photo: Rhodophiala bifida
Photo: Oxblood lilies (Rhodophiala bifida). 2006-09-21. Austin, Texas.

September 23rd, 2006
Week 38: 9/17 – 9/23

Dateline: 2006
Summer hung on tooth and claw with Friday’s (9/22) temperatures near 100. Despite a lousy ending, the rest of the week was everything we can hope for this time of year. The week began with a drenching rain which interrupted Tom Petty’s set at the ACL finale but left gardeners cheering. We received upwards of 1 1/2 inches–we haven’t seen rain like this since the 4th of July when towns all around Austin were forced to cancel their firework displays. The early part of the week, the lows were in the 50s, highs in the upper 80s, low 90s and gorgeous blue October skies.

The garden responded immediately. By Wednesday (9/20) the oxblood lilies were opening en masse. The meadow was covered in rainlilies. (I usually have them throughout the summer and even after the flowers fade, their leaves tell me where they are. But this summer there has been no sign of them.) Bluebonnets began sprouting everywhere in the meadow. The salvia began reblooming. The rose ‘French Lace’ (which had no leaves whatever) put out a flush of new growth). They hyacinth bean vines are about 5 feet tall. The esperanza and plumbago are heavy with flower. The chili pequin is bursting out with tiny white flowers.

I’ve been rushing around all week dividing irises and oxblood lilies and transplanting cosmos in the meadow. More rain is forecast for the weekend and even better, El Nino is coming our way for the fall and winter. That means more rain for Central Texas and a good year to get those replacement bushes and trees in.
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