July 15th, 2010
GBBD 201007: July 2010

Polanisa dodecandra
2010-07-15. When it’s summer, I can count on clammyweed (Polanisia dodecandra).

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

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

July 15, 2010

Although Austin’s heat index hit triple digit temperatures this week, our actual highs have remained in the 90s. The humidity is smothering. Being in the garden is miserable, even at dawn. If the humidity doesn’t drive me indoors, the mosquitoes do. However, looking at the garden from inside an air-conditioned house, I’m astonished at how green it still is, how lovely it appears from a distance.

I find it interesting to look back at previous years’ GBBD posts. Last July as we kept racking up our triple digit days on the way to 68 (not quite breaking the 1925 record of 69), I couldn’t bring myself to face the garden or to inventory my disappointment. Of course, now I wish I’d made the effort just to see what could bloom in a summer like last year’s. (And yes, a voice in my head told me as much at the time but for once the heart won out.) In July 2008 we were still at the beginning of the drought, suffering but still believing that fall rains would bring relief. The summer of 2007, however, was very similar to this summer.

The rain has encouraged the roses to bloom. All, except ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’*, have bloomed this month. ‘Red Cascade’ has been the real surprise. It sat there for years doing nothing and this year it’s hasn’t stopped blooming. It wants to be a ground rose though. Long canes snake out hugging the ground. They aren’t happy when I try to tie them up to the fence. The small fig tree I planted last year has doubled in size.

In the losses column another surprise: the gingko tree. It’s never been particularly vibrant but it held on through drought and freeze. It attempted to leaf out this spring, put out a few wan leaves, and then gave up. The rain also killed off my new sotol plant (planted in well draining soil amended with decomposed granite) and my thyme (potted in a deep herb pot).

Rain or drought certain flowers are dependable July bloomers at Zanthan Gardens: Antigonon leptopus, Hibiscus syriacus, Lagerstroemia indica, and Malvaviscus arboreus. Carefree self-sown flowers are Polanisia dodecandra, Ruellia (various), and Rudbeckia hirta. Perversely, given that I always have them, I don’t really want more of them. What I really want this year a Pride of Barbados. I’m almost content to enjoy my neighbor’s as I sit looking out the window from my desk. I could plant my own but when our low temperatures barely drop out of the 80s at night, I’m not highly motivated to work in the garden.

Noticeably absent from the list of dependable summer bloomers are the duranta and the plumbago. Neither has recovered yet from the Great Freeze of January 2010. The oleander is also slowing making its way back and has managed to put out a couple of flowers. I used to it being a huge wall of champagne-colored flowers.

New for July

I’ve tried growing crocosmia several times. This is my first success thanks to passalong plants from AnnieinAustin. They just began blooming yesterday.

2010-07-15. Crocosmia. (Technically this won’t bloom until tomorrow.)

I first noticed the pigeonberry in Eleanor’s Garden of E on the 2009 Master Gardener’s tour. I liked it so much I bought a 4-inch pot of one on the spot. It died back to its roots during the January 2010 freeze and has remained quite small. It began blooming July 10th.

Rivina humilis pigeonberry
2010-07-15. Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis).

When I bought a Mexican buckeye tree a few years back, there were second small plant in the container. I planted it and it’s stayed about a foot tall, smothered under weeds. In late spring when I was cleaning up around the raspberries, I uncovered it. It appreciated either the attention or the rain and has tripled in size in a couple of months. Today I noticed it was flowering, something it’s supposed to do in early spring.

Ungnadia speciosa
2010-07-15. Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa).

Between GBBDs

Several flower bloomed and faded in my garden between GBBDs and so didn’t show up in the inventory for either June or July. Rainlilies: Zephyranthes grandiflora, Zephyranthes ‘Labuffarosea’ (another passalong from @AnnieinAustin), and the two different white ones. The Crinum bulbispermum rebloomed after the rain.


* 2010-07-18. ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ produced one flower. That means every rose has produced at least one flower in July 2010…not all at the same time.

Complete List for July 2010

Zanthan Gardens

This is the list of all plants flowering today, July 15th 2010, at Zanthan Gardens. I’ve also noted if the plant was blooming on GBBD July 15th, 2007 or 2008. I have no notes for July 2009.

  • Abelia grandiflora (2007, 2010)
  • Antigonon leptopus (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Antirrhinum majus (2010)
  • Aristolochia fimbriata (2010)
  • Asparagus densiflorus (2010)
  • Commelina communis/erecta (2007, 2010)
  • Crocosmia (2010)
  • Datura inoxia (2010)
  • Engelmannia peristenia/pinnatifida (2008, 2010)
  • Helianthus annuus (2010)
  • Hesperaloe parviflora (2008, 2010)
  • Hibiscus syriacus (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Lagerstroemia indica‘Catawba’ (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Lantana ‘New Gold’ (2007, 2010)
  • Malvaviscus arboreus (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Mondo grass (2007, 2010)
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’ (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Nierembergia gracilis ‘Starry Eyes’ (2010)
  • Oenothera speciosa (2007, 2010)
  • Origanum vulgare (2010)
  • Oxalis triangularis (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Parkinsonia aculeata (2010)
  • Pavonia hastata (2010)
  • Rivina humilis (2010)
  • Polanisia dodecandra (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • rose ‘Blush Noisette‘ (2007, 2010)
  • rose ‘Ducher’ (2010)
  • rose ‘New Dawn’ (2010)
  • rose ‘Red Cascade’ (2010)
  • rosemary (2007, 2010)
  • Rudbeckia hirta (2007, 2010)
  • Ruellia (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Setcresea (both purple and green) (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Thymophylla tenuiloba ‘Golden Fleece’ (2010)
  • Ungnadia speciosa (2010)
  • Verbena canadensis (2007, 2010)
  • waterlily ‘Helvola’ (2008, 2010)
  • Zexmenia hispida (2010)

by M Sinclair Stevens

10 Responses to post “GBBD 201007: July 2010”

  1. From TufaGirl, New Braunfels:

    The crocosmia is beautiful even before it blooms.

    Yes. Technically, I shouldn’t have included it in this GBBD post as the flower didn’t fully open until July 16th.

  2. From Bonnie:

    Amazing the difference a year makes. It’s like a different world in my garden with the rains.

  3. From Larry:

    I would presume you grow used to that type of heat although I can’t imagine that I would… we’ve had a much warmer summer than normal, approaching 90 and over occasionally, with quite a lot of humidity. We make it a habit to get into the garden early as most nights really cool off! The photo of your pond is lovely! Thank you, Larry

    I don’t think one does get used to it. I seem to dread summer more and more every year. One develops coping mechanisms though. I do not mind the heat in the day as much if the nights cool down. But once temperatures at night stay in the 70s (and now they barely get out of the 80s) then I feel that there is no escape and long for fall. My favorite temperatures? Days in the 70s and nights in the 50s. — mss

  4. From Rose:

    I have to admire all you Texas gardeners who have to cope with this heat and humidity every summer. We’ve had a very hot and humid summer in Illinois this year, and I’m struggling to get much of anything done in the garden. In spite of everything, your garden looks lovely and so lush. I do hope your oleander recovers from the winter’s freeze–that is a plant we can’t grow in Illinois.

    Thanks for visiting me and leaving such a nice comment; I enjoyed my visit here!

  5. From Annie in Austin:

    You are so right! Looking out at green is much easier than working out there- mosquitoes even more awful than usual this summer.
    How cool to see the crocosmia blooming in your garden! Glad your Red yucca/hesperaloe made it.. mine’s alive but no blooms. Wonder if the ginkgo just couldn’t take it anymore…tree experts on radio gardening shows are getting many calls about trees dying, both native & introduced.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. From Lisa at Greenbow:

    You have a marvelous array of blooms now. I hope to get a stand of crocosmia started soon. I think they are the most enchanting plants. Part of that is because I have tried to grow them several times without success. I guess I always want what I can’t seem to have. We too have been having triple digit heat indexes which is usual this time of year around here. UGH.. I am ready for it to stop.

  7. From Pam/Digging:

    Weird that your Mexican buckeye is blooming now. Mine is always finished by mid-spring.

    My main Mexican buckeye finished blooming months ago. This little fella must have thought it was spring after all tall plants were cleared away. It’s doubled or tripled in size in just a month. — mss

  8. From Carol:

    What a difference a year and some rain makes. I admire you and your garden for all you’ve been through in the last two years. Drought, heat, freezes, amazing that it is now green and blooming.

  9. From Linda Lehmusvirta Austin Texas:

    I’m adding crocosmias back to my list. I planted some last year with no luck. In bloom or open, totally gorgeous! I want to check out clammyweed too.

    I’ve had pigeonberries for years. They make it back through everything and are such nice fun plants in the shade.

    My first duranta didn’t make it either. I loved yours so much. Hmm, maybe for the fall list?

  10. From Cheryl in Austin:

    I’m continually blown away by your left brain record keeping…I’m trying to commit it all to memory but seeing your lists reminds me that we’re all fallable. This year’s freeze and rains have made a huge difference in my yard as well!