Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is It Fall Or Is It Spring

Looking around the gardens it is hard to tell whether it is fall or spring. With all the rains lately the gardens have blooms everywhere. Even some of the plants that are not usually thought of as fall bloomers have a few blooms on them.

The summer Shrimp plant stayed looking good all through the heat but its blooms are gone now, replaced by the fall Shrimp plant. I staggered the two when I planted this bed so I would have blooms from spring all the way to frost. The summer plants have more yellow and green in the blooms than the fall ones. This is the summer Shrimp back when it was blooming.

These are the fall Shrimp plants now. You can see how much darker in color they are, showing a more maroon color.

The little Spanish Flag that hardly got up in the summer has come back and even got a few blooms on it. I didn't plant this and have no idea how it got here but I am glad it is. I had to look it up to know what it is.

While all the other Austin area bloggers were posting pictures of their Ox Blood Lilies, all I had showing was a few leaves. I had hardly watered them all summer and thought they may not make it let alone bloom. But let the deluge begin, water and then blooms.

The Duranta had a pitiful blooming in early summer but came on strong after the rains.

The Hummingbird plant, while not blooming prolifically, did bloom a little all summer. With mega doses of rain it is a stunner. Please excuse the dirty hand, I am a gardener and I never wear gloves, ever.

The Garlic Chives that has never bloomed since I've had it finally bloomed. I guess it will only bloom when flooded.
I felt lucky to have all the roses put on a few blooms one more time before settling in for the winter. The Mutabilis put on the most and had roses in the all the different hues that it's capable of.
The Belinda's Dream only had a couple but they were beautiful and smelled great.

And the Knockout has the most blooms. That's why they call it a knockout probably.

Because of my total lack of gusto in pruning any plant, the Don Juan only had blooms so high I couldn't get close enough for a picture without a ladder. I could still smell the blooms though and that's what counts. The Chief says she is going to prune it this year as I'm such a wuss at it.

The Turks cap hasn't had a bloom on it for most of the summer but is making up for it now, it's really loading up.

The Stone Crop is running a little late this year because of the drought but it finally made it. The bees are loving it as well.

What happened here? I think a Zinnia bloom must have fallen here and all the seeds came up in one place.

The fall Astor is right on schedule, drought or no drought. Being a native, you can expect performance, no matter the weather. Although I knew it was a native, I had never seen it in the wild. While on a kayaking trip on the Llano river at Junction last week, I saw it blooming in a profusion of color all along the banks.
We didn't plant much of a fall vegetable garden this year because it was just too hot when the planting needed doing. We did, however, plant a couple of beds of beans. They are going to make, I think, before frost. They have little beans all over them. You can also see the huge Cinnamon Basil in the middle of the photo. I always plant a few of these in the beds because I just love the smell, my favorite of all the aromatics. I also think they help keep the bugs away from the other plants.

There are still two cantaloupes on the vines that were planted in the spring. I think they are going to make it before frost as well.
I have two watermelons as well. I haven't gotten to eat one off this vine yet this year. All the vines died in the heat except this one, and it has gone crazy since it rained. Maybe it will be like one year when I got to eat a fresh off the vine watermelon at Thanksgiving. That would be great.
Why would anyone plant radishes like this? I love radishes and always have them in the beds when it's cooler weather. Favorite is a Russian radish that is an heirloom, so I save the seeds. It takes a few more days to mature but gets as long as a carrot, takes heat well, tastes good and doesn't get woody. Back to the first sentence, why? When they came up and I saw how they were, I at first didn't understand. Then I saw the edge of a chewy sticking up and knew the secret. My dog, Bonnie, had buried it, shoving all the seeds into one row. I know I will have some deformed radishes now as I don't intend to thin them.
There's more but you get the idea of just what rain will do. It's too bad we went so long with out any of it.


Cindy, MCOK said...

Bob, I know your Hummingbird Plant as Red Rocket Russelia ... I hope the one I bought recently performs as well as yours! Wow!!! Isn't it wonderful what a series of good rains will do for our gardens?

Annie in Austin said...

Hello Bob,

We've had over 2" today so far - bet not only is your garden full of blooms but all your tanks are full of rainwater. Glad Cindy said that Hummingbird plant was a Russellia - very pretty!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Oxblood lilies shouldn't be watered in the summer. That's their winter--they need to die down and go dormant so they can re-emerge in the fall.

Fall has always been the "spring" of Central Texas but I've never seen it more obvious than this year. Hurrah our wonderful spring/fall!

ESP said...

Hi Bob.

I bet all your "Arrakis" rain water collection tanks are filling up fast with all of this are they coping? Are they full yet? any issues? I have to know! You have the most amazing collection system I have ever seen.

Better keep aquatic boy well away from Draco Gardens or you may have to adopt him...diggers and water - his two most favorite things on planet Earth! He would never leave your property!

Your raised beds look so healthy, and after reading the "staggering" of your different shrimp plants, I will have to copy you, hope you don't mind! I am interested what sort of light conditions you have your "shrimps" planted in? They are so much more into blooming than mine have ever been. I have my summer shrimp in deep shade, it is healthy, but only has a handful of blooms, (when it is in bloom).

Did you fly-fish whilst kayaking on the Llano river? I did a fly-fishing kayaking trip on the San Gabriel, so much fun until I had to duck (in my kayak) under a rather large snake hanging down from a low overhanging branch! Yikes!

An old work acquaintance of mine "Russ" who arranged the trip now runs his own fly-fishing camp in Alaska...check it out...
I cannot wait to do this one day!

He just sent me this invitation, should you be interested...

The Drake Fly Fishing Film Festival is coming to Dallas, TX on November 11
at 7:30pm. It features several short films by many noted independent
outdoor/fishing film makers.

This event is hosted by Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company, a local Dallas fly
fishing shop. Check out their website for the most up to date information:

Tickets are $15/person and YOU CANNOT BUY TICKETS AT THE DOOR. Buy them
ahead time through the Tailwaters website.

There's pre-party at the Tailwaters shop from 4 - 6pm with drinks and
snacks. Then everyone will move to the theater around 6pm until showtime.

Cheers Bob

Bob said...

I moved the last three tanks into place yesterday. I have five plumbed now and have about 13,000 gallons in them now.

I did much fly fishing on the Llano and floated about nine miles of it. The plant life was stunning as well. I am a guest speaker at the Federation of Fly Fishers Conclave next year. It will be either in Dallas or New Braunfels. If it's in Dallas I will check it out.

The Shrimp plants get no sun until noon and part sun until 5:00 and full sun the rest of the evening. I really don't know why they bloom so much as that seems so wrong for them.

I really want to meet that boy bad. He just seems to be my kind of kid. I have no children but kids, dogs, and mentally retarded people just flock to me. It's truly a blessing...uh, it could be a curse I guess. It just depends on how you look at it.

Rock rose said...

I was going to respond about how spring was here again with many of the spring boomers getting their second wind when I got caught up with all the fly fishing talk. Not that I'm a fly fisherwoman but my D is major. In fact right now he is down the coast with his Kayak and had better be bringing back some redfish. Must direct him to all this fly fishing talk. He is writing up all his varied fly fishing stories and they are soooo good I keep telling him to send them to a mag. or get them published.
I'm sure your tanks are full. You just got them done at the right time.

Amy said...

You have a wonderful garden! One day I hope to have a vegetable garden! I have knockout roses. I love that Belinda's Dream that you have in your garden. I am in the master gardener class and we just talked about roses! We also talked about rainwater harvesting. I will have to come back and read your post about your tank you are installing. You have a nice blog!

Dragonfly Lady said...

Your shrimp plant looks wonderful, mine wasn't tooooo fond of the heat and humid here in Florida!
I enjoyed your photos thanks for sharing