November 15th, 2011
GBBD 20111: Nov 2011

Aster ericoides
2011-11-15. Aster ericoides.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens invites us to tell her what’s blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month.

November 15, 2011

weather radar
At 8:34 AM we were holding our breath with anticipation. It looked like the storm might dissipate before it reached Austin.

One thought was on our minds in Central Texas today. Rain. We’d been told that there was a good chance that we were going to get some but as we tracked the storm on radar it seemed like it might veer or dissipate before it reached Austin. When the storm arrived, it seemed like it couldn’t work itself up to more than a paltry drizzle. In the end, we got a pretty decent rain–more than an inch (depending on where you are). The last good rain was in October 9th–June 22nd before that. The heaviest rain did fall to the south and east of us, but we as we head into the second year of exceptional drought, we appreciate every drop. Austin’s total rainfall is a little more than 12 inches for the year…about one-third of our yearly average.

weather radar
By 10:50 Austin had gotten some welcome rain but the heaviest downpours were south and east of us.

A Late Fall

Summer ends with the rain and this year Austin didn’t get any significant rainfall until October 9th. After that, the plants kicked into high gear. Wildflower seedlings began popping up. Unfortunately the same dry conditions that’s produced desert-like heat has also brought some clear, cold nights. Overnight temperatures dropped into the mid-30s on November 4th and 11th bringing freeze warning to some parts of the Hill Country. Daytime temperatures jump back quickly to the 80s. The cold temperatures brought out a deep russet leaf color of the one crape myrtle that still had leaves. (The other’s leaves had already turned brown and dropped off.) There’s some buttery yellow in the leaves of my neighbor’s chinese parasol tree, too. I even saw a hint of red in the red oak. Its leaves don’t usually drop until after Christmas.

Waiting on fall rains, the white mistflower (boneset) was very late to flower this year. Usually it’s covered with butterflies, too. I haven’t seen any this yet. Did they miss each other? Did the cold temperatures push the butterflies south before the mistflower could bloom?

Eupatorium wrightii
2011-11-15. White mistflower. The branches are weighed down with wet flowers after the storm.

Fall Pinks

Pink just doesn’t seem like a fall color to me. However, these two impossible-to-kill vines don’t care about fashion.

Pandorea ricasoliana
2011-11-15. Pandorea ricasoliana, Port St. John’s Creeper
Antigon leptopus
2011-11-15. Antigonon leptopus, coral vine

Some buds of the coral vine were wide open after the rain. I’ve never seen this happen before. Unfortunately it was so dark that all the photos I took of the fully open buds were out of focus. Looking around I see more pinks. At least the two roses, ‘New Dawn’ and ‘Blush Noisette’ sport a more delicate tint. The pigeonberry also has pale pink flower but then goes all out and clashes with bright red berries. The turks cap finishes off that part of the color spectrum.

Malvaviscus arboreus
2011-11-15. Malvaviscus arboreus, turks cap.

Fall Golds

The golden thryallis has pulled through summer and has been blooming well for more than a month. It would get all droopy in the heat but it always came back. As did the velvet leaf senna. The ‘New Gold’ lantana started blooming once the sun moved far enough south to shine on it again. I think that’s the oldest plant that I planted in my garden. The Salvia madrensis has been struggling but not giving up. It has very large leaves for a salvia and they droop piteously in the dry weather. But it keeps popping up new plants from the roots and today I saw some bud so close to opening that I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and count them.

After the October rain, I cut back the zexmenia hard and it’s come back beautifully with lots of bright new leaves. It’s put a few flowers. They all looked pretty soggy. Soggy but happy. That’s us Austinites, today.

Zexmenia hispida
2011-11-15. Zexmenia hispida

Complete List for November 15, 2011

The list of all plants flowering today, November 15th 2011, at Zanthan Gardens. Comparing today’s list to last November’s is depressing. And to 2009? Don’t go there. I don’t really have a garden anymore. So this list represents just the few hardy survivors.

  • Antigonon leptopus
  • Aster ericoides. These little white wild asters bloomed very late this year. Most of the plants are brown and dead. But a few hardy sprung back after October’s rain.
  • Datura inoxia
  • Eupatorium wrightii
  • Galphimia glauca. golden thryalis
  • Lantana montevidensis
  • Lantana ‘New Gold’
  • Malvaviscus arboreus
  • Pandorea ricasoliana. The plant that won’t die.
  • Salvia madrensis. Well, there’s a bud that’s about to open. The rain should bring it into full bloom. It’s struggled but it keeps coming back.
  • Senna lindheimeriana
  • Rivina humilis pigeonberry
  • Rose ‘Blush Noisette’. A couple of tiny, soggy blooms that probably shouldn’t count. I have to give her an A for effort.
  • Rose ‘New Dawn’
  • Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Setcreasea
  • Zexmenia hispida

by M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas

2 Responses to post “GBBD 20111: Nov 2011”

  1. From Scott Weber:

    So glad you got a little bit of rain…1/3 your average though…yikes! Glad you have so much blooming, though!

  2. From biomass grinding:

    That’s really good.Rain is good for trees and flowers.In rainy season it shines a lot and I am happy that you have enough rain in your garden.