The Texas Garden in September

Ah September, the time of year where the cold fronts move in and we get cool 98 degree weather. (That’s… that’s only half joking. It IS actually better than 104 degrees.) The children are off to school. And… that’s it. Fall doesn’t set in for a long time here, so it isn’t really fall-esque around these parts. Aside from fashion that is- I am SO ready for jackets and boots and vests and so SICK of plain tank tops and shorts. I assume it’s like being sick of your sweaters in the north, this tiredness of tank tops. And necklaces and scarves- I miss them! Sheesh it’s too hot for anything aside from earrings really.

This would be an awesome segue to talking about my Eve’s Necklace Tree, Angel’s Earrings Fuchsia, and Cashmere Bouquet Glory Bower. But I don”t have any of those and if I did they’d be dead right now.

But fall IS here, even if only the plants know it. It amazes me every year- the new growth that begins on all these dormant and struggling plants when September starts. The tomato has a new flush of stems, leaves, and flowers. So does the blackberry.

New growth on the blackberry. (Think the variety is Arapahoe) Prepare for all super pulled in tight shots in this blog post today.

The yews look great and are starting to perk up. I don’t have a shot of all of them, but we have 3 different kinds. The standard english yew in the shade/Japanese maple garden. Then there is a low spreading one on the front corner of the house (replaced a rose the deer would NOT leave alone out there.), and the tiny leafed one I got my husband this year.

It’s still in a pot. But it looks great, I swear!

Heck, even the roses know the season has changed and are starting to flush.

Come on my pretty, we’ve missed y’all around here. New bud on the Parade rose- it’s WOWZA bright pink- I love it.

It’s funny- roses are really some of the hardiest plants I have and they’re generally perceived as these delicate and fickle dewdrops. The Souvenir de la Malmaisson has tripled in size over this rough summer. So has the Earth Angel. And the Marie Pavie, Francis Dubriel, and the Parade (above) are flushing out with new growth.

The Madame Alfred Wegman has some weird die back on a few stems, and the Belinda’s Dream that’s planted in the driveway bed are the only two that could be doing better. But none of them have a lick of black spot (hahaha you need moisture for that… silver lining) and not a bit of spider mite (knock on wood, salt over shoulder) or aphids. I give a drill sergeant style pep talk to the rest of the garden using the roses as an example. (meaning I call them names and point to the roses as an example to be followed. Fall in line already, you pansies!) Ahhh. the pictures below are the roses in better times.

I’m making a HUGE mental note to add more late summer flowering plants to the mix because there are literally only three plants actively blooming right now, and two shouldn’t really count because they’re so pathetic about it.

That’s the sole flower on the lantana. It’s a new transplant from one that had self seeded in the bamboo. I have high hopes for it next year though. At least it survived!
I had completely forgotten that I bought a ginger on clearance at Lowes and put it in the pot with the blackberry. It’s… still there. The flowers aren’t adding a ton to the ambiance, but like… they exist.

Really the only one that SHOULD count is the Thryallis- it’s been a bloom machine for months.

Ah the Thryallis shrub- everyone in Texas should have one. My only issue is it doesn’t attract any butterflies, but ho man does it laugh in the face of the heat!

And there are some things fruiting, even if the tomato is on hiatus. I’ve harvested about 6 key limes off my 22 year old tree (it’s in a pot. That’s a good harvest for that thing). The Meyer’s lemon has one big fruit on it, and the Calamondin is covered in fruit. Since the toddler has stopped eating all of these we might get a harvest. Maybe!

The Calamondin… fruit won’t get much bigger but they’ll turn orange. It’s like an orange skinned lime- they’re super sour. I’m wanting to make marmalade with them.

In other fruiting news…

The chili pecquin is setting fruit. HIDE YO KIDS, HIDE YO WIFE THESE ARE TOO HOT.  My husband does periodically eat these with breakfast tacos and then proceeds to skull sweat for 10 minutes. They’re more useful for the ofrenda.

So yeah. If you squint real hard there are a few things that don’t look totally awful in the garden right now and you can almost see it starting to come back.

Thanks for modeling that, Murph. (The damn squirrels have taken to eating pecans RIGHT over the deck- that’s all the discarded shells you can see scattered on the deck in this shot- it’s certainly cut down on the walking around barefoot lately.

Fall will come. Summer will end at some point. And when it does we’ll buy about 4 yards of horse manure and 8 yards of garden compost so we can raise all these beds with better soil and reset all the plants, and install the brick patio. (Fingers crossed! I hope it’s a this fall thing!)

Picture from right after he got shaved. I think the groomer’s bandana was giving him self esteem issues. But that tail, amiright?!
Desk cat picture (Alabama). He sleeps there from about 10am to 2pm most days. Don’t worry, I topped off the beta water after I took this shot- the cats use it as a water bowl. 

7 thoughts on “The Texas Garden in September

  1. Well, August is past, September still fries, but the days are shorter. Here’s looking to the gentler days of autumn. Your garden looks good though.

    1. With REALLY tightly pulled in shots it looks okay… if I’d used wider angles things would have looked MUCH crispier! Here is to those gentler days of autumn- I can’t wait!

  2. I also don’t have many plants actively blooming right now. I’m trying to decide what to plant so that I have more flowers in late August and early September next year.

    1. It’s so hard to time things correctly when putting things in in the spring! It doesn’t help many things get an August pruning down here either…

  3. You sure have different plants growing there. I’d love to be able to grow ginger and some of those other flowering shrubs. We do have roses, of course, but they don’t usually start blooming in the fall. I don’t envy you the heat, but it has its rewards in the kinds of plants you can grow.

    1. I think that’s the thing to look for- instead of pining over delphiniums or peonies… to enjoy the things that do well here and are unique to here as well. Thalassa Cruso said in one of her books that the best gardening advice she’d heard was: “find out what you can grow and then grow lots of that!” I’m trying to head that advice more!

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