Triple digits: day 25

I caught sight of my first cosmos bloom of the year. Plenty more marigolds are a-popping. The vincas are going strong both in the front beds and in pots. The catmint is bountiful in its blooming spires, like the neighboring pineapple mint.

7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (1) 7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (2) 7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (3) 7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (4) 7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (5) 7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (6) 7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (7) 7/26/11 Cosmos and Marigolds (8)

This heat streak has been tough on the delicate plants as well as anything in pots. I surveyed the yard and found many losses: the lobelia, Purple Palace heuchera and Capetown Blue Felicia Daisy among them. The 2 Autumn Embers azaleas are particularly affected. I’m concerned that without a soaker hose in the bed they won’t get the watering they require. Chances are, we won’t see them for their summer show this year.

On day 18, there was…

…relief! Okay, Wednesday didn’t offer overwhelming relief since the temperatures peaked at 99 degrees–thereby ending a 17-day-long streak of 100+ weather.

It’s been too hot to do anything but watch plants shuffle off one by one as the heat took its toll on them. Every once in awhile, we got out and gave the beds a good drenching, but we have stayed indoors for the most part. This is not good planting weather, unless you take sadistic pride in watching your well-spent money dry up and die.

To be honest, I haven’t seen any noteworthy losses…most were young plants that had no business being outside. I did however notice that the potted lobelias appear like a thatch of dried twigs now, minus the blue blooms. And this morning I found that one of the Francee hostas had turned yellow-brown. Back into the ground it goes!

Bloomin’ things

It’s been a hot week, but despite that, the flowers still keep coming. Especially on the basils. I’ve been trimming them back like mad all week, but they persist in throwing up blooms. The thai basil, for example, has been sheared back multiple times–I used some of its leaves for some fried rice but I never use enough of the basil to make a dent in their growth. Today, my lime basil threw up a floret spire for the first time this year. Now, if we could only grill up some burgers so I can make some lime basil mayo.

7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (1)

Among the other flowers captured today: ¬†Midnight Blue rose starting another flush of blooms, Aztec Red verbena, Calico ornamental pepper, picoteed dianthus, catnip, the mystery dianthus which I originally thought was Diana Blueberry…and the caladium! Yes, after closer inspection, that dried up floppy top hid a flower spike. A second flower spike will soon be blooming. I’m also happy to note that the other caladium (in a spot that receives more afternoon sun) finally deigned to joined us. Just in time too, because the Purple Palace heucheras are looking crispy.

7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (2) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (3) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (5) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (6) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (7) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (8) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (9) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (10) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (11) 7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (12)

Hello, Mr Dragonfly…I wish I took better macro pictures so that I could photograph how pretty you are.

7/17/2011 Bloomin Things (4)

First Sinaloa sage blooms

I happened to be giving the gardens their morning drink when I happened to spot these blooms on the sinaloa sage. They were so tiny I nearly missed them hiding behind the oxalis and scabiosa. A nice electric blue…I hope the sages will go on to produce a mass of blues so as to truly catch the eye.

7/13/2011 First Sinaloa sage blooms (1) 7/13/2011 First Sinaloa sage blooms (2) 7/13/2011 First Sinaloa sage blooms (3) 7/13/2011 First Sinaloa sage blooms (4)

Both of my specimens in the blue garden have really picked up this summer. They are still under 18″ tall and forming lovely well-behaved mounds of bicolored foliage, green with chocolate rims. They get about 4-6 hours of sun in their current spots, protected by yarrows, oxalis and scabiosa. They don’t seem predisposed to woodiness, unlike the greggiis, but I’m not sure if it’s because of their current location or nature.

Enduring the heat 2011

Ten consecutive days of 100+ degree weather in the Dallas area. This is already the third hottest June on record here. It is also taking a toll on the garden. I can’t imagine what our water and electric bill will look like in the coming months.

Still, there are still a few plants still making a show…the scabiosa continue to bloom their heads off. The vinca and lantana truly enjoy this heat. I’m still waiting to see the marigold and salvia tree ring come to life; I’ve been catching sporadic blooms of the Durango marigolds, but have yet to observe the whole ring explode into color. The Dallas Star daylilies in the front beds still have a handful of buds waiting to burst open. And the Emerald Snow loropetalum in the front flower bed has surprised me with a smattering of white fringe flowers.

7/11/2011 July Survivors (1) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (2) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (3) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (4) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (5) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (6) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (7) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (8) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (9) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (10) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (11)

There were a few losses of course. The ornamental kale have reached the end of their life. I’m amazed they survived this long but they couldn’t take more of this weather, so I pulled them up. An old white dianthus mound gave up the ghost this weekend, which left an empty hole to fill in the lily bed. It also appears I will lose the raspberry salvia greggii in the salvia wall. The tricolor sage cutting appears to have lost the fight (I could try to rescue it by repotting it). And I’m down to the last Seabreeze salvia seedling. ¬†Those young plants that need the most protection (i.e. common chives), I’ve put into the ground or in the planters. Very few plants are surviving in pots, like the callas, petunias and sweet potato vines. Even the lobelia which I thought would endure are looking very dried and shriveled.

7/11/2011 July Survivors (12) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (13) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (14) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (15) 7/11/2011 July Survivors (16)