Sunday, September 9, 2018


The problem with rain in Texas is that more often than not it doesn't know when to start, and then often when it does it doesn't know when to stop.
After an endlessly hot, dry summer, and very little in the way of rain since May 4th, it began to rain this past week. The result of a slow moving frontal boundary sitting right on top of south central Texas. First ½" in the rain gauge. That's not enough we shout, so a little more, up to 1"now, then 2½" and now it just won't stop. It has been raining throughout the night and coming down at a pretty constant pace. It has brought some good things with it of course. The oxblood lilies, Rhodophiala bifida, were the first arrivals pushing their naked heads up through the soil.

Along with the native white rain lilies, Cooperia pedunculata. As hard as I try I can never get them to form a clump like the hybrid variety, despite collecting their seeds and planting together.  When you see them blooming along the roadsides they are similarly spaced out instead of clumping. They just seem to pop up in all the unexpected places, especially  the pathways of my vegetable garden.

Almost overnight the gayfeather Liatris spicata, began to bloom.

In profusion but not as profusely as in prior years. Usually the flowers develop all the way down the stem but lack fo rainfall seems to have reduced the numbers of flowers.

They are a rather weedy plant, their seeds popping up everywhere. They form a large  bulb which is easily dug up in the winter and relocated. This year I have a clump flowering in the granite area out front but others planted in the rocky hillside have failed to produce any flowers. So far no deer have munched the flower heads.

What color goes well with purple? For me it has to be the yellow of the Lindheimer senna, Senna lindheimeriana. Their favorite spot is in the wet weather creek.

But also out in the granite areas. I am spreading their seed onto the hillside which we cleared this spring. This plant is just too easy to grow. It seeds itself, it stays green through the heat and drought and no bugs eat it. And no deer browsing either.

I hope the water lilies are enjoying the day.

There is no outside gardening to be done today, just inside seed cleaning in preparation for the fall planting.
Thank you Laura of Wills Family Acres for the seeds of native Eryngo, Eryngium leavenworhtii. I shall be planting them directly in the ground as they need winter cooling.

and rudbeckia from my own garden.

Will they be the same as the ones that showed up this past year? I hope so.

The rain is a blessing and will make fall planting a lot easier but I think I would like a break now.


  1. Meanwhile, some of us are still longingly sighing about your rain... Although too much of a good thing is never great, our weather hasn't figured out how to start yet! Maybe you can send some our way? I can't wait to see what comes out of all your seeds!

  2. It is a blessing indeed, and boy, did we need this. I've had 5 inches of rain in my NW Austin garden over the past week. The plants look much refreshed, and I'm seeing the first oxblood lilies popping up too.

  3. Can't wait to see your results with that eryngo -- it's a beauty I've tried without success. That senna looks perfect in your "granite areas," and now that I've seen your garden I know exactly where you're talking about! I would love to watch the rain fall on your garden again...

  4. I'm hearing more and more of stalled weather systems, delivering relentless rain in areas that don't need it in some cases and stubborn high pressure ridges that refuse to move, keeping rain out in others. The latter problem was said to be what prevented the winter rain that normally comes down from the north from reached us in Southern California. At least your system produced pretty flowers.

  5. Having had 10 inches of rain in 24 hours on Aug. 20, I am in sympathy. These stalled systems are scary. Luckily you have some flowers that are happy to see the rain. I've noticed that my water lilies often close around 3 pm on a sunny day but will stay open in the rain and stay open later. Who would've guessed?

  6. We got a ton of rain too. While we are big fans of rain here, we wouldn't have minded it being spread out a little bit. Thanks for sharing all your beautiful blooms and your seeds.