Saturday, September 27, 2014

OH! THE COLORS OF A SOUTHERN FALL

It has been a wonderful week where night temperatures dipped below 70° and day time highs barely touched the 90s. But summer isn't done with us yet as warmer temperatures are promised next week.

Cooler night time temperatures return color to the garden, with new blooms opening on the Salvia greggii. It isn't called Autumn sage for no reason. Clouds of pink and white gaura are a magnet for the bees.


Lindheimer senna, Senna lindheimeriana brings splashes of yellow to the landscape and the hanging pods assure us of an annual display. This is one plant the deer never touch so it is a great plant to have outside the walls. It has, however, found its way inside the walls adding a splash of late summer color to a mainly green landscape.


Sometimes I think a plant is about to die because the foliage has yellowed but then rain brings a fresh infusion and cooler nights bring back the green color to the leaves. It is almost the opposite of what happens in the spring when leaves are yellow because of the cold. This always happens on the hollies and columbines.


In the sunken garden flowering blackfoot daisies Melampodium leucanthum, have been growing quietly from seeds of the previous winter. They seem comfortable growing among the pink crystal grass, Melinus nerviglumis. Soon it will be their turn to fill the garden with pink seedheads.


This wouldn't be a Texas garden without the yellow blooms on the zexmenia, Wedelia hispida. Yes, it may like to take over the garden but when one grows in the perfect spot it is so worthwhile. Here paired with artichoke agave, Agave parryi 'truncata'
Did you experience a garden surprise this week? I had three. The first was the bloom of Lycoris radiata. 


Then the first flower on my pale pavonia, pale rock rose, Pavonia hastata, a passalong seedling from Diana at Sharing Nature's Garden. Although not a native it will be welcome unless it proves to be invasive. How could Rock Rose not love another member of the mallow family.


And two days ago this monster moth on the mail box. A giant female silk moth, Antheraea polyphemus. What a beauty she is and a first for my garden despite being found in all the states from Canada to Mexico. She has a short life and her only job is to find a mate.


We may never give us the fall color as found in the northern climates but we welcome the explosion of color in our Southern fall.

19 comments:

  1. Your garden always looks beautiful. I'm glad you're getting a break from the heat (we are too). The moth looks as though she's wearing a fancy fur coat - incredible!

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    1. Yes, and for all that beauty she is probably dead by now. She did not seem inclined to fly off.

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  2. We do have a lot of fall color and it is often very bright like yours. It will be fun to watch our gardens over the next few weeks.

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    1. I hope we get a little more rain so that they can keep up the color. I hear it will be hot again this week.

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  3. Your garden gets the most attractive visitors.

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  4. The Autumn sage are always so gorgeous this time of year aren't they? Every September I think "I must buy and plant more salvia!". And Lycoris is certainly a wonderful surprise. I had deer nibble mine when they first appeared this year but since have left them alone. I'm hoping it was a case of a young deer discovering that they don't taste good, and I can leave the bulbs where they are rather than risk transplanting and forgetting about them as they wait for whatever mysterious signal it takes for them to bloom.

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    1. I see them blooming all over town. Well done salvia for hanging in there. My lycoris had only two blooms this year. I am afraid I don't treat them well. At least they are free from deer munching.

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  5. As usual, your garden is glorious.
    We're just back from our trip. The garden here is a mess.
    But, at least the temps are lower, so working won't be too bad.

    Happy Fall....

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    1. Welcome home Linda. You came home just in time to enjoy fall gardening.

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  6. The first picture is just spectacular. I am so envious of your salvias.

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    1. We couldn't do without the salvia family Such wonderful plants in all their many forms and uses.

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  7. Caught my breath with that first photo. Amazing!

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    1. Thank you. It is just amazing how cool nights make all the difference to the flowers. It has been a long, hot, dry summer.

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  8. I knew you would recover from your post-vacation garden funk in short time, and so you have. And no wonder! Just look at your garden -- beautiful as always. That top picture is especially glorious.

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    1. Yes, things are better Pam but it is always quite easy to find just the right photo to show off what does look good. I am still working many hours to get it back to looking decent. And thank you for the compliment.

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  9. True statement about the southern fall - a client finally realized summer shut-down and the fall burst of growth and blooms, after decades of 2 gardens in his hot summers. The 3rd photo towards the front door is so impressive - texture, contrast, etc. Even if the color on the window frame, door, umbrella resembles burnt orange, that works well too!

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    1. Coming from a fine landscape architect as yourself, David, that is quite a compliment. Funny thing is I had tried to add a colorful umbrella to this garden but it just didn't work, so the old one has to keep on going. I did add a splash of color in cushions but that is all I could manage. Even the water feature had to be grey. And you are right about the window. A regular window might not have looked quite the same. Thanks to the architect for that.

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  10. Enjoy seeing the Salvia leucantha also. The moth photo is awesome. Love your garden.

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