August 15th, 2008
GBBD 200808: Aug 2008

Zanthan Gardens
As my garden is currently a garden only in theory, I decided to post this abstract photo montage of my oxblood lilies created by Dreamlines.

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

August 15, 2008

I have often quoted Henry Mitchell on the idea that it is defiance that makes gardeners. The corollary being that those who give up aren’t true gardeners. With my defiance gone, I find myself among those winnowed out. I can barely muster the interest to walk around and inventory what’s blooming today. Well, I’ve always said that I was not a gardener who likes to write but a writer who likes to garden. Today, I’m a writer who would prefer to be doing something else.

New for August

There are no new plants blooming for August.

Between GBBDs

Two flowers bloomed between GBBDs and so didn’t show up in the inventory for either July or August: okra and datura. There was a small flower on the ‘New Dawn’ rose in the back which I have grown from a cutting.

Complete List for August

The list of all plants flowering today, August 15th 2008, at Zanthan Gardens.

  • Antigonon leptopus (not as rampant as last year but dependable, even without supplemental water)
  • Cosmos sulphureus (a few flowers where the plants are near something getting watered)
  • Duranta erecta (small flowers but doing well; one bush covered with golden berries, too)
  • Echinacea purpurea (doing well all month)
  • Hesperaloe parviflora (mostly gone to seed)
  • Hibiscus syriacus (flowering well; a champ this summer)
  • Malvaviscus arboreus (flowering but the leaves look terrible)
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’ (a few flowers)
  • Polanisia dodecandra (doesn’t mind the heat and blooms with the slightest water but looks very weedy)
  • Plumbago auriculata (doing well with supplemental water)
  • Ruellia (all three types)
  • waterlily ‘Helvola’ (a few flowers every day since June GBBD)

by M Sinclair Stevens

12 Responses to post “GBBD 200808: Aug 2008”

  1. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    That abstract seems to match your gardening mood. When will the oxblood lilies bloom? Aren’t those your favorites? Soon, soon, fall will arrive in Austin… and maybe then the gardener will return?

    The oxblood lilies will bloom after the first fall rains. The earliest they’ve bloomed in my yard was August 16th. If we don’t get rains, I sometimes force them into bloom with supplemental watering. But they respond best to a slow steady downpour over several days–which is forecast for next week. — mss

  2. From Diana - Austin:

    MSS – ah, don’t despair…surely Fall will come some day! Don’t you just love Henry Mitchell? I need to re-read my books, he really is amazing at capturing what makes us tick as gardeners.

    Diana, I don’t know if I thanked you when it happened (since you were in Europe) but it was the datura you gave me that was blooming. It bloomed on August 1st…the only bright spot in the garden this month. — mss

  3. From Robin at Getting Grounded:

    I have to admit that I am experiencing water lily envy! I would stare at those every day if I had them. But with your current mood, perhaps its time for a change of venue – have you considered moving to a cooler climate? As a writer, perhaps you can take your career with you? Or if you are stuck here in Austin, maybe its time for a drip irrigation system for your plants? Or a hobby other than gardening? I hate to hear the angst you are suffering through this year; I can relate to your anger about the heat. That’s how I felt in 1994 when I moved to Colorado for several years. I loved the seasons up there! Now that I’m back, I’m no longer angry about the heat. I still hate it, but I’ve accepted it for right now. Perhaps it’s just time for a change of some sort – something to shake up the status quo?

    I would move to a different climate but family keeps me here. My triathlete husband (who hails from cold and wet England) thinks Austin is paradise. — mss

  4. From Annie in Austin:

    It’s small comfort, perhaps, but some of the plants on your bloom list aren’t doing anything in my garden. I’ve killed Queen’s Wreath/Antigonon three times, the Hibiscus syriacus/Rose of Sharon looks terrible, neither the Hesperaloe nor the Duranta have ever produced a flower, and the Echinacea purpurea would thrill only Morticia Addams.

    How do you feel about Feng shui for the garden? I have a couple of books…maybe we can unblock your chi.

    The Dreamlines is pretty cool.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Unblock my chi, eh? Perhaps we still need to do an exorcism of the evil failed garden house spirit. Although it’s been a year now, the negative vibe still lingers. — mss

  5. From Frances:

    Hi MSS, your ennui is emanating from your words. You cannot even find excitement with the waterlily blooms? I do a leap in the air over one, as the shade encroaches over the pond slowly but surely. I like Annie’s idea, unblock your chi, or turn to sculpting. The memory of your larkspur and cilantro, hey wait a minute, I have photos to look at!, still bring a smile. Things will get better, including your feelings about them. What we all need here and there is RAIN!

    I used to think that photos and records kept me sane through these down periods. Now they are a reminder that whenever I fix it up, nature knocks it down. But, I do rely a lot on my own tenacity (although it is not apparent lately). My motto is, “Knock me down 9 times, I get up 10.”–or however that saying goes. — mss

  6. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    You need a vacation somewhere cool & rainy. That would lift your spirits. I’d like to know more about your 3 types of Ruellia, do you think you could do a comparison post, or have you already done one? At least your Hibiscus looks good. Mine’s in too much shade to bloom well & half of the flowers are ruined by Japanese Beetles before they even open. Makes me wonder why I keep the plant. Oh, I remember now – to keep the Japanese Beetles away from everything else in the garden!

    Yes, I do. A vacation in a cold rainy place sounds ideal. — mss

  7. From Nancy Bond:

    I could spend hours at Dreamlines! I love your creation. 🙂

    Thanks. Dreamlines is mesmerizing. It’s hard to pick an image because they are all so interesting. — mss

  8. From kate:

    Your oxblood lilies look great in this abstract. Beautiful! At least there are some flowers in bloom in your garden, unlike our winters where nary a bit of green can be found outdoors. Still, it’s disheartening to feel as if the garden is drooping … I hope you are getting some writing done! Soon the garden will be alive and your spirits high.

    All we need is rain–and it’s in the forecast. — mss

  9. From Bob Pool:

    I love red in the garden most, so your Dreamlines favored me. I was fuming about the Statesman article on big water users and knew you would be too. All we do to save, so they can squander.

    I become more resentful about those who squander our resources with every bucketful of rainwater I lug by hand from the rain barrels to the pond or plants. Wealth and celebrity do not confer special rights on anyone. And for every right we enjoy, we also have civic obligations. — mss

  10. From Steve Mudge(Fort Worth):

    I must have brought the rain back from Oregon on our visit last week—Fort Worth is geting all kinds of it finally–and temps in the, gulp, low seventies. Curiously, Portland is having Texas weather–100s with humidity. Looks like Austin is getting some rain too…?

    Yay, Steve! Thanks for stealing Portland’s rain and cooler temperatures. Yep. This is perfect first week of school weather–just like the first week I moved to Austin so many years ago. — mss

  11. From Bonnie:

    I have some new things poking up from my garden. Is it possible they are the oxbloods you gave me? It’s my first year having them so I’m not sure how to ID them. Bare stalks. Red tip. Please advise.

  12. From Layanee:

    I love this link! Thanks for posting it and as for the garden, it will be back!