, Salvia Gregii, Tropical Sage, Petunias, Geraniums, Cannas, Bulbine, Society Garlic, Crape Myrtle Trees (those blooms are too high for me to see, much less photograph) and a bit of Lantana – I don’t think they get enough sun to be big bloomers. Same with my Bulbine and Society Garlic. I need more sun for all.

I can’t wait to see everyone’s bloom day as I browse blogs on Father’s Day. And tomorrow, the Pond Work continues.


8 thoughts on “June 2008 Bloom Day

  1. Your pictures are great and your garden looks lovely for all the stress the heat seems to be bringing!

    Sheila, I’m always flattered with compliments from Master and experienced gardeners. Thanks! Your blog is beautiful; you are quite the gardener. I’m also envious of your California cool weather…

  2. Beautiful blooms. Those hibiscus are just stunning. I love the blue agapanthus and the surprise multi color one is a nice surprise. Nice vibrant Daylilies. I’m not sure why mine are not suffering from the heat. I think my dayliies get enough protection on my balcony to last throughout the day. Thank you for stopping by my blog by the way. I am glad I found another Texan and wonderful garden blogger! By ethe way I’m in San Antonio but I have a balcony.

  3. Hi Robin,
    Enjoying reading about your pond escapades – I have had a few of my own over the past few years! Great blog / pictures. Look forward to reading more.

    Do you have a pond now, Philip? I don’t believe I will ever put one in intentionally, now that I have had this hand me down one. If I did, it would only be professionally done! Robin

  4. Despite all our heat your garden looks like a cool oasis of escape. You have lots of flowers I don’t have although we seem to share a talent for non-blooming lantana and society garlic. You garden has a very tropical feel, a bit like San Antonio. Austin has a split personality doesn’t it? Last year the tropicals were happy and the xeriscapic plants rotting. This year it’s the other way around.

    Thanks for the compliments, and what’s up with that Lantana, anyway? I thought it was supposed to be a Gardening for Dummies plant. And yes, I do love tropicals, and doesn’t it figure – sigh – that THIS year is when I decide to put in a new bed with all tropicals! Robin

  5. Hello Robyn,

    My yellow lantana is blooming but but most of my agapanthus are not – we all seem to have success in certain areas, with frustration in others! Your tropical hibiscus have pretty colors and patterns – do you try to keep them alive over winter?

    I guess it’s not surprising we Austin bloggers have so many plants in common – if something lives and blooms in one garden we all want to try it!

    Absolutely, Annie, that’s one of the main reasons I read all of your blogs – to find out what I can get away with. Thanks for the compliments on the Hibiscus; I’ve never planted one in the ground before except for the Moy Grande perennial that hasn’t bloomed yet (but when it does, it’s amazing). I’ve only used them as container plants before. It’s probably silly to think I can keep them alive over the winter, but oh well, they wouldn’t have made it through the winter in containers either. So I thought it was worth a shot. It’s interesting about the Agapanthus; my landscaping lady that got me started years ago suggested those, and I didn’t know anything about them. I just assumed they would bloom and all of them have except one. I talked to Barton Springs Nursery about it, and they told me that some of those plants just never bloom, no matter what. So I think you should just try again with a different Agapanthus – I actually love that plant. The bloom normally lasts for almost 6 weeks, and its an evergreen with such a great structural leaf. I have four of them now that bloom, and one will be ready for splitting up soon. If you are interested, perhaps you could teach me how (when the time is right) to split it up and you could have some of it. It’s my most prolific bloomer!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Everything looks so beautiful. Hibiscus are one of my favorites also and I love seeing pictures from other people’s gardens. You said that you buy them every year, do they die off during the winter or do you just buy more to add to them every year? This is my first year gardening so I don’t really know!

    Shala, Most of the time Austin’s winters are too cold for hibiscus to make it through. There are a few native perennial Hibiscus (Barton Springs Nursery carries them, as does Natural Gardener) that freeze back in the winter and come back each spring. I have one of those, and it’s quite beautiful. I just love Hibiscus a lot, so I buy a lot of them.

  7. Hi Robin,
    I do have a pond! it is a 900 gallon, “Callahan’s” stock tank. It has been great to me, and really simple to install and maintain. I clean out the filter 2-3 times a year, and occasionally throw in a barley bale. I have the tank under a large post oak which cuts down on evaporation. I also use a smaller tank as a bubble fountain / top up tank to dechlorinate the water.
    (see: “I used a sledge hammer on my water feature” on blog).

  8. Your garden looks great in spite of the heat. I can only imagine what you all must be going through to keep everything growing or at least surviving through the heat!
    Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

    Carol, thanks so much for visiting! Yes, our native plants here are pretty darn tough. I wish I had their tenacity. Robin

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