Welcome!

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.



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What's Blooming in June

I'm not weighing in with any particular viewpoint or lessons learned today, other than thinking it advisable to start keeping better track of what is blooming, and when.  So, without further ado...what is blooming in this middle of the month of June, 2015:

Fennel
Turk's Cap
Goldeneye
Coral Yucca
Sunflower, unspecified
Purple Coneflower
Prairie Verbena
CandyLand - Bromeliad central...
Bromeliad flowers nestled in pink bracts
Blanket Flower, Winecup and Fleabane
OxEye Daisy
Common Daylily
Tropical Salvia
Coreopsis 
Henry Duelberg Salvia
Monarda
Four-o-clock/Marvel of Peru 
Althea/Rose of Sharon
Datura/Jimson Weed
Prairie Coneflower
I may have missed one or two but that's the vast majority of the floral action at the moment.  I was surprised to note how there are flowers in every color at play - I always have the impression my garden beds are predominately purple or yellow, when the truth is I have lots of white, a bit of pink, orange, and even a a few plants with red flowers.  So what's my color story here?  "Rainbow" will have to be my answer.  A little bit of every color, and every one appreciated in turn.

Thanks for indulging my wish to take stock and tolerating the flower "show".  I hope to be back soon with a little more content to accompany the photographs.  In the meantime, we had over an inch of rain already in June with more promised as a tropical storm heads our way.  There is nothing typical about the weather this year and I hope to take full advantage, rearranging and adding plants well past the usual "stop work" dates for central Texas.  Could there be some "before and after" fun lurking just over the horizon?   There could, there certainly could...

26 comments:

Tina said...

Lots of pretties there. I can't wait until my althea bloom--they're healthy and growing, but no blooms yet. I love the little combo of blanket flower and winecup--nice! And those prairie coneflowers--I threw out the seeds when it was raining. Fingers crossed!

TexasDeb said...

Just about when you've forgotten you threw that seed out - they'll show up and you'll be scratching your head, wondering, "what....". At the moment, even after several pruning sessions, everything is simply falling over towards the ground, making it easy for the snails who are out laughing in the rain. Yes. I heard them snickering.

Tina said...

That's what I heard--time to go a crunchin'. And, a prunin'--my postal guy is probably really annoyed with the pavonia flopping all over his pathway. I'm waiting for a dry day.

Snort.

I noticed that you have a monarda--is it the Peter's Purple that everyone is apoplectic about? I have no room, as I expect it needs full sun, but just curious how it does for you.

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

The Bromeliad flowers are ones we don't see around these parts (Upper Midwest), so it's fun to check them out on your blog. Yes, you do have a lovely rainbow of blooms in your garden. Enjoy!

Travis Heights Garden Mama said...

Beautiful rainbow of blooms! I am envious of your fennel blooms- my chickens ate mine up before I could offer it to the swallowtails!

Kris Peterson said...

I've always wanted to grow Monarda (and tried) but I haven't found a variety that likes it here. Are your bromeliads in pots or in the ground? I have some (none of which have bloomed) in pots in the house and on my shadier side patio but I've thought about trying to incorporate them elsewhere in the garden as in-ground plants. I've got some pups large enough to try out, although I suppose it may be best to hold off until the hot weather is over. Any advice?

TexasDeb said...

Tina: A crunching indeed, hard NOT to crunch snails these days. They are everywhere.

The monarda is not the highly touted Peter's Purple - that monarda is a much deeper color and seems to be bushier than the native Monarda citriodora, which is what I have growing here. The native form tolerates part shade and reseeds well. At the moment I'm dealing with plants sprung up from seed that washed to the edges of the beds after rains last Fall. Most of them came up right along the driveway and the curbing and now are falling over onto pavement. I'm pretty sure I'll have to buy seed for more next year, and start over again up INSIDE the garden beds. Best laid plans....

TexasDeb said...

Beth: Thank you! Those bromeliads are all grocery store floral department impulse buys. The Hub has a greenhouse and he decided to put a bromeliad in to winter over, it did, it pupped and rebloomed, as did several grocery store orchids. and CandyLand developed as a spot to put them all out when freezing weather was past us for the year. The orchids all stay in the greenhouse or house, but the bromeliads are happy-happy in the dappled shade under live oak trees. Most of our garden beds are filling with native plants and pollinator magnets but Candyland is just for looks (though garden spiders love to build webs among them!).

TexasDeb said...

THGMama: My fennel is falling over like almost everything these days. I put tomato cages around them way too late in the game, ended up breaking off as many shoots as I could encourage into more upright configurations. To me the flowers are like a yellow form of Queen Anne's Lace, or like yarrow, both of which I've always admired. As much as the fennel the swallowtails seem to be visiting my parsley plants that bolted. I'm thinking of adding more of both next year.

TexasDeb said...

Kris: I'm growing the native form of Monarda but many Austin gardeners are thrilling over a hybridized version called Peter's Purple. I love the way the native's flowers start out the most delicate shade of green and then mature into a light purple color. I also love the way the bees love it and that it typically reseeds, though rains moved the seed last Fall and the plants are no longer in an optimal growing situation. I foresee more seed packets in my future...

As to the bromeliads, the Hub keeps them in orchid growing medium (bark mostly) in coir lined plastic framework pots and overwinters them in the greenhouse. Each Spring when the chances for freezing weather are behind us he moves them out and nestles them, still in their pots, into the ground covers growing under tall live oaks. They love the dappled light and The Hub keeps their water wells filled as they are close to the hose and a rain barrel both. So - we don't have any in the ground. And we don't have any growing in soil. As to reblooming - The Hub feeds them with a balanced low number soluble hodgepodge of whatever he has on hand and maybe that makes a difference, in combination with the high humidity in the greenhouse all winter.

Debra said...

Whoa. These photos are GORGEOUS. Pictures to linger over. The bromeliad grouping is especially pretty. It looks so lush and refreshing. What is the groundcover that surrounds them?

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Thank you very much! I've got an updated photo program on board these days and I'm still learning the new ropes. WRT your question about the ground cover...short answer is that is mostly Asian jasmine and Virginia creeper with some Vinca minor and holly ferns in play.

Two plants now classified as invasive (the vinca and holly) all but one non-native, that is a remnant of Days of Landscaping Past. Over 25+ years ago we planted flats of what was available (in quantities we could afford) as we had a large septic tank discharge field that needed immediate coverage. This was long before native plants were recommended, much less available in quantity.

I bought flats of Asian jasmine and vinca and transplanted creeper starts from everywhere I could find it, put in a few non-native holly ferns, and called it a day as the ground covers duked it out under the trees. Now of course I'd do it all differently but I am assuaged some by the fact the creeper and even to some extent the vinca both support all sorts of local fauna, while the jasmine, well...

It all holds moisture, provides a low level mini-canopy shading and cooling the soil, and the periwinkle blue blossoms of the vinca in early Spring are promises that soon the rest of the garden will be coming back to life each year. I've worked to take out asian jasmine and vinca and replace them with natives but those efforts may never be completed. Honestly, even if I could travel back in time to advise against using the jasmine/vinca, I'm not sure what else would have been available in flats for the near immediate coverage we required, other than lawn. Those were different days!

Rock rose said...

My goodness, you have so much going on with all those pretty blooms. Goldeneye? Does that mean fall is on the way? I do hope so.

dryheatblog said...

What a mix of everything there...bromeliads, too? Though I don't see any butterflies, but the blooms may have distracted me. Sunflowers already? Then again, I saw Cowpen Daisy a few times this last week...nothing like fall here...more like hair dryer!

TexasDeb said...

Rock Rose/Jenny: I'm not sure what is up with that one viguera dentate plant - it is the only one with blooms on it though the foliage on the rest of the plants is much more luxurious already than most years. The display this Fall is going to be gorgeous I hope. And after all the damage caused to your lovely spaces I can see where your eye is already set on next year's big Spring display.

Though I'm not a huge fan of serial close ups of blooms (unless they are showcasing pollinators) everything is so leggy and overgrown and messy looking when viewed on whole I found it reasonable this time to use it as a means to document what is in flower currently.

TexasDeb said...

DHB/David: Yup - that's the reality here. We went from standardized mostly lawn, through a period with practically no lawn replaced by disorganized polka dots of easily propagated bedding plants and passalongs, to what we have now, several well defined bedding areas with somewhat better organized native plantings in combination with areas that are still mostly a hodgepodge of"fill".

As to butterflies, I see several each time the sun comes out, but with increased pressures on their populations due to the weather I have ceased chasing them down with my camera and leave them to feed and lay eggs with less interference. I am seeing caterpillars and loads of native bees, but not many honeybees, sadly. The continuing heavy rains happening every few days are spurring a lot of late plant (over)growth, but all this wet doesn't seem to be as supportive for insect populations (other than mosquitoes!).

Kathleen Scott said...

Beautiful! We love so many of the same things. I'd love to have an Althea but don't know where I could put it.

TexasDeb said...

Kat: We have so many althea now - both white and pink. They seem to propagate fairly easily around here. If you ever change your mind and decide you want one (or a couple) do not hesitate to let me know and I'll start hunting down transplant prospects for you.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Deb this was a delight to see what is blooming in your garden and I agree with you such a bounty of color....and many of the same plants growing here too thousands of miles away! I love that....

TexasDeb said...

Donna: That is fun - the same plants in such different locations. Great minds (and gardeners!) working alike! Thanks for dropping by.

Linda Lehmusvirta said...

Wow! You've got so much going on! It's all lovely, but I especially like the blue gazing ball in the bromeliads.

TexasDeb said...

LL: Thank you! The bromeliads are The Hub's special project. He babies them all winter in the greenhouse and then they come out to play in the ground covers for the rest of the year - under the protective shade of tall oaks. He does hand water them regularly, partly to keep the "cups" free of mosquito larvae. They seem to tolerate the heat just fine so long as they stay shaded and they are watered. The ones we have are local grocery store floral department impulse buys, all originally stuck on the front porch for temporary color.

dryheatblog said...

I'm finally starting a list on what I need to use in my designs, at least in the right area...your Turk's Cap is at the top of the list! With verbena close. Your plants look so healthy with your rain and humidity, to the point where I would guess it's a greenhouse!

The CandyLand scene is beyond magical...wow.

TexasDeb said...

DHB: We do enjoy the bromeliads even though they are probably only supporting mosquitoes with their water filled central "cups". We haven't bought any for years they just keep plugging along and making pups. So long as they don't freeze the heat doesn't seem to faze them much.

Turk's cap grows slow for me but once established it is a real highlight every year. I have plans to get more this Fall and fill in some gaps. Maybe I'll splurge for once and get larger plants! They are definitely worth the investment. Verbena is great as well. Are you going to post your lists on your blog? I'd love to see that!

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Our jimsonweed is just about to bloom. We went outside last night to check (in our pajamas) and I inadvertently closed the front door behind us....uh oh. Locked out! But thankfully, we do have a key very well hidden away. :-)

TexasDeb said...

Sheryl: Ha! What we won't do for the love of our flowers - especially the night bloomers. Luckily I can see mine blooming through the front door so hopefully I won't get locked out as reward for my obsession with it. Thanks for dropping by!