Zanthan Gardens Week 25
2011-06-22. A long (over an hour) of heavy rain with no severe storm side effects (like hail). Welcome, if only temporary, relief.

June 22nd, 2011
Week 25: 6/18 – 6/24

Dateline: 2011

Gardening in Austin seems almost predictable when the most remarkable thing that can happen in Week 25 is rain! The sound of it pouring off my roof onto the air conditioner next to my bedroom window woke me up, and I dragged myself out of bed at one in the morning just to smell it…and pump the water into the pond. The rain barrels can’t handle that much rain at once and the pond acts like a 1000 gallon holding tank.

Before the storm, we had a solid chunk of 100-degree days behind us: ten from 6/12 to 6/21. At Camp Mabry, the temperatures topped out at 106°F on 6/17 and 6/18, cooling slightly to a mere 105°F on 6/19. After the storm, the high plummeted to a mere 90°F. Sixteen degrees feels cooler no matter where you’re starting from. I spent the rest of Wednesday (6/22), cleaning up the garden a bit, mowing the lawn, and pumping water into the pond.

The rain is nothing but a brief respite from the continued exceptional drought in Texas. Lake levels are almost half what they should be. Austin looks more and more like the landscapes of my childhood that I had hoped to leave behind.

Read the rest of this entry »

Zephyranthes grandiflora
Zephyranthes grandiflora, a large deep pink rainlily.

September 15th, 2009
GBBD 200909: Sep 2009

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

September 2009

It rained. And rained, and rained, and rained. Between Thursday (9/10) and Sunday (9/12), Zanthan Gardens received over 7 inches of rain. We didn’t get much during the day on Friday (9/11) when it seemed to rain all around Austin but not in the center. But finally it began raining in the early evening and rained on and off all night. Then Saturday between 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon it suddenly poured and we got 2.6 inches in just that hour.

The skies remain gray and gloomy, the temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Summer’s grip is broken. Like a woman giving birth, we quickly forget the pain of delivery as we embrace this new life.

So much has died over the summer that my usually floriferous September has very few different kinds of flowers. It’s mostly the bulbs that stay dormant during the heat and only peek out after a rain. I’m starting to think this is the only kind of sensible plant to grow in Austin’s summer.

The rain brought out the rainlilies. I have four kinds, now: two pinks and two whites.

Zephyranthes labuffarosea
Zephyranthes ‘Labuffarosea’, a slightly smaller and paler pink rainlily. A passalong from Annieinaustin @ The Transplantable Rose

Zephyranthes
This thick-stemmed and thick-petaled white rainlily grows wild in my yard.

Zephyranthes
This small and more delicate white rainlily is a self-sown newcomer. It opened yesterday and is already beginning to curl its petals and fade today.

Podranea ricasoliana
The Podranea ricasoliana is a rampant vine which smothers everything in its path–but it’s hard to find fault with it when it’s in flower.

Podranea ricasoliana
Especially when the flowers look like this.

Pavonia hastata
Transitioning from the pinks side of the yard to the red side of the yard is the pale pavonia.

Rhodophiala bifida
But there is only one reason to visit my garden in September–oxblood lilies.

Rhodophiala bifida
And more oxblood lilies.

Rhodophiala bifida
And more oxblood lilies. I couldn’t be bothered to do anything else today but lie around looking at them.

Complete List for September

The list of all plants flowering today, September 15th 2009, at Zanthan Gardens. You can compare with GBBD September 2007 which was Austin’s unusually cool and rainy summer. I didn’t do a GBBD post in September 2008 because I was busy with work and the garden had already suffered the effects of the drought, even a year ago.

  • Duranta erecta
  • Hesperaloe parviflora
  • Hibiscus syriacus
  • Lindheimer senna
  • Malvaviscus arboreus
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’
  • Oxalis (purple)
  • Pavonia hastata
  • Plumbago auriculata
  • Podranea ricasoliana
  • Rhodophialia bifida
  • Ruellia, the woody and the viney kind but not the passalong
  • rose ‘Ducher’
  • Tradescantia pallida/Setcreasia (purple heart) both colors
  • water lily
  • widow’s tears/true dayflower–some type of commelina
  • Zephyrathes grandiflora
  • Zephyranthes ‘Labuffarosea’
  • Zephyranthes (tiny white)
  • Zephyranthes (large white)