roselee_gw

What's looking fresh in August and what isn't ...

roselee z8b S.W. Texas
August 2, 2019
last modified: August 2, 2019

Well, it's August. Only two more months to go before cool weather sets in again. So what's looking fresh in the 100 degree heat and what isn't?

What drove me inside to get my camera on my morning stroll is this bougainvillea whose flowers start out white and quickly turn pink. Please ignore the Retama tree trunk ...


'''

Close up showing the white and slightly variegated leaves on some of the foliage. When I first bought it I thought there were two different varieties in the same pot ...


...

Then I look over and see the Mexican oregano looking glum by holding on to its spent blooms, but which I had such high hopes for after seeing it growing and blooming gloriously in full sun here at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens ...


...

I'm thinking maybe it should be moved to a more out of the way location with some shade and three or four Texas pyramid bushes put in its place. I've had them growing in the 'hell strip' where they bloom all summer and never wilt ..


...

I know y'all must be sick to death of seeing my 'Lemon sorbet' shrimp plant, 'fire works' gomphrena, 'asparagus' fern, and Thyralis shrub, but they always look great and take full hot sun with only a little irrigation ...


...

'Little bunny' dwarf fountain grass always looks fresh too ... see it on the next post.

Comments (49)

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Here's 'little bunny' ...

    ...

    Under the shade of the pecan tree the split leaf philodendrons in four washing machine spin pots always look fresh.

    Hmmm, didn't see that weed growing out one of the little holes until just now ...

    ...

    The bonsai bougie is blooming nicely in its tiny pot ...

    ...

    There are more fresh and not so fresh looking plants I could post about such as my Minerva Althea that is requiring an umbrella to keep it from wilting alarmingly, but I want to see what's doing well, or not, in your yards.

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    We're going to a luncheon today in a private home. It includes a musical program where Bob will be playing. Not a good photo, but I was glad to have bougies and 'fire works' gomphena in flower to offer to the hostess ..

    ...

    Hmmm, I wonder if it would be too much to add a split leaf philodendron leaf for more drama? The home we're going to is large and dramatic.

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  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    I went instead with leaves of Canna 'pretoria' which adds some substance as well as drama ...

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Ragna, I take my hand and knock or rub off the dead blooms on the Mexican Oregano and then they return to blooming in a bit.I think they will return to blooming in a bit regardless. At least they don't look so sad then. One can also cut them back But you know that . But who wants to get out there in the heat to cut them back.. Mine are still blooming up a storm but they probably started a week or two later than yours.

    My turks cap are starting to bloom (a bit late this year).My compass plant is still blooming up a storm but lodging a bit. Everything is wilting due to me not watering AT ALL except for some pots on my bridge. I am still building (kitchen cabinets today).

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked wantonamara Z8 CenTex
  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    As to what is not looking fresh in this August heat,.....ME.. I need another swim the river.

  • Vulture61

    Here’s some of my still fresh stuff:

    Variegated vitex, thryallis and purple ruellia under a retama tree.



    The flowerbed at the front yard doesn’t look that fresh any more but it still looks pretty.


    Weedsland at its best: Johnson grass, cosmos, pink ruellia, pink lantana and Coralbean bean bush claiming their right to dominate the world.



    A basket with tricolor Asiatic jasmine over purple loosestrife, both under “Acoma” crape myrtle.



    Under the pergola. A seating spot among the jungle. Coralbean bush monster, four-nerve daisy and cosmos on the table and vinca by the bench.



    Last one. “Starry, Starry Omar” hibiscus planted with a tropical hibiscus, striking combo.



    Omar

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked Vulture61
  • memetexas

    That Coralbean bush, I sill admire the one I found last year next to a restaurant I go to.

    You identified it Omar, from a pic I posted.

    I wonder how best to propagate it if I snatch another cutting. It definitely died when I put it in water. I guess it's more of a drought loving plant.

  • Vulture61

    Meme, it does root in water, but in my experience, it has to be during the hot weather (like right now.) If you take the cutting right before the cold weather, it won’t develop roots even if it is placed indoors.

    If you get it, be aware of its final size (about 10’ x 8’ round). It would take it 3-4 years to occupy that area, but once it reaches it, it would claim it every year even if it dies back during the winter.

    Omar

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Mara, I'll try knocking the spent blooms off the Mexican oregano right after the sun sets a little lower. Dead heading is easier than moving it for sure. However, I never noticed the plant in more shade holding on to the spent blooms. It always looks fresh with continuous flowering.

    Wow -- Omar, you've got a LOT going on with many fresh looking plants. Love it all and have looked at it several times.

    That coralbean is gorgeous! I had one, but got scared of how fast it was growing so I snuck it over to James' yard next door. It grows and blooms there among a bunch of shrimp plants where it gets no extra water nor any care whatsoever so it stays small.

    For me right now this is the season to decide what to keep going with, or not. All of your inputs do help. Thank you!


  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    With a gloved hand it was easy to relieve the Mexican oregano of its spent flowers as Mara suggested. It looks a lot better! Since the stems are brittle I broke them off by about one third on one side to see how what effect that might have on flowering and fresh foliage production this time of year

    My poor struggling Minerva althea is not doing well in full sun, Even with water, good soil, and well mulched it wilts very badly. It's now breathing a sigh of relief under it's own little beach umbrella. Will move it once again in the fall. It doesn't have time to wait for the near by Ratama tree to grow large enough to give it some light shade.

    Will we ever get every plant in the right place? ... LOL


  • bostedo (8a tx-dfw-blackland prairie)

    Nice to see so much looking so nice now that the heat has arrived.


    In north Texas, these are going strong - Russian sage and Turks cap:

    Brazilian rock rose:

    Flame acanthus:

    Tropical milkweed is also going strong... outside this droop in the mid-day heat - I can so relate :-(

    These are still hanging on well after peak - Rudbeckia:

    Blue plumbago:

    Mexican hat:

    Catmint:

    And a couple late bloom surprises probably thanks to no triple-digit heat until the last few days of July - Wine cups:

    Gulf penstemon:




    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked bostedo (8a tx-dfw-blackland prairie)
  • memetexas

    Bostedo, Do you have to fertilize your Flame acanthus ?

    I have a bed that is a little leggy, but in full sun and it seems like it wants to go to seed throughout the summer so sometimes I dead head but it's hard because it seems like the flowers are coming out of the pods along side of the seeds from old flowers.

    I want more flowers so I fertilized a few weeks back but see no difference.

  • buttoni

    Oh, my, that bougainvillea is just gorgeous, Roselee. White to pink, how interesting. And Omar, I love the seating area under the pergola. It looks so inviting.

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked buttoni
  • buttoni

    Well, let's see........my baby peach tree, although not blooming, is looking much better than when it still had a dozen or so baby peaches on it. Pulled them off so it would devote nutrients to producing branches and leaves. The potted nandina 'Firepower' looks much better in the front bed than it ever did in my back patio in full sun. It gets sun 4-6 hours a day here instead of all day long.


    My 2 newest ixoras by the mailbox are still blooming nicely, as is this one from 2 years before:

    My two Texas Mountain Laurels out front that were some 7' tall seem to have gotten healthier looking since I pruned them down to 5':


    And my oregano is definitely happier since I put it back into the shade. It was browning over on the cement pedestal that got partial sun:

    Although not in full sun under the roof eave, my 'California Gold' bougies are all still blooming, albeit not prolifically. My 6 red potted periwinkle around one of my front beds and the spider plant also seen in this photo are all still alive and healthy even in our heat of late. Man, did you see it's going to be triple digit heat for 6 straight days?!!


    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked buttoni
  • bostedo (8a tx-dfw-blackland prairie)

    Memetexas, Only thing we do is apply bags of compost or composted manure every 3 years or so; none of the mostly Texas native plants in that dry bed seem to need much feeding. Though we don't get a nice long bloom from the flame acanthus in that location due to fall shade. They're on the north side of a fence (and neighbor's huge live oak) where they move into shade during September and any significant blooming ceases. I cut them to the ground this year because they had gotten to leaning so badly from reaching for the sun during the late growing season. The spring shade doesn't affect their shape as much because they emerge so late.

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked bostedo (8a tx-dfw-blackland prairie)
  • dreamr

    Clematis Duchess of Albany surprised me with a second flush after being accidentally whacked down


    Rosa Golden celebration and spring planted calibrachoa are also hanging on



    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked dreamr
  • Vulture61

    I never thought this Bauhinia forficata would bloom in August:



    Thanks, Ragna!


    Omar

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked Vulture61
  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Beautiful. I woke up in a beautiful fog. One of the pleasures of living high up. The clouds come down to us sometimes. Only thing is, that in this heat, it is muggy as hell out there.

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked wantonamara Z8 CenTex
  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Omar, so glad you finally have a blooming Brazilian orchid tree. In my experience they bloom off and on most of the summer. Rain helps.

    I searched old posts to check out those times. Here is a photo from a post from June 28, 2014:



    However, mine was badly damaged for the first time in the sudden freeze we had last January when everything was green and growing. When cut back instead of making another trunk it sprouted long limbs which lay across the ground ... :-( I have a couple of root sprouts and will try to get them going to make another small tree.

    Mara, we had little showers the last couple of days, but not enough rain to do much good. The ground is still cracked out in the fields. Temp is 80 at 9 AM this morning. Humidity is 90%!

    Riding through the fields in the golf cart with James late last evening with our dogs happily running along side we thought we could detect a little fall in the air, but maybe it was wishful thinking.

    Dreamr, thank you for your beautiful photos. Love the rose and enjoyed seeing the clematis blooming. I could never get them to grow here. In what part of Texas do you garden?

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    I heard from my long range weather guy that I listen to, and he says to expect a endless summer but the winter should be cold. He has not come out with his winter forecast yet , just hints. The warm water in the northeast Pacific usually means ridging and then the weird dips of the jet stream that brings us such "fun" weather.

  • Vulture61

    Yes, I can sense some fall signals as well: the breeze, some plants blooming, change of leaves color. Some of my mums have not stopped blooming since spring. My “Sweet Autumn” clematis has been blooming for a week already and my crape myrtles are showing red leaves. Here are some happenings taking place right now:



















    Omar

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked Vulture61
  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    It could also be all the dryness that is causing the leaves to look a bit like fall (says the pessimist)

  • Vulture61

    It could be...


    Omar

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Mara, you could be right, but I prefer to err on the side of the optimist ... LOL It takes the temp down about 2 degrees sensation wise and every little bit helps.

    Omar, your garden looks wonderful. I love how you have saucers under the pots. That helps a lot. With mine it keeps the tree roots from invading as well as holding some water.

    I especially like the variegated althea. The flower color and the leaves match perfectly! How much sun does it get?

    I tied my poor Brazilian white orchid tree limbs to a piece of re-bar driven into the ground ...

    Here's a closer look at the stump ...

    Do y'all think they will eventually become the trunk? Or am I wasting my time? I would have taken off the limb on the very bottom, but didn't want to disturb the garden spider ...

    She's very fat and I think is ready to make another egg sack. She has already placed at least one egg sack in the bird cage.


  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Ragna, Are there three of the branches? If there are, you could braid them and stake the braid.

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked wantonamara Z8 CenTex
  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Mara, that's a great idea! I'll try that as soon as mama garden spider has done her thing and moved on. Her web was much larger so I think she is about at the end of her rope, so to speak.

  • Vulture61

    Hmm... I thought about staking the branches too, but, what good is it going to make if it is going to die to the roots in winter?


    Ha, ha, Ragna! You gave me that Althea thru Bossy Vossy. I recently found out that cultivar is called “Sugar Tipped”. I have it in very light shade, under a crape myrtle, but I suspect that it would prefer a sunnier location.


    Omar

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Omar, this last winter is the first time the Brazilian white orchid tree has been damaged so hoping it I can get a trunk going somehow I can continue to enjoy it without having to wait for the root sprouts to grow.

    As for the althea I remember that Bossy sent me two cuttings and I gave you the only one that rooted. Dang, I can't imagine why I felt so kind and generous as to do that ... Oh well ... ;-) (just kidding)

    Glad to know it will grow and bloom in light shade because I just moved my single 'Minerva' althea to such a location. It was burning up even under the shade of an umbrella and lots of water.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    I see braided trees being sold in stores and just thought of that.

  • Vulture61

    Ok. I guess that just for that “detail”, I can try to root a cutting for you.


    Omar

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked Vulture61
  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Omar, truly I was kidding. As anyone can plainly see I am cutting back on plants (I can hear you saying 'yeah right'), but thank you anyway.

    Incidentally, mama garden spider is noticeably slimmer this morning and there is another egg case in the bird cage. Her web is fresh today, but very small.

    Something else that is fresh in my yard is the new planter Bob built for the tree stump. With all the rain the old one was was beginning to crumble. The ladder is left because I'll be planting silver pony foot if I can find some four inchers ...

    ...

    My next project is to revamp the front bed inside the dwarf youpon holly hedge. I wish I had asked Omar for ideas when he was here.

  • annieinaustin

    Oh my goodness Roselee - is that what a non-frozen Brazilian orchid tree would look like? That is gorgeous!

    I've had this plant since 2007 and get some blooms each summer, but it always freezes close to the ground every winter and with luck gets to 3-ft tall by late summer.

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked annieinaustin
  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Annie, I got mine in '08 from Chip at the old Schumachers Hill Country Gardens in New Braunfels. Until this last year it always made it through the winter here although I did protect it for the first couple of years. Now it gets some protection from the trees and shrubs around it.

    Does yours have thorns?

    The garden spider is not there this morning so I'm going to attempt to braid the three stems which hopefully will provide a stronger trunk if my efforts are successful.

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Speaking of spiders, I saw a gorgeous little jewel on a web this morning. It was smaller than my little finger nail, legs and all, but the colors were almost florescent.. It was ID'd as a Mabel orchard orb weaver.. Harmless. Watch for it.

    Back to the subject of this thread I have a mixed hedge along one of the fence lines. The one that is showing the most wilting, with some branches dying, is the yellow Cestrum 'orange peel'.

    Holding up well are dwarf Barbados cherry (which will grow to 7/8 ft and is evergreen), winter honey suckle, (evergreen), vitex and (gasp) nandina. I'll be planting more Barbados cherry to eventually replace the beautiful, but thirsty cestrum.

  • javiwa

    Because my tithonia got such an early start (seeds dropped from last year's spent blossoms sprouted by mid-February), they were looking pretty awful earlier this month. I tore them all out as soon as I found new seedlings getting going for round two: perfect time for fall Monarch migration -- these seedlings are just loving the heat! They're scattered all over.


    Some of these are repeats, but here goes. I forget what kind of salvia, but this was off a Lowes clearance rack (as are many of my plants) -- I divided into two, and they sulked for a bit before deciding to stick around.


    Clearance batface cuphea going crazy -- love these! I took a number of cuttings and will plant more in the front yard.


    My Fireworks and Las Vegas gomphrena -- the hot afternoon sun absolutely does not phase these one bit.


    Nursed this Compact Spicy Jatropha back to health: cannot wait for the hummingbirds to discover this beauty! ($5 from Lowes clearance rack...woot!):


    Blue porterweed continues to put out the non-stop blooms:


    P. foetida is clearly ready for the Gulf frits, but they seem to prefer Omar's P. caerulea:


    And this is one of my 25+ Asclepias perennis milkweed plants, also ready for the Monarchs to come through.



    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked javiwa
  • javiwa

    Oops. Cannot forget the zinnias. I'm really taking to heart this second growing season of ours. Yes, it means toiling in the hottest of days, but it's worth it. I sowed a bunch of CA Giant zinnia seeds several weeks ago, and this was the first to sprout:

    (Shout out to the pink pentas back there, too.)


    I had the worst time with zinnias purchased as bedding plants last year -- they struggled for months. But this one sprouted from seed (Short Stuff) dropped last year, and it just puts out bloom after bloom.

  • Vulture61

    That A. perennis looks great Javi. How much water does it require?


    Omar

  • javiwa

    Thanks, Omar. I've got about 16 varieties of milkweed going, and A. perennis nears the top of the list for ease of maintenance. I have this bank of three plants situated towards the front of the bed where the water naturally drains towards them -- and where I can most readily hit the soil with my hose. In this heat, I've been hand watering every day; so the soil stays moist. I've found they don't require constantly swampy conditions, though.

    Here's a bank of only three plants, with most of the seed pods protected (from large milkweed bug nymphs):



    If you (or anyone!) want freshly harvested seeds from this past month, please PM me. I've got tons, and they really need to find good homes. As mentioned, I already have 25 plants in my yard. And as they'll each have this many pods, well, do the math. :)

    I CMSed these seeds last December/Jan for about a month, and my yields were off the charts (~90-95% germinated). I've heard from Houston area folks theirs recently required only about a week or two CMS in the fridge.


    ETA: These plants stay very compact, maxing out at ~ 2'x2' tall/wide, if that. The profuse, light pink blossoms add such happiness to the garden, and each plant is easily tucked anywhere.

  • Vulture61

    Thanks, Javi. Like you, I spend a lot of time watering. The difference is that I barely get to maintain my “ drought” tolerant plants alive :D I.think my garden won’t be the ideal niche for A. perennis :(


    Frits barely visit my garden to propagate nowadays, so I keep trimming my ever growing foetidas. Weirdly, they show up to feed on the Gregg’s Mist plants, but I rarely see cats on my passies. Maybe it’s still too hot for laying eggs?


    Omar

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    or freshness out here due to me not watering. But my C. peruvianus got fruit balls on it for the first time. It always looks a bit fresh and rude.



    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked wantonamara Z8 CenTex
  • javiwa

    Omar: Let me know if you change your mind about seeds. My project today, as this is the fresh harvest from this morning:



    Sorry if I already mentioned this above, but the frits also completely ignore the giant P. incarnata Incense that crept over last year from the neighbor's yard. I brought a few frit cats into a netted enclosure (off the P. caerulea), as there were a couple of lizards lurking too close for comfort -- they have plenty to eat. I don't know how the frit butterfly(ies) sensed this enclosure is a safe spot, but they keep laying eggs right onto the outside of the tulle netting!






    (Sorry to go OT.)





  • Vulture61

    Fascinating!


    Omar

  • Dan H

    It's the end of September but summer hasn't moved on, there hasn't been a cold front yet and overnight lows are consistently 75-78. Thank goodness it cools to below 90 quicker in the evenings now. Our city's aquifer was in good shape this spring so I watered regularly. We got no rain since late June, until last week. Nearby I see several 'came with the house' landscape native trees in our fairly young subdivision that turned all-brown in September, after doing fine 8-10 years.

    Rock rose looked great all summer, 2-3 ft tall (& much wider) gently swaying in the morning breeze. Shifting wind directions in early spring caused the main stem to split down the middle all the way into the ground. But half of it recovered, and cuttings from the broken-off half rooted easily. (Pavonia lasiopetala)

    Mexican orchid tree, labelled Bauhinia divaricata, did good in its 2nd year. There's a nice specimen at the east edge of SABG's Old Fashioned Garden section that inspired me to try it. These photos don't capture details in the white, next time I'll try exposure compensation or a different metering.

    August 31, 7:45 pm


    A few from mid July



    Mexican orchid tree · More Info


    Last Wednesday


    (Having trouble posting photos)

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked Dan H
  • Dan H

    Tuberose finally burst forth after not doing much the first 2 yrs. It's the one Burpee sells (The Pearl). The perfume exceeded all hopes/expections, well worth the wait. It didn't show any sign of flowering until the end of June, when many plants started retreating into survival mode (which only added to the surprise).

    June 27, bottom flower on 1st stem just starting to open


    July 9, any day now for 2nd & 3rd stems


    Sept 7, stem 4 going strong; 1,2 & 3 spent stems on right


    (having trouble posting photos)

  • Dan H

    (continued, part 3) SunPatiens pooped out again mid-July and they haven't produced new flowers in 2 months. Milkweed continues to be an aphid magnet, but after getting pruned they should be ready for next month's Monarch migration. The 15 or so roses are bravely putting out new buds regularly, despite crispy foliage and no spray since the spring rains. The bougie that got repotted a year and a half ago has been more off than on color-wise, but after last week's rain a bunch of new growth started pushing thru. Almond verbena was also crispy and brittle and shedding leaves, but after the rain I see many new flower spikes developing on top. Maybe rainwater hitting & rinsing off the leaves etc helped my bougie and verbena, or rinsed out salts or something. Dallas Red lantana (in 15 inch pot) in its 2nd yr also looks brittle and crispy; it's in bloom 1/3 of the time if I'm lucky.

    Bougie after 1st rain in 3 month


    The passionflower (incarnata) is doing fine with the regular watering. I keep it potted now because it gets out of control so easy. The occasional GF butterfly visits but no cats seen yet. This month is the 1st time I dared to try eating the fruit (maypop). It's not as juicy and flavor intense as the commercial tropical species (P. edulis) but that's ok. All in all it's going pretty good (...we made it!) for only my 5th full summer in the new place.


    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked Dan H
  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Dan, thank you for the report and all the photos! Loved seeing and reading how things are growing for you.

    Your blooming Mexican orchid tree looks great! I moved mine to more sun early this year, but so far no flowers.

    The photos of your tuberoses makes me want to smell them again. Haven't grown them for years.

    Do you eat the maypop fruit 'straight' or use them for flavoring drinks?

  • Dan H

    Thanks Ragna, I appreciate the input. For now I ended up eating them whole/intact. I tried pressing the pulp/juice vesicles but the yield was negligible. (Like trying to squeeze juice out of a single pomegranate bit that's mostly seed and skin and gelatinous fiber.) I baked some at 350 for a short time but that didn't help much. I think the ultimate would be in a slow cooker or crockpot for 12+ hours, to where they are softened enough to "pop" or burst in the mouth with only gentle pressure. But the temperature is low enough so there's no carmelization or dehydration or other added flavor artifacts.

    I suppose another motivation is that the birds eat most of the edibles I grow (tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries, grapes). This is the only edible they haven't beat me to (as of this morning anyway). So even if I only get a couple dozen "pods" that produce 1/4 cup of pulp the entire month, by golly I'm not passing it up.

    For a while in the 1990s there was a passionfruit flavored frozen lemonade concentrate made by Minute Maid or someone that really hit the spot for me. They no longer sell it and I haven't been able to recreate it but that sparked my initial interest in the passion fruit plant. Now that I'm growing one I also appreciate the GF butterfly connection and the visual complexity of the flower (so many features, absolutely ridiculous, in a good way of course).

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Dan, I've never grown Maypop so haven't tasted the fruit directly, but remember the interesting Minute Maid passion fruit flavor. On my P. 'blue crown' the Gulf frit caterpillars ate the little fruits before it matured ... :-(

    Yes, the flowers are so beautiful they look unreal.

    What the birds eat in my garden are some of the succulents. Guess they are more thirsty than hungry.

  • Vulture61

    Dan, to make a good “juice”, take the pulp out of 2-3 fruits and boiled it in, say, 1 gallon of water until it is cooked. Let it cool down and add sugar and more water to taste. That is how we prepare it in Venezuela (we use P. edulis, though)


    Omar

    roselee z8b S.W. Texas thanked Vulture61

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