October 14th, 2005
Week 41: 10/8 – 10/14

Spider lily week.

Dateline: 2006
I return to Austin late Tuesday (10/10) night behind a line of thunderstorms. DFW was a mess after 5 inches of rain and flooding and flights were delayed an hour at minimum. However, I managed to fly standby on an earlier flight into Austin and my baggage made it on the plane to my utter amazement. I was hoping that the rain had also made it to Austin and it had.

By Friday (10/13) the meadow was aflower with rainlilies. And a late flush of oxblood lilies surprised me. The Nerium oleander is blooming again. Bluebonnets. cilantro, and daisies are popping up everywhere.

Dateline: 2005
After a cold (50s!) and rainy ending to last week, Saturday and Sunday were two perfect days. The entire week was nice even though it warmed up to the high 80s. Every night has been cool and we’ve slept with just the fan on.

The red spider lilies are in full bloom this week. I’ve had a pretty good showing this year.

On Thursday (10/13) the pink rainlilies bloomed and zillions of bluebonnets suddenly sprouted. The rain also brought out oxblood lilies on all the vacant lots in the neighborhood. I’m glad they don’t mind waiting an extra month for the rain. Seeing them growing untended really did make it feel as if fall has actually arrived.

A few oxblood lilies are still blooming in my garden. This week, I’ve been busy dividing them. I’ve dug up three clumps so far which produced about 200 bulbs. I find it easiest to do so just after they flower fades and before too much green comes up. If I wait until the leaves die down in summer, then I risk splitting them with the spade when I try to dig them up. They aren’t at all fussy and don’t mind being moved at any time it seems. What they do mind, I’ve discovered, is growing under ivy. I had very few flowers from bulbs that have provided tons of flowers in the past–the reason, I let the English ivy get out of hand and grow into the beds. The ivy just sucks the ground dry.

The roses are putting out new growth. The Tecoma stans has flowers again. And the ever-faithful plumbago is still blooming.

Dateline: 2001
Thursday October 11, 2001
Another palindrome day: 10.11.01. The day begins with a lot of thunder and rain. The newly sanded paths stand up well and look very flat and nice. By evening, the skies clear and we the dragonflies are out en masse. We’ve had these days before, where the dragonflies are thick in our yard, scores of them! The weird thing is that I don’t see them in our neighbors yards. There are quite a few butterflies too.

Dateline: 2000
Thursday October 12, 2000
It is a warmer: lows in the 60s, highs 81 and the first sunshine in a week. I stay home from work just to stay home. As a result of the rains last weekend rainlilies are blooming and bluebonnets are sprouting everywhere. I saw two Monarch butterflies yesterday and one today.

Dateline: 1999
Sunday October 11, 1999
AJM finishes cleaning out the rain gutters (a job I started last Friday). Still no rain–none since July 21, and none expected.

Dateline: 1997
Sunday October 12, 1997
It has rained and rained and rained the entire week that Katie has been her from England. So much for our infamous Texas sun. However, it has been a light drizzly rain. Katie puts her coat on whenever we go out even though it’s quite warm. This causes me to ask Mum if they only have cold rain in England. She seems to find this question very amusing.

Dateline: 1995
Sunday October 8, 1995
For days it has been clear with the highs in the mid-80s and the lows in the mid-50s. I wish we had this weather for months. Spent most of the gardening day weeding and turning a new plot near the cosmos (which are lovely in full bloom).

Of course, I missed the September rains and now it is very dry. I’ve neglected watering, too, because of the coolness, which always misleads me into believing the plants are fine. Everything was drooping and I spent a lot of yesterday and today soaking plants. In watering the tomatoes, I noticed that they’ve been ravaged by worms. I picked off all that I could find and all the damaged fruit, which was most of it.

The serranos look as green and healthy as ever, but they won’t set fruit.

Friday October 13, 1995
The weather is changing. Lately the morning sky has been so absolutely clear that you could see the sun rise. The last couple of days it’s been cloudier. For the first time in about ten days, there is a chance a rain in the forecast.

by M Sinclair Stevens

3 Responses to post “Week 41: 10/8 – 10/14”

  1. From mylubbock:

    I am so pleased to see you posting more. I am a new-er gardener that lives in your area and appreciate hearing about your hometown garden experiences.

    You and Tom Spencer have the best Austin garden blogs that I have seen, but you live on a site more like mine, so I am happy every time you post.

    Thank you for taking the time to do it. Your pictures are lovely and the plant cultivation information is always welcomed.

    I am jealous that you have 200 oxblood lilies. I feel relief when I see my neighbor’s. It means fall is finally here.

    [Thanks for your kind words. As for the oxblood lilies, the 200 bulbs resulted as a division of just three clumps. My inventory for this year is 1196 bulbs. As I began with 40 flowering bulbs in 1993, they do multiply exponentially! But then I work hard to divide them every year. I’d be happy to share some with you, but the postage is a bit expensive. I sent 15 to a friend in Houston and it cost $5.00. I could probably do it more cheaply in the early summer when they go dormant. If you are interested, perhaps we could work something out. — M. Stevens]

  2. From bill:

    My lycoris finally started blooming.

  3. From M2 (Austin):

    Your mention of the ivy sucking the water dry reminds me of Bamberger Ranch. He does all he can to destroy the invasive cedar trees, because of all the water they use. He said that his 3000 acres went from being fairly unusable to being verdant.

    Grass grows, natural ponds appeared, and the wildlife rebounded amazingly.

    [I have a link to it off my main page, but I have never visited the place. You’ll have to tell me all about it the next time we see each other. — M. Stevens]