Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Hot but not especially bothered
Nothing much bothers with setting flowers in August under ordinary circumstances, and after our colder than usual winter, a lot of my usual late summer bloomers (most of them non-natives) are running several weeks late. The vast majority of my native plants have bloomed and set seed and are now content to coast and reserve their energies for cooler days to come. The view outside is set for the season and at the risk of sounding like a piker, things in the garden just now are fairly boring. That is what makes these exceptions so notable.
Garlic chives have taken advantage of their propagation dominance and are overrunning their bounds. But. They bloom in the heat of August, and though the cut stalks smell (and taste) like garlic? The flowers at least look sweet, a bit like miniature lilies.
crab spider hiding behind the white blooms until after I enlarged the photo for editing. These little guys have fewer potential lairs this time of year so I'm happy he found a good spot. Did you know basil blossoms are as delicious as the leaves? They are not only beautiful looking but quite tasty sprinkled into salads or arrayed atop sliced tomatoes for a more floral version of a Caprese salad. Just be sure to shake the spiders out, first.
Last but certainly not least is a native workhorse, Prairie verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida) which is apparently a distant relative to teak trees. These purple blooms are central Texas garden standbys, persistently offering a bright splash of color to their surroundings from March through at least October, and occasionally blooming through until our first frost. It is my tendency to take these little troopers a bit for granted because they are so reliable. In mid to late August however they prove they are stars in their own right, as they shake off heat and drought in a beautiful way, inviting late Summer skippers into the garden. Here, a verbena offering what I'm pretty sure is a Erynnis funeralis a midafternoon meal.