Saturday, September 5, 2015
A SERIOUS CASE OF THE BLUES
My garden has got the blues. Cape plumbago, Plumbago auriculata, on the left and Leadwort plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, on the right. They happily share the same spot in a morning sun because they have different growing habits. Cape plumbago stands a couple of feet tall and leadwort is a ground cover spreading by underground rhizomes. I love them both because they bloom at the hottest time of the year. Both of them disappear over the winter and their place is taken by the Heart-leaf skullcap. When that dies down in late spring the plumbagos take over. Over the winter a Yucca rostrata towers over the area.
But I shall have to admit that I have been feeling a little blue of late. It 's been a horrible year for my garden. First horrendous hail followed by endless rains and now no rain in July and just an unmeasurable amount in August. Twice recently there has been a threat of rain and a brief shower one time may have washed a little dust off the leaves. But with that cold front came a change in barometric pressure and that is pure magic. The first to bloom is the Texas sage, Leucophyllum frutescens. Sometimes called the barometer bush, a title well deserved.
The pink one is growing outside the walls where it gets no irrigation. It was a seedling from ones I had at the front of the house; long gone because they didn't get enough sun to bloom. But then I have a white one in the front garden , not as showy as the pink/purple but pairing well with another fall bloomer, Salvia leucantha, which is just starting to bloom. You don't see the white ones very often and this one came from Vivero Gardens.
The change in pressure also caused a blooming of rain lilies and today a cactus is blooming. My Texas Fishhook cactus, has four gorgeous blooms. Now what could dispel a gardener's blues faster than a blooming cactus.
Or maybe it would be the Texas clematis, Clematis texensis, Princess Diana. Just blooming all summer long. This one, which I purchased in the fall to replace a Confederate jasmine, was sheltered from the spring hailstorm by the potted citrus.
If only all my citrus were doing as well as the Calamondin. It lost all its fruit and flowers in the hail but bloomed again and is now filled with ripening fruit as well as a few sweetly scented blooms. It should be loaded with tiny orange fruits by Chinese New Year in February. Grow this as an ornamental bringing in to the house in winter and it will be sure to chase away any winter blues.
If, at the start of the week, I said I was going to give up gardening then the garden gods made sure that I had changed my mind my the weekend.