October 4th, 2013
Week 40: 10/1-10/07
2013-10-03. The rain garden with the pigeonberrry in full flower.
Everything that is still alive is responding to the heavy rain last weekend. The ‘Mermaid’ rose is putting out new canes. I tied a particularly long cane to the fence to try to keep it from crushing the bamboo. ‘Souvenir del Malmaison’ is putting out new leaves. I thought I’d finally lost it. ‘New Dawn’ continues to bloom as it has on and off all summer. ‘Red Cascade’ is putting out new growth. Only ‘Blush Noisette’ is being sulky.
The happiest looking plant this week is the pigeonberry which immediately started flowering and now looks all bushy. Red berries are forming as well.
The Port St. John weeper has climbed a live oak tree and is cascading flowers off the top, making it look as if the tree is in bloom.
Both duranta are in full bloom. They have overgrown their spaces but as they are one of the few things still alive, green, and blooming, I’ve decided to let them do what they want.
Bluebonnets are sprouting and I’m once again dashing around to prepare beds to plant saved seeds. The white bluebonnets which I planted in the gravel bed in July/August are sprouting. This was the most seed I’ve ever saved from white plants and so have high hopes for a good showing of white bluebonnets in Spring 2014.
As expected, the false dayflowers are sprouting everywhere but this year I am raking most of them out because they dominated the spring wildflowers in Spring 2013.
Another week of clear dry days with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s.
Still some oxblood lilies but the red spider lilies are blooming en masse now. I dug up so many last year. Everything is blooming: ones I divided and replanted, ones I haven’t divided for years, bits of ones left from when I divided them previously (like near the AC).
Still trying to get saved bluebonnet seeds planted and given away. And stringing up fall tomatoes which are blooming now. The little hot pepper is covered with fruit and flowers.
Friday (10/1) notice some grape hyacinths sprouting…which means that I need to replant the ones I accidently dug up in the spring.
The lurid pinks, four o’clocks and coral vine, are still in full bloom. The Lindheimmer senna is beginning to fade. The clammy weed is still blooming but past its prime. The datura inoxia is blooming in cycles.
Sunday begins with week with clear October skies. Then Monday and Tuesday, before I leave for Las Vegas, are hot and muggy. Still once the oxblood lilies bloom, my mind declares it fall even if the temperatures are back in the 90s.
2003-10-06. Souvenir de St Anne’s. Died September 2005 during our 8 record-breaking days of 100+ temperatures.
In my old garden journal, Week 40 begins Fall: Part II. Autumn September-style means hurricane rains to drench our parched soils, but autumn October-style means fresh air from the arctic, clear skies and lower temperatures and humidity. This year, September was a disappointment: no rain and record-breaking heat. It was the hottest September in Austin history. October seems to be starting with some promise. Our first real cold front arrived today and highs dropped from the 90s to the 70s. Is fall finally here at last?
Poor ‘Souvenir de St Anne’s’ pictured here from a couple of years ago did not survive heat wave 2005. Nor did the tough found heirloom “Caldwell Pink”.
The oxblood lilies (Rhodophiala bifida) are finishing blooming and I’m dividing them. The red spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) are just starting. The only other plants in bloom are the plumbago and the Turk’s cap.
Back to warm and muggy this week. But at least it’s not hot. And we’ve had some rain. The roses are all starting to bloom again after their summer dormancy. This is Souvenir de St Anne’s, a semi-double sport of Souvenir del Malmaison, captured here after a light shower. She is not as vigorous a grower as her parent, but she sometimes gives off the scent of cloves. I notice it more now in the fall than in the spring. In our heat, she opens and fades rather quickly.
Busy, busy, busy this week: creating a new compost pile; sifting the old one, spreading compost in the flower beds; redefining paths; pruning, weeding, digging and dividing. I’m all tuckered out.
Saturday October 3, 1998
Continues hot, or at least it seems unfairly hot for this time of year. The temperature are in the 90s, not summer weather, but not fall weather either.
Monday October 2, 1995
This evening it tried to rain; the result was but a sprinkle. A cool front followed and we slept with the windows open.
Wednesday October 4, 1995
Actually chilly this morning. Even at 10am, it’s probably 65. A perfect, clear, crisp fall morning. I could spend all morning just staring at the blueness of the sky.
I ordered several garden catalogs through NetScape–my first internet transaction.
by M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas