November 15th, 2008
GBBD 200811: Nov 2008

Aster ericoides
wild fall aster

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

Second fall has finally come to Austin. Temperatures were in the 80s yesterday and will be in the 30s tonight. We’ve had a few cool spells this month and the leaves are finally beginning to turn color. The Japanese persimmon is a deep gold, the crape myrtles a dull red, and under cover of a bright green canopy the red oaks are are changing. That surprised me because they are usually the last to color and lose their leaves, often not until the New Years. But the pecans remain stubbornly green and leafy still shading my winter garden. (This is an improvement on last year when they were shrouded in webworms.) The cedar elms remain green, too, but at least they are finally dropping leaves. The leaves on the bananas are looking ragged and yellow.

By the way, first fall is when the hurricane rains break the summer heat. We had a chance of that happening on September 13th when Hurricane Ike was forecast to dump six inches of rain on Austin. It veered to the east and north and we got zero. We had one rain in mid-October. Since then, no rain has fallen on Zanthan Gardens. Although some lucky Austinites benefitted from scattered showers earlier this week, we did not. So the garden is left high and dry. I don’t so much reap what I sow but reap what I water and that, the last six months, has been very little.

The only obvious flowers in the garden at the moment are the two rabid pink vines, the coral vine and the Port St Johns creeper. Everything else you have to hunt for. There is also a stand of wild white asters along the front fence.

The St Joseph’s Lily is blooming out of season. It sent up a stalk after that October rain, began blooming on sometime in November (did I Tweet it?) and the last flower is just fading today. I’m glad it lasted long enough to get count for GBBD.

November 15th, 2008

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

  • Abelia grandiflora (can’t see it because it’s under the coral vine)
  • Asclepias curassavica
  • Antigonon leptopus (still rampant over the chain link fence)
  • Cosmos sulphureus (one plant in flower)
  • Curcubita pepo (straightneck summer squash–has been flowering but really put on a show today)
  • Duranta erecta (small flowers but doing well; one bush covered with golden berries, too)
  • Hippeastrum x johnsonii
  • Malvaviscus arboreus (flowering but the leaves look terrible)
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’ (a few flowers)
  • Oxalis crassipes
  • Oxalis drummondii
  • Oxalis triangularis
  • Podranea ricasoliana
  • Plumbago auriculata
  • Rose ‘Blush Noisette‘ (a couple of flowers)
  • rosemary (just starting to bloom)
  • Ruellia
  • Setcreasea pallida (quite a few flowers)

by M Sinclair Stevens

10 Responses to post “GBBD 200811: Nov 2008”

  1. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    80’s to 30’s in less than 48 hours? That will surely shock some of the plants in your garden, won’t it? It would shock me.

    But still, you have some blooms, the garden made it through the summer. I continue to hope and pray that you all get some good rain, soon.

    Although our ground never freezes and our cold snaps last only a couple of days, many plants do not go dormant and thus are more vulnerable to our rare freezes than plants in northern gardens. — mss

  2. From Diana - Austin:

    MSS – You have quite a collection of blooms in your garden, in spite of the lack of water. Your stunning Coral vine has inspired me and I will be adding one to my fence in the spring…or maybe next week!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your garden again in a couple of weeks–and you’re wonderful new greenhouse. (Just in time for Christmas hinting.) — mss

  3. From Bob Pool:

    I’ve still got quite a few blooms as well. I just took some pictures of some Day Lillies blooming today and we are expecting a frost tonight. It’s sure been a strange year.

  4. From Yolanda Elizabet:

    I enjoyed the detailed description of how the weather is in your neck of the woods and how the plants and trees react to it. It’s pretty clear that you get very little rain whereas I get far too much but nevertheless we have both some asters and roses in flower. Plants are amazing, don’t you think, to thrive under such very different circumstances.

    Happy GBBD!

  5. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    That’s quite a temperature swing. You go from wearing shorts during the day to winter coat & mittens at night. Plants have to be really tough to take that and little moisture. I believe it takes more skill to be a gardener in such conditions than in easier climates such as the Pacific Northwest or (gasp) the Midwest.
    I noticed in your Peckerwood post a photo of an area planted with a bunch of tiny Cacti that look a lot like one of mine. I had to laugh at how they looked arranged like that.

  6. From Cindy, MCOK:

    I laughed at your note re the Abelia’s being overshadowed by the coral vine. Mine had clambered over the fence and into/over/around/through the Texas Persimmon. I cut it back a few days ago and the TxP is looking much happier as a result.

  7. From Vertie:

    I really like that wild aster. Do you think you’ll get some squash from your plant?

  8. From Jan:

    We finally got some rain this week after almost two months without it. Even with watering almost everyday, the garden is not as lush as years past. We, too, had the temperature fluctuation that you all had. Never a dull moment, huh.

    Always Growing

  9. From Annie in Austin:

    The abelias look so dainty but the older, established shrubs seem pretty drought tolerant. (I do water two abelias planted within the last year.)

    It got down to mid-30’s but didn’t freeze here – guess your garden stayed unfrosted, too? If it’s too late for more squashes, MSS, those blooms could turn into Squash Blossom Soup!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    PS All lycoris were planted immediately. How exciting to try these Surprise Lilies!

  10. From Daniel Mount:

    I love those delicate little asters of fall , they seem to be resilient to all sorts of weather. After the floods here, the only thing left blooming are the members of the aster family dahlias and calendulas.