September 29, 2011

More of These, Please!

There are standouts I'll be adding more of in my garden this year.  They've prevailed through the record breaking summer with little help from me.  Weather forecasters predict that today will be the last of the one hundred degree temperatures! 

A friend gifted me these spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) years ago and their brief appearance heralds autumn like no other plant in my garden.  They are planted under a Crape Myrtle canopy and are protected from the hot sun of summer but get plenty of sun from late fall through early spring.


More blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) will go into the sunniest bed of my garden this fall in mass.  This Texas native blooms spring through fall with low water requirements.  It prefers well drained soil and full sun.  (Don't skimp on its sun requirements; it will become leggy and bloom less frequently - I've tried it in part shade, it wasn't happy).


This globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) is welcome anytime!  It was one of the first to bloom in early spring and just keeps on going.  This is its second season in my garden and it stands about 3 1/2 feet tall.  I cut it back after a bloom cycle to promote more blooms and to keep it bushy.  It stayed evergreen through our unusually cold winter and it has the most gorgeous silver/gray foliage.  I'm hoping to add two more for a mass of this cooling foliage next summer.  It grows in the hottest and driest part of my garden.  (It is also sometimes called sore-eye poppy as its foliage can be an eye irritant to some).


The Datura inoxia flowers smell intoxicating and resemble spoon-fulls of whipped cream.  Without the distraction of the flowers, it's a bit weedy looking.  It has bloomed and thrived despite suffering its share of neglect this summer.  I bought a 4" container on a whim and as the temps kept climbing, never planted it.  It was protected in a dappled sun area of the patio and went through several cycles of complete wilt to bouncing back.  I'll plant it this fall - the flowers are so worth it!  I've heard it is a root-hardy perennial here but if it doesn't make it through the winter, I'll save some of the seeds to plant in the spring.  Careful with children and pets; all parts of this plant are very toxic.


This spring I added Senorita Rosalita cleome for the first time on the recommendation of Pam at Digging.  While I can't say that I had a huge amount of success with this plant, it didn't die.  Not only that, it continued to bloom throughout the entire summer on spindly stalks with hardly a leaf.  I don't know how it managed and I'm convinced that had it had a bit of protection from the late afternoon sun it may have even thrived.  I'll try it again next spring.  It's delicate flowers were a nice textural addition and I really loved the combination of the pale purple with the bright orange of the zinnias.


And lastly, more water lilies!!  The 'Colorado' water lily has been a constant performer in the stock tank pond all season.  It bloomed well into early winter last year.  It tolerates some shade this time of year and continues to bloom consistently.  The pollinators have relied on the lilies throughout this long, hot summer and it hasn't disappointed them.

What are your stellar performers this season?  Will you be adding more of them? 






23 comments:

  1. Love your shots! For me, the 3rd one stood out. It's the Globe Mallow, I think. I'm not familiar with these. Looking forward to your Fall photos, my favorite colors...

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  2. 'Senorita Rosalita' cleome is definitely a temperamental lady. I've had some great successes and also quite a few duds, of the ones I've planted over the past three years. But I've finally hit on the perfect spot, it seems, and it has been bushy and flowery all summer long. Mine gets morning shade and afternoon sun -- go figure!

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  3. WOW Cat, every picture poster-worthy ;-) Today I'm gonna leave early for work since I discovered two days ago that there is gonna be another water lily in full bloom in our little "recreation pond"! Love them! Do you think there might be one left in your pond in December?

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  4. The datura and water lily photos are stunning. The purple-and-white variety of datura one time self-seeded in my garden (my neighbor was growing it) and quickly grew into a 6-foot tall plant that bloomed all summer. I'd say my successes this summer were zinnias 'Lilliput' which bloomed profusely despite no supplemental water and salvia guaranitica.

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  5. I can't believe stuff in your garden is still blooming after this terribly hot summer! Beautiful photos Cat! As always :)

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  6. Wow! Gorgeous blooms and photos!
    My black and blue salvia and salvia gregii 'Navajo Rose' thrived this summer despite the drought! The bees and hummers also love them!

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  7. Thanks for the insight into your lycoris' location. I planted a few pass-along blubs but they've never come up. Between your post and a few others, I think I understand what type of light they need.

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  8. Datura inoxia can get *huge* from seed in a single year. I have one growing in a driveway crack that is about 7' wide! With the Cleome unless you've been removing the seed pods before they ripen, you'll have a carpet of seedlings next year -- which is a good thing. Cleome works best when massed I think. Globe mallow: I still want to try this next year. Do you know if it flowers first year from seed?

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  9. Beautiful! My water lilies did not do well this summer. I thought it was just too hot for them, but now I'm wondering. Love that pic of the ant on it! And I must get some spider lilies. I can imagine that something happy and pretty in the garden welcoming in fall would be something special to see.

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  10. Love the photos! Stellar plants for me this year: Salvia black and blue, Boltonia 'snowbank', Bronze fennel, and also blackfoot daisy.

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  11. Beautiful shots... like the one with the water lily especially...

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  12. Always love globe mallow. My Senorita Rosarita was a dud this year also. Morning shade and full sun - probably did not mean 110+ degrees.

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  13. Thanks for letting me know...

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  14. Hi Cat, Drawing up a list of this summers successes and failures is a very worthwhile exercise that I haven't gotten to just yet. Why struggle trying to get plants that aren't happy to perform? Go with what works, right!
    There are some beauties in your winners circle. I not sure I have ever seen a spider lily before. I love your picture of it with the fresh rain drops.

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  15. Looking forward to seeing your lily photographs. Here's hoping Sandra that mine will still be blooming in December! See you soon :)

    One, I love fall colors too...my whole house is decorated in fall colors. Lots of pumpkin and gold! Congrats again on your win. Your photo is a great capture!

    Sheila, I've had some success with the small zinnias too. They can't be beat for a hot, sunny spot!

    Karin, I'm gonna have to look the black and blue salvia up...I have one I'm not sure of that has done well...maybe it's the black and blue!

    I'm not sure Alan I bought mine in a 4" pot and haven't tried to grow it from seed.

    Abbey, love the blogosphere for just that reason...we learn so much from each other!

    Diane, I'm constantly amazed by what continues to survive and bloom. So thankful!

    Holley, they like a lot of fertilizer. I give mine a tablet a month.

    I love fennel too Greggo. The bunnies ate mine - one of the first they took down.

    TG, hard to know what a tag means by full sun. Do they really mean Texas full sun!?!

    Lol! Jennifer, I only wish those were raindrops! The irrigation had gone off that morning. We are at stage 2 restrictions - 1 day/week.

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  16. My heliopsis and kalimeris bloomed all summer. Loved the comparison of the datura to whipping cream! I can't believe your still at 100!! Ugh! I'm still praying for rain for you. It has to eventually!!

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  17. Hi Cat, your spider lily is really pretty. I will have to remember that one.I have one little bud on my globe mallow getting ready to bloom. Your photos are lovely...as always! Hopefully, I will see you soon at the patch.

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  18. Cat - that Datura inoxia looks exactly like a dollop of whip cream; excellent description! Cleomes have peaked my curiosity this year. Perhaps one of few 2012 annuals on the wishlist... :)

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  19. How wonderful that despite the ridiculous weather you have has there are still some beautiful plants that take it all in their stride. For me, it will be more cosmos and more annual rudbekias, for long flowering and rampant cheerfulness.

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  20. It is so nice to see that you had some bloomers that withstood your harsh weather this past summer. And they look no worse for wear...beautiful! I must spend some time to note what my best performers are...

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  21. I really have to admire any plant that has been thriving in the conditions you have been describing. I hope your weather forecast was right.

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  22. Wow, you have plenty of spectacular performers--even with the record heat! Unfortunately, those of us in the north have to think more about plants that will survive subzero temps. That perennials would survive either extreme is amazing to me. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos, Cat!

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  23. Adding more plants that are already successful in your garden is absolutely the way to go. There is always a hole in a bed where something has failed. I will add more Eupatorium rugosum "Chocolate" to my gardens as it has surpassed my expectations this year.

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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