Wednesday, July 16, 2014


STALWART: a loyal, reliable, hard-working supporter in a common cause
None of the flowers below would cause passerby bicycle riders to fall off in utter amazement.
But when it comes to the furnace of the Texas summer, I'm happy with any flower that wants to be in my garden.
THIS IS GBBD PART 2 (My first one for July was devoted exclusively to sunflowers)
What's always so remarkable about doing these GBBDs (Garden Blogger's Bloom Day by May Dreams Gardens) is the fact that I always find a surprise waiting for me in the garden.
This is now my third season with Coreopsis 'Route 66'. It came back from the roots this time!
I call Gomphrenas a grandma plant since my beloved gardening grandmother always had them in the garden.
This one is called Gomphrena 'Fireworks'. I'm tossing the spent seedheads everywhere to see if they will self-seed next season.
Other Gomphrenas I would recommend are 'Tiny Buttons' and 'Buddy Purple'. 
This will be my comparison photo for years to come. Sunflowers and Castor beans are on their way to the skies above.
I would say this crimson Castor bean wins the prize for most tropical and exotic plant for this month.
Back down on the surface we have a small white Lantana montevidensis
I grow this species more than the native variety because the native variety is a magnet for lantana lace bugs.
Here's the native variety. So far no lace bugs.
Here's a portion of the purple and blue garden. Blooming in the foreground is Ruellia 'Blue Shade'. 
This is the rarest plant in the garden right now. It's called Zinnia maritima 'Solcito'.
This species is native to Hawaii and will even become a perennial in your garden if protected from frost.
I had about 7 seedlings appear in the path. That's fortunate since I can't find it for sale anywhere in the U.S.
Yucca gloriosa will be blooming in a few days. 

Now for the surprise. It wouldn't be summer without the sounds of cicadas.
I found this one struggling on the ground. It had fallen from its perch as its wings were developing.
Cicadas are probably the black sheep of the insect world. Some people are downright scared of the things.
Yet, the shades of gossamer green found in the unfolding wings holds a special magic.
An hour later it flew somewhere here in the garden.
And the magic was over.
Hope you find some magic in your garden today.


  1. All great plants and your garden is looking good this July. I've found Gomphrena Fireworks doesn't reseed as easily as the globe type but it is quite hardy.

    When we lived on the east coast we experienced a 17-year cicada invasion and it is literally billions of the noisy critters everywhere. So many you can't go outside without getting hit in the face by them. It's noisy, messy, and, yep, scary.

  2. Fireworks re-seeds in Nashville. I wish I had known that before I spent five bucks on a package of seeds!

  3. Your garden is looking great, David, despite the shift you've had to make from shade to full sun. I'm making a note to look around for Ruellia here.

  4. Gorgeous tour! Love the cicadas!

  5. It looks like you are enjoying your summer in the garden! We got 3.5 inches of rain last night so we are actually more green than brown this year.

    The city is Orla, TX between Pecos and Carlsbad on 285.

  6. David, the only good part of the million dollar monstrosity is the view into your garden ~ nice work. Very cool cicada too.

  7. $1 million?? WOW! Your property values just skyrocketed! Your garden looks fabulous, as always! I love that your favorite zinnia self-seeded for you. That's a sweet karmic kiss for ya! I love gomphrena, too. Such a cool plant. :o)


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

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