And after 12 consecutive years of teaching summer school, I've decided to take a break, stay at home and actually garden during the summer.
Here's a combined Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-up along with my obsessions with trying to perfectly photograph a dandelion puff.
And if you want to see more GBBDs and FFs, just visit Carol or Pam's blogs. They're over on my sidebar favorites, so take a gander if you'd like.
June is a great month for flowers here in Houston.
This is the tiniest flower I have blooming right now. I have know idea what it's called, but the plant would look nice in a rock garden or alpine garden.
Here's the plant. It has the coolest growth habit and stem pattern.
Here's the stem pattern.
At the other extreme, here's the largest flower I have blooming right now.
It's called 'Nivea Guest' (Munson 1984)
This is the month for Clerodendrum bungei. These grow wild here in Houston and can form entire colonies in vacant lots and along ditches. Butterflies love them, but I would not recommend planting these if you don't already have them in your neighborhood.
My favorite right now is this little Melochia tomentosa. It's stuck in a little pot overgrown by a huge rosemary bush. I've got to get this little guy in to a better part of the garden.
I don't buy many annuals, but here's the zinnia patch. The smaller Z. linearis does much better here in Houston than the large varieties and seldom get powdery mildew. Zinnias are native to Mexico and can take the summer heat in stride.
This is the surprise of the year. Before pulling up my parsley I took this picture. I love the little white things sticking out. As you can tell, parsley is in the same family as Queen Anne's Lace. I wish I had some lace in the garden!
Our cycad is blooming for the first time. I've finally found out that it is a male.
Also our Lady Palm is blooming for the first time. Sadly, all Lady Palms of this species are males. Not a single female plant has ever been discovered.
Moving on to foliage, here's a nice combination of skull cap and a silvery plant that I've lost the tag to.
An octopus agave in a sea of silver.
These are some new canna hybrids I've grown from seed. No surprise that this one is crimson like its parents.
This counts as a foliage shot until the sunflowers pop open next week.
Some native grasses I"m testing out stand sentinel to the pathway in the front garden.
A monarch enjoys the last of the Peter's Purple Monarda (Bee Balm)
More native grasses. I think these are in the genus Pennisetum .
Do you ever go out in your garden for one reason and then get distracted?
This dandelion puff looked like a great subject to photograph. The sun was very low so the lighting was perfect.
Here's another angle.
And here's my best shot out of 20 or so.
(a fallen crepe myrtle flower on a palm)
Well, that's it from Tropical Texana in Houston.
May you have plenty of time to garden this season.