Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lots o' Pictures

...Not a Lot of Narrative

Despite the misery of midsummer weather in Central Texas, some of our more stalwart plants have been doing interesting things lately. I think the slight "cool spell" (highs in the low 90s) the week of the 4th helped, plus it's been sort of overcast lately.

In no particular order, here are the troopers.

My Crinum macowanii seeds are finally putting out their first, tenative little shoots. Took a lot longer than expected, but I'm still pretty happy to see them. C, macowanii is the this lovely confection, in case you were wondering.

The southwest baldcypress is bursting with little green spouts. These suggest that we are not dealing with a pondcypress (T. ascendens) after all, but rather with a standard T. distichum. Which is cool, too, of course. Apparently, all those upswept leaves were just permanently stuck that way as a result of the long drive home from Brenham--the new leaves point in all directions like a normal baldcypress.

'Graham Thomas,' our David Austin rose, has, after a rather hesitant beginning this spring, suddenly popped into jubilant bloom. The color and even shape of roses are greatly affected by climate. 'Graham Thomas' usually has a shape a bit like Duchesse de Brabant--a low, flattish, soup-bowl with the petals in a series of concentric circles (comment ça). But the heat is making the petals ruch up like this, giving the flower a completely different--but I think rather interesting--look.

The plumbago that came with house is plugging away. They're as common as bagworms these days, but I still like a good plumbago--their toughness, their lovely, glowy shade of periwinkle, their comfortably lush bush shape. Good plants, plumbagos. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

And now for the fireworks! The Scadoxus Scott gave me skulked for several weeks before finally popping up--and look at that! They're so fantastic, they deserve two pictures. Scadoxus, by the way, are members of one of my very favorite plant families, the amaryllis family. So they're actually related to Zephyranthes, Crinum, and (duh) amaryllis, among others.

Others, in fact, like this spiderlily (Hymenocallis)

And here's another amaryllid, in the middle of the lawn--it's one of the rain lily species--either Habranthus or Cooperia. (International Bulb Society to the rescue, of course: they say it's Habranthus texanus, AKA H. tubispathus var. texensis. And they should know--those are some hard-core bulb-lovin' dudes.)

And the mystery red cabbagey rose cuttings--look at them grow! You'll remember that we lost one in the June drought, but we have 2 left in the orangery, and they've both been blooming away blithely. Did I tell you that we've tentatively identified them? We're pretty sure they're also "Maggie." Last summer we were given two of these castoff mystery roses and planted them where the Mutabilis now are. They both succumbed to fungus. Meanwhile, we also had a much smaller version in rose garden that refused to bloom last year--we had no idea where that one even came from, let alone its name. But now the flowers on the cuttings match the flowers on the mystery rose of unknown provenance--so apparently we completely accidentally accrued this large collection of unmarked "Maggies". Odd, no? Anyway, we have 3 left, and it's a splendid rose to have a superfluity of.

And we've got a perennial morning glory. As I watch it try to strangle the entire tropical bed, I think, was this such a good idea? But then it seduces me again with those luminous indigo trumpets.

Matt planted some gourd seeds a few weeks ago to help shade the orangery, and they're getting to be all huge and rampant. They keep trying to grow in the orangery instead of over it, though, which is annoying. Here's one of their tendrils.

And here's one of their spooky, skeletal flowers.

They're big old beasts. And you can see the perennial morning glory devouring our nasty sugar hackberry in the top right corner. I wish it would back off the hidden lily and the black locust, but it's completely welcome to the hackberry.

Another tough old bird--the 'Tuscarora' crape myrtle we bought this spring is already blooming steadily, even though it's a wee spindly thing.

The 'Moonglow' pear that has been transplanted three times in the past year is covered in leaf buds (more have popped since snapping this picture). I was worried about the amount of shade it would get in its new (hopefully permanent) location, but I think it like the protection from that southern sun.

If we ever finish the patio and the porch glider, our next project is going to be a double-wide trellis for the rose bed (on which I'll grow lovely '4th of July' climbing roses. A modern, yes, but so perky! I first saw it a couple of years ago at the San Antonio botanical garden, and my acquisitive instincts immediately kicked into gear.) We're going to incorporate the bits of antique iron fence the Ks gave us into the trellises. How artsy.

The happy synergy of picnic umbrella and hammock. Now all we need is a mojito and a trashy novel.

1 comment:

cgc said...

Did I hear trashy novel? This is an invitation to lounge specifically aimed at your trashy novel reading bud, yes?

As always, love the blog:)

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