Saturday, September 10, 2011

I LIKE SURPRISES

When several Austin gardeners began mentioning the emergence of their Oxblood lilies I looked to see if any of mine were poking through the ground. Sure enough there were one inch shoots. Yesterday they were in full flower. The splash of red against the rocks took me by surprise. Boy do they grow quickly when they get going.

The second surprise came this morning. Rain lilies between the pavers in the vegetable garden. I try so hard to gather the seeds before they fall but never seem to manage to get them all. I think the combination of my watering the plants in this area and a cooling trend got them going.

Similarly, in the front garden I have watered the cactus and succulents without water all summer and it resulted in the flowering of one of my favorite rock garden plants. I know it is some form of purslane but it is not the common one seen in the nurseries. It grows completely flat against the gravel. It isn't hardy but roots very quickly so I manage to save it over the winter.

It rarely opens before mid afternoon. It is very similar to Portulaca pilosa, which I also have, but the leaves are less pointed and the flowers larger.

This morning, as I came out of the potting shed I surprised a road runner. He was in the vegetable garden and was up in the air and flew over the wall. Yes, they fly quite well. We have even had them on the roof.

8 comments:

  1. There's no sign of my oxblood lilies thus far. I hope I'll see them soon. I did have some rain lilies bloom last month even though rain was but a distant memory.

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  2. Though our gardens are so very different, I just love watching yours--my son lives in Mesa, AZ and he's always telling me nothing grows there---I love to point out your garden as an example of possiblities!
    Your lily is gorgeous!

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  3. I love the idea of rain lilies between the pavers. Here, we grow them in containers and put them in the garage to survive the winter.

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  4. I'm sure they will pop overnight. It seems rain lilies like austin tap water too>
    Sue- Thanks Sue. Although we can grow some of the same plants we really are a little different from Mesa. I would say they have much less rain and less cold. A more consistent climate.
    Carol- I'm thinking of moving to a place where I can take things in during the winter. I want to sit by the fire with catalogues dreaming of spring.

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  5. Those oxblood lilies are beautiful! I love rain lilies - I have a bunch that just had another flush of blooms. Must have been all the rain we've been getting over here on the East coast - we're trying to will some of it your way!

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  6. I also have that purslane. For me, it comes back every spring even though during the cold NE Alabama winter it looks like it has totally disappeared. It spreads a little more each year. I love it.

    Barbara H.

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  7. Indie- We had no rain but I think it may be a combination of some cooler mornings and watering. I wish I could get them together in a clump but they are real loners.
    Anon-Would love to get a true id on this plant. Any ideas?

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  8. No, I just know I planted some purchased purslane in the general area 2-3 years before. One of these days I'm going to try getting all my plant tags in one place. If I find one for this, it will probably just say purslane but I'll let you know. The flower looks somewhat like a moss rose but the leaves are definitely purslane.

    Barbara H.

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