Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gardening Anxiety

Every year I get anxious about whether some plants are going to bloom. This year is worse than some others, what with this early set in of intense heat and little rain. My 5,000 gallon rain water collection tank is already 2/3 of the way down. I know it's not long before I have to start watering from the well. I just hate to water with well water. I usually get stingy with the water when it is from the well. When you are responsible for your own water system you get stingy, as you know what the alternative is. And it will also make you plant more drought tolerant plants.

So far, my anxiety has been for naught. Some plants are late and not quite as glorious as other years but they are blooming. For my gardening year to be good, certain plants must make a show. It seems I accept failures much better in my vegetable garden than I do from my flowers. That's a good thing, too, as the vegetable beds didn't do too well this year. Oh, the beans are doing quite well and the corn put on okay and we are getting tomatoes, but there won't be any cukes or cantalopes this year. The beets would have been good if an armadillo hadn't rooted it up--twice. Onions are good and there are plenty of bell peppers but my Russian radishes barely made at all, and I love my Russian radishes. They need to make more heat tolerant vegetables like they do ornamentals.

There are just certain plants I wait for every year. They must mean more to me than other plants. Some are not even in my garden but grow on our place. These are plants that I have harvested seeds from other places just so I could have them on my place. They are not in my gardens because they won't grow there but at least I've got them on the place. One is the Standing Cypress. I've posted pictures before as it is one of my favorites. Here are some of the others.

This is Mountain Pinks. You can tell from looking at the ground around it that it grows in limestone rocky ground. I've tried to grow it in the good dirt in my gardens and it will not grow. So, I must be satisfied with it growing on the front of our property.

These are some of the most beautiful of all native flowers, Texas Blue Bells. I've seen a huge field of these outside of Lampasas and really thick. When the wind blew you got the sensation of a huge flowing stream with little wind flecked waves. Typing it now lets me see it in my mind. It was a view of nature's art that humans could only wish to duplicate.

This is my favorite flower in my garden. I bought one for my mother and hers did so well she gave me one off of hers. It is a Texas Star Hibiscus, native I think to East Texas. Boy would I like to see a bunch of them in bloom all at one time. Look at the size of that thing would you. To me it is just stunning beyond belief.

This is our long awaited first Lotus bloom of the year. My mother-in-law gave this plant to me about ten years ago, just after we built our first pond. Now we have five ponds and Lotus are growing in three of them. I have given roots off this plant to about fifteen other pond owners through the years and they have done well for all of them.

These are two of our first water lillies to bloom this year. We don't have a whole lot of lily blooms as so much of our ponds are in the shade and they have to have a lot of sun. But thirty or forty a year is enough to keep some color in the pond.

And finally, my Lace cactus bloomed. It's really late this year. This one is different from all the hundreds that grow on our place. The thorn structure is slightly different and in every bloom you get something extra. A little tube grows out of the bloom,and never in the middle but off to the side. I don't know what it is. If anyone knows, please let me in on it.


Annie in Austin said...

Hello Draco Gardening,

The tube leads down to the hidden parts of the actual flower. Check out this UT Cactus flower website for cool photos, some of which are clickable for more detail.

I don't have the right soil or exposure for Standing Cypress, but sure do admire the plants so am glad to see someone has them growing!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Bonnie said...

I love that Star of Texas hibiscus- just waiting for mine to bloom.

I don't envy you on wellwater but I agree, you're probably much more aware than most of us how much you use.