Monday, August 23, 2010


With high temperatures and dry conditions foremost on my mind, the plants for this garden trial have had an unfair trial period. I'm used to 90 to 95 with at least a little rain. This August, we've been at 96 to 100 (37C) and hardly a drop for almost 4 weeks solid! We did get .10" of an inch today and saw rain all around us. Yea!
The Silver European Fan Palm has very small leaves and has a spiky look. It will take a year to tell how it fits in.
The Needle Palm is absolutely my surprise of the summer. I had no idea they were so beautiful and lush. They remind me of a fuller version of a lady palm. The leaves are shiny green with a pale underside. They are adapted to very low temperatures, so I'm not worried about freezes for either of these.

Needle Palm ~native to the SE United States

I've already raved about the Black Foot Daisy, so I'll mention the
Pink Muhly Grass. I bought this on sale for a dollar since Lowe's had almost killed it.
Obviously, it is very drought tolerant to survive such neglect. It looks great in contrast to agaves. I can't wait for the bloom spikes this Fall.
It is a Texas native, so it is adapted to our weather extremes.

Agave celsii is my absolute favorite new agave. I was delighted to find it on sale at Wal-Mart!
The Agave stricta is also a beautiful addition to the garden. I have never seen these for sale in Houston, so somebody is finally getting the message that gardeners would like plants that don't need endless watering.

I don't remember the name of this hybrid Coreopsis, but the foliage is outstandingly beautiful for a coreopsis. So far, it has bloomed nonstop in 97 degree weather with no transplant shock. Wow!

I'm guessing this is Zinna 'Prolific'. I went back to buy more, but they had sold all 20 in two days!
I'm not that fond of orange zinnias, but these seem to work well in the dry shady beds.
I'm going try to add about five more to give the area some pizzazz. It too had no transplant shock.

This is what it looks like here after almost 4 weeks without rain. It has rained all around us, but not in my area of Houston. It was 99 degrees when I took this picture. However, the news reported that we will only have a high of 90 on Saturday with possible rain. Yippee. We are on day 27 with barely any rainfall. I've take the garden through 40 days with no rain, but it's not easy.
That's it from Tropical Texana. Hope your garden is under less stress than mine.


  1. Glad you found some tough plants, David. Agave celsii is one of my favorites too. (But what agave isn't a favorite?) With the weather this summer, every garden is going through garden trials, no matter when it was planted.

  2. David, I hope you were one of the beneficiaries of yesterday's and/or today's rains. I certainly wasn't out here in Katy. I'm hoping that will change this weekend!

  3. Hi Cindy,
    It rained in between us! I drove through the downpour on the way home since I teach in Katy. I was sad. We did manage to get the edge of it here, so I had one day free to not water.
    Hope you get rain soon. It's your turn.
    David/ Tropical Texana

  4. Your garden looks great and your plants are really doing well. Congrats on that1 I am also an Agave celsii lover. They are really beautiful especially when they are all grown up. Good luck on your new plants.

  5. I am not a fan of Agave celsii but when I saw your beautiful plants it makes me want to plant like that someday in my garden. Your Agave celsii are really gorgeous than other Agave celsii that I saw in some gardens.

  6. They say those needle palms are perfect for rose gardens. Are this really true? I have rose garden but I never tried to plant some palm. I have hostas to combine with my roses and they look perfect.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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