Saturday, July 14, 2012


Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens and Pam at Digging, gardeners can take a whirlwind tour of garden's throughout the world to see what's blooming and growing. We've had over 6.8 inches (17.2cm) of rain this week and the tropical garden and cottage garden are both growing at a feverish pitch. At this rate, I'll soon have to garden with a machete'! First the blooms, then the foliage. Here we go!
The Rudbeckia fulgida has just started blooming and is fresh as a...uh...daisy.
Buddleia davidii 'Nanho Purple' has been the surprise of the summer. I cut it back thinking it was 'done' and now it is back in its full glory. Sadly, I've not seen any butterflies on it and I don't know why.
Here it is again. Its silver green foliage is also lovely. But no butterflies! I wonder if the hybrids have no nectar.
With all the rain, it has been a terrific year for Pentas. Butterflies love it.
This has been another surprise. I thought it was too hot for this Blue Hill Salvia (Salvia x sylvestris 'Blauhugel'), but it is again in bloom. It's becoming my favorite Salvia.
The Cape Daisies from South Africa seem to love Houston. This Osteospermum is called 'Voltage Yellow'.
Our purple Crapemrytle will bloom all month. I wish I knew the name of this variety. It is an old one and was probably planted in the 1950s. It's the size of a small tree.
I can count on Hemerocallis 'Tuscawilla Tigress' to be in bloom every summer. It is heat and drought tolerant and gorgeous.
Thanks to Sharon, my new friend at Thompson + Hanson Nursery, and another Sharon, my new gardening friend here in the Oak Forest neighborhood, I am excited to find this perennial verbena.
It is called 'Homestead Purple' and it is very low growing and has none of the powdery mildew problems of the annual verbenas. 
You can barely see it poking above the grass. The St. Augustine turf will be gone by next year more edging! 'Homestead Purple' verbena will be there instead along with a stone pathway. I can't wait!
Now for the foliage or what's left of it after this fellow's through!
Just joking. Giant Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars are always welcome to munch on the rue.
This is the first time I've had one in my garden. 
Speaking of new visitors. This is a Tropical Checkered Skipper butterfly on a Bidens humilis. It is a fast darter and hard to photograph. I was lucky.
I hope you can enjoy the rest of the foliage photos without the species names.
Since I taught Kindergarteners at a summer camp all week, I'm a bit tired tonight.
The front yard woodland garden
Cardboard palm with large Bromeliad
With all the rain, my small patches of moss are trying to add some territory.
Don't laugh, but I've tried to grow moss for years here in my Houston garden.
A little bit of art with a b&w rendering of hanging Virginia creeper
Part of my foliage plant collection
The Yucca is getting ready to bloom
Thinking inside the box and my next landscaping adventure
The backyard jungle

I sometimes think I might find a monkey in my backyard.
The front entry garden after a rain.
Well, that's it for this month...A Midsummer Day's Dream. Hope you are having a wonderful summer.
Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Wow, 6.8 inches of rain is almost half the annual rainfall in Santa Fe. Enjoy your tropical wonderland.

  2. That is a decent amount of rain for one week! The garden is enjoying it. It's certainly taking on the look of a verdant jungle. I'm loving that Blue Hill Salvia. What a lovely blue! Lots of great colour, plenty of fabulous foliage and wonderful wildlife to boot! Great GBBD post once again.

  3. Hi David, i laughed when you said you are thinking there might be a monkey there! I love your Salvia as it has long spikes with flowers. We have a hot tropical environment so our Salvia looks so pathetic. Regarding wildlife, when it's too hot and maybe less food in the wild, there is a civet cat coming over to eat coffee berries or ripe papaya. We don't see it but only see the droppings in the morning.

  4. Enjoyed seeing all your flowers and a few of your Agaves. I think you got the amount of rain this past week that we got this past year. How are your Agaves holding up to that? Happy Bloom Day!

  5. A very pretty summer garden and wonderfully tropical backyard... Plus I'm always impressed by anyone who can photograph a butterfly. Generally as soon as I see one fluttering in my garden and get ready to take a photo, it effortlessly soars up, up and away over my neighbour's fence.

  6. AH, the rain. It works miracles in the garden as evidenced by all your beautiful July blooms. You have reminded me about the Homestead purple verbena. The first year in my garden I had a massive show of this but then something happened and the whole lot died. Now I just have the old prairie verbena which just shows up in all kinds of places. The day lily is one I must look for because I would love some later bloomers. Most are finished before July. Have a happy Bloom day.

  7. Loved it all. Blogger won't let me post with my blogspot ID on embedded posts, so I'm using Wordpress.

  8. Wow! It was a pleasure to visit your garden today. You have so much going on David and so many beauties. I never had many butterflies at all all spring and summer until just this week. More are coming in now. Maybe it is because of the dry weather here and the natives suffering and less blooms?

  9. What a lovely garden you have, found you through GBBD at Carol's, this is my first vist. Ah, the rain...most of us either have too little or too much this year it seems, have you got it just right? :-) We are drowning here in Britain, after 3 months of rain! Loved your Osteospermum and I am all for wildlife in our gardens, I have foxes and squirrels, badgers, birds and all sorts of insect but no monkies! Thanks for letting me have a stroll in your garden, will be back some other time!

  10. I have the opposite thing going on in my garden - my Buddleia is full of bees and butterflies, but nothing is touching my rue that I planted specifically for the caterpillars! I love that Homestead purple verbena - I've heard it spreads quite nicely. I have a couple other perennial verbenas, 'Snowflurry' and 'Princess Bride'. Last year they were great bloomers, but this year have barely managed to hang on with my vole onslaught. Your orange daylily is gorgeous!

  11. Oh no David, I read your first paragraph and my enjoyment of your blooms and foliage was tampered by your machete comment. Why? Because in our country there is a legend of the wooden statue known as Machete. I couldn't help but imagine you in a similar attire wielding your machete in the garden. ;-D

  12. Kindergartners?? You are a brave man!! I love Homestead Purple. It roots where it lays and will fill in an empty spot quickly. I've decided butterflies can be picky. Last year they devoured my rue and this year are ignoring it. Next year your butterflies will be all over the butterfly bush and will ignore the pentas. :o)

  13. I didn't realize you've had that much rain! Wonderful! So nice to get back to some normal weather patterns for Texas - now if it will only last! I had a butterfly bush that the butterflies never visited, either. I always wondered about it. And I love your old crape myrtle. My grandmother has one in her yard that has been there for years and years. I really should try to take a cutting from it.

  14. How did I forget to plant pentas this year?! They always are such good performers when July hits...darn! Your blooms are lovely--our gardens are looking pitiful since we've been visiting family in Europe for two weeks. Looking at your photos of gorgeous blooms and foliage makes me realize I should be outside, trying to clean up the gardens...ah well, there's always tomorrow, right?! Happy GBBD!

  15. Great selection of blooms especially the Pentas!

  16. Congrats on the rain. We got a bunch too. It's always a treat to see your tropical garden, and I'll keep an eye out for monkeys too!

  17. About the fennel - check the herb section at Lowe's in the spring. You should be able to get a little pot dirt cheap. I think I paid about $3 and it's a perennial!

  18. Lovely post...I adore 'Homestead Purple', it's a great, tough plant...and blooms forever!


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

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