Bring it on! More plants that love the heat

Today reached the hottest temperature in the Dallas area this year. So far. At 105 degrees (not including heat index) it was broiling hot out in the garden. I had made an error in putting out some ornamental peppers from the previous day into a planter trough, and all but one Purple Flash shriveled up in the heat. Haven’t I learned by now not to put seedlings out in summer?

As part of my morning gardening activity, I started watering and weeding the front bed. The azaleas had been looking mighty stressed all week, so I felt they deserved a good watering. Unfortunately, the weeding of the bed looked more like an all-day task, not something to embark upon during a work day. I did hack down the gaura by 2/3rds its original height. It had been slouching over all week, looking rather unattractive. As much as I hated cutting down the honeybee-magnet, it really needed an early summer shearing.

The blooming pineapple mints in the herb bed border also got a much-deserved haircut. I don’t know how readily they reseed, but I wasn’t interested in finding out. All the herbs, for the most part, are thriving in this heat. Even the frail little coconut thyme is looking healthy. Of course, the courtyard beds receive a dose of heavy watering every other day–the potted plants get water every day. The ginger mint is also blooming, but in a way I can’t describe: the inflorescence work their way up the stems, not something I’ve seen before. Is this typical of ginger mint?

7/8/2011 Ginger Mint Blooming

That’s a Calico ornamental pepper seedling and the chinese eggplant in the background. Sadly, the eggplant flower disappeared, so that means no fruit yet. Hard to believe that the 2 ginger mint plants started from one specimen; I’m thinking of evicting 2 pineapple mints and moving them into the cinder block wall.

Among the losses, I counted the variegated felicia as another goner. While weeding the border between the herb and blue bed I stumbled upon its skeletal remains. All I have left now of the variegated felicia are 2 cuttings that have barely taken root. I’m seriously considering a liquid root fertilizer to speed up the process. But perhaps they just aren’t designed to tolerate this weather, despite being in a somewhat protected spot. The regular daisy is blooming sporadically but seems to like that spot it currently resides in.