When the high temperature for the day drops into the 80s then gardeners in the south know that the back of summer is broken and fall is on the way. The message also comes from fall blooming plants; those that respond to shortening daylight length.
The first blooms on the Philippine Violet, Barleria cristata, appeared this week.
It will be in direct competition with another purple bloomer, Mexican bush sage, Salvia leucantha. Salvia leucantha is a favorite of the hummingbirds as they begin their long migration across the Gulf of Mexico to Venezuela.
Another purple fall bloomer is the Fall obedient plant, Physostegia virginiana, although I have never found it to be particularly obedient.
With cooling temperatures came torrential rain, 8" overnight in my garden. A sure signal that the Oxblood lilies will push up through the soil within a few days. And here they are.
If my garden is anything to go by it is going to be a bumper season for the blubonnets. I have never seen such germination. The ground is literally heaving.
And heavy rains carried many of the seeds to the edges of the garden.
I rescued these from a watery grave this morning but there is no way I can salvage those above.
I have other seeds to manage. Earlier this year I received a bag of trial seeds from American Meadows. I chose the dry wildflower mix. In Central Texas we sow hardy annual seeds int he fall so that is my plan over the next week. They will find a home in spots where wildflowers are lacking. I doubt they could compete with the bluebonnets.
They also sent some packets of vegetables, carrots and lettuce. It will be interesting to see how their sugar snap peas compare with my favorite Cascadia. I have planted this pea for years and it never fails to produce the most incredible crop. The pod can be eaten from the snap stage to full pea stage.
Coupled with my left-over seeds and collected seeds from last year, I have my work cut out. However, cooler days will mean more hours in the garden.
There is no rest for the Southern gardener.