Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Twice this morning I was surprised by a new heady fragrance in the air and I think I know why. At 9:30am even though the thermometer said 82° it felt like 93° and that humidity is picking up the fragrance.

After many weeks without appreciable rain, 4 weeks ago we had over an inch. It seemed to wake everything up. We have moved into summer mode with daily temperatures in the high 90s and insufferable humidity. I'm sure it never used to be like this. Houston maybe but not Austin.

I can only bear to be outside for a short period of time before drowning in sweat. Very early I was out in the front courtyard, which has had little supplemental irrigation. The day lilies were going into a serious decline with brown withered leaves. A little hand watering was in order. That was when I noticed a fragrance and turning to look I realized it must be coming from the summer phlox, Phlox paniculata 'John Fanick'. I bent down to sniff and sure enough that was the source. I must get more of this plant next year.

A short time later I was crossing the driveway when another blast of fragrance hit me. There is only one plant blooming out there and that is the retama, Parkinsonia aculeate, which is in magnificent flower. The sound of bees along with that fragrance shouted 'Summer'.

In the vegetable garden I feel like I am in California with the fragrance of citrus. A long dry period followed by rain seems to have triggered a second bloom.
The same with the Meyer lemon. I could never have too many of those so I am hoping this will mean a bountiful crop. I hope it isn't too warm out there for the bees.

Calamondin orange tree with new blooms. I'm hoping for another marmalade making day in the winter.

Lots of plants have responded to the rain. The Texas sage, day lilies, California poppies and iris are all flowering for the second time. I'm wondering what the rest of the year holds in store for us all.


  1. Well, it's good to know that the high humidity has at least one positive side! We're still getting some benefit from an early morning marine layer but the afternoon heat is sending us looking for cover too.

  2. And people think dry gardens don't bloom! I love fragrant plants. Among my favorites are Anacacho Orchid and Agarita. Both bloom in early spring and the scent is heavenly.

    Thanks for your visit to Hill Country Mysteries. I'm happy to be writing it again.

  3. The retama is gorgeous. I am waiting for the monsoon rains to return here - they were beginning to really make things perk up but seem to have been taking a break for the last few days.