October 15th, 2009
GBBD 200910: Oct 2009

Port St John's Creeper
Port St. John’s creeper is the kudzu of my garden. It has eaten my entire north border, swallowing a grape vine and a ‘New Dawn’ rose (which managed to thrust three flowers through the mad thicket). I never watered it. I hacked it back to the ground. And it keeps coming back. When it’s in flower, I can almost forgive it.

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

October 2009

What a difference rain makes! What a difference a year makes!

Last year, central Texas was a year into our drought and the season which usually brings a sense of renewal and hope to the garden had failed us. I was too discouraged to even write a post for GBBD last October. This year it began raining about a month ago and hasn’t let up. Yesterday was our first sunny day in almost a week. The garden is transformed. Everything that’s survived the drought and heat of summer is working overtime to put out new growth and flowers. The weeds (and mosquitoes) reign supreme. I don’t care about the weeds; I’d rather weed than water.

Datura inoxia

Unfortunately, many flowers are not camera-ready. The rain has left them a sodden, mud-spattered mess like the datura above (a passalong from Diana @ Sharing Nature’s Garden). This is why this post contains no rose photos, even though every rose except for ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’ is blooming today.

New for October

Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine started blooming this month and this is the first time I’ve had it in my garden. I received it as a passalong plant from VBDB @ Playin’ Outside during this spring’s Austin garden blogger get-together. I’ve always wanted it and I’m so glad to have it.

Mexican Mint Marigold

Another plant new to my garden is Mexican mint marigold, a passalong from Annie @ The Transplantable Rose. She gave it to me as a substitute for French tarragon which won’t grow in Texas.

Allium tuberosum

Garlic chives is an old autumn faithful. It was here when I came and I bet it will still grow here when I’m gone. I like it best when it complements the oxblood lilies but most years it comes into bloom after they have finished. The garlic chives is just a little beyond its peak right now and beginning to go to seed. Like most alliums, it will take over the garden if you let it.

Fall Rebloom


Pam @ Digging gave me this zexmenia two years ago. The day I picked it up turned suddenly warm. I put it in the ground immediately but it looked like it had died straight off. It hasn’t had an easy time of it. I cut it back hard in August. Now it’s about four times bigger than it was a month ago and covered in flowers.

Lindheimer Senna

Lindheimer senna self-sowed all over the meadow and began blooming with the first rains in the latter part of September. It’s mostly gone to seed now but one flower held out for GBBD.

Thymophylla tenuiloba

I was happy to see that the Dahlberg daisy I bought this spring survived and began flowering again. Jenny said it another profuse self-sower and I’m happy to report many new seedlings sprouting. I’m digging them up and tucking them in all over the garden. I love its clear yellow flowers and delicate foliage.

Summer Survivors

Not only the Port St. John’s creeper but every vine I grow has taken off running with all this rain. The morning glories, which I thought had died, came back from their roots. The potato vine, is conveniently covering the chain link fence next to the driveway.

Antigonon leptopus

Nothing attracts bees to my garden like coral vine. It struggled through this dry summer without any supplemental water but revived with the rains. It is currently trying to eat my husband’s car.

Cypress Vine

Once you grow cypress vine you will always have it. Every time it rains, more will sprout. In the rainy summer of 2007, it smothered my front yard. This year I kept transplanting self-sown seedlings next to my sweet pea trellis and now they are all blooming. Cypress vines is supposed to attract hummingbirds but I haven’t seen any yet. The little blue flowers behind it are the duranta–which has survived both winter and summer and never stopped blooming.


With all this rain and damp mulch, a variety of mushrooms continue to spring up. Although not technically a flower, I couldn’t resist including this one.

October 15, 2009

The list of all plants flowering today, October 15th 2009, at Zanthan Gardens.

  • Abelia grandiflora (2007, 2009)
  • Antigonon leptopus (2007, 2009)
  • Allium tuberosum (2009): starting to go to seed
  • Asclepias curassavica (2007, 2009)
  • Bulbine frutescens (2009)
  • Calytocarpus vialis (2009)
  • Commelina communis (2009)
  • Datura inoxia (2009)
  • Duranta erecta (2007, 2009): overwintered and bloomed all summer
  • Eupatorium wrightii (2007, 2009): just starting to bloom
  • Hibiscus syriacus (2009)
  • Hippeastrum x johnsonii (2009)
  • Ipomoea quamoclit (2009)
  • Ipomoea tricolor ‘Flying Saucers’ (2009)
  • Lagerstroemia indica ‘Catawba’ (2009): full bloom two weeks ago; now almost all faded
  • Lobularia maritima ‘Tiny Tim’ (2009) survived the summer
  • Malvaviscus arboreus (2009)
  • Mirabilis jalapa pink (2009)
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’ (2007, 2009): full bloom
  • Oxalis crassipis
  • Oxalis drummondii (2009)
  • Oxalis triangularis, white (2009)
  • Pavonia hastata (2009)
  • Plumbago auriculata (2009)
  • Podranea ricasoliana (2009)
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette’ (2009)
  • rose ‘Ducher’ (2009): so heavy with new growth and flowers that it’s sprawling
  • rose ‘Mermaid’ (2009)
  • rose ‘New Dawn’ (2009): both plants
  • rose ‘Prosperity’ (2009)
  • rose ‘Red Cascade’ (2009)
  • rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (2009)
  • rosemary (2009)
  • Ruellia (passalong) (2009)
  • Ruellia viney type but not woody type (2009)
  • Senna lindheimeriana (2009): full bloom three weeks ago; now almost all faded
  • Solanum jasminoides (2009)
  • Tagetes lucida (2009)
  • Thymophylla tenuiloba (2009)
  • Zexmenia hispida (2009)

by M Sinclair Stevens

6 Responses to post “GBBD 200910: Oct 2009”

  1. From Annie in Austin:

    That’s a colorful list, MSS – after declining to post last year it must be fun to see the flowers rebound and I’m glad to know so many roses lived.

    If it’s cooler and drier tomorrow I may snap a few photos and join in GBBD a few days late. But as you noted, so many of the flowers look ratty!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    My computer quit on me last night in the middle of my uploading photos for this post–so I may have some updates to it. I’m annoyed with myself now for wimping out last year. The information on what the garden was like after a year of drought would have been valuable. — mss

  2. From healingmagichands:

    There is nothing that will make flowers look rattier than sporting a layer of mud splash. So glad you got rain, your garden looks happy. Love the cypress vine.

    Loving the rain! I wish I could get a decent shot of the cypress vine. The flowers always look so flat and cherry red in my photos. I think they’re much more attractive in reality. — mss

  3. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    Love the stinkhorn! You should take photos of messed up blooms from a distance, so they look good. It’s great that you are getting the much needed rain.

    Is that the name of that penis-shaped mushroom? Thanks! It does stink, too. As you can see in the photo, flies were quite attracted to it per their obvious symbiotic relationship. — mss

  4. From Nell Jean:

    Blotanical didn’t want to let me see your Bloom Day post. Glad I could find it from May Dreams.

    I’d rather weed than water, too. Weeds aren’t heavy like hoses.

    I like stinkhorns better when they come up in that little pagoda shape instead of the dog pee-pee shape, but they still smell like rotten meat. I’ve seen buzzards circling over head when they get ripe. Ewww.

    I’m glad you found me even if Blotanical isn’t cooperating. You might find it more useful to look for blog updates via an RSS reader, like Bloglines of Google Reader. These tools enable you to subscribe to blogs that you like and show you when there are any updates. — mss

  5. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    Ah, yes, “Summer” in October is what it looks like to me, with all those new blooms. Quite different from my garden, which is winding up the gardening year. I can just tell by your post that you are back “in love” with gardening all over again!

    I think the feeling is more like spring than summer. The sense of renewed life is intense. We have, after all, been in our “winter” of drought for two years! Second fall is here now and it’s perfect since we had such a rainy first fall. In my mind, this is how it’s supposed to be. In reality, I think this is only the second or third year I’ve been gardening that the weather has cooperated. — mss

  6. From Bonnie:

    You have inspired me. I must have Cypress Vine. Tomorrow is my birthday so that will be my present to me! Thanks.

    If you can’t find a plant, I am sure I will have hundreds of seeds to share with you. — mss