The Texas Garden in Mid-August

Dry weather has finally arrived, and with it the annoying need to water every damn thing all the damn time. Is this what getting older feels like? Complaining incessantly about the stuff you wanted to happen? It kinda feels like that. “I know I wanted dry weather, but did it have to be SO dry?”

But some plants prefer the drier weather, proving that the phrase “you can’t make everyone happy all the time” is true all the time.

It is 7′ tall and each bloom is about 3″ across.

The native morning glory shrub is blooming away through the dry weather. It didn’t get eaten by grasshoppers or flea beetles when they moved through. It doesn’t bat an eye at hot weather. I’ve never seen it wilt. It’s like those action movies where the female protagonist kicks someone in the face while wearing an evening gown, this one.

One of the 4 oregano plants we use around the patio as a decorative ground cover. They are all from cuttings of an oregano we had at our old house.

The oregano we use as ground cover is still going strong… but I can’t use any of this one for cooking at the moment.

Why you ask? Because the dog, trying to send a message that he wasn’t feeling well, pooped right in the middle of it. The asshole looks like he seriously pulled something in his back or hips so is on pain meds at the moment (all sorts of extensive testing at the vet this week point to something nebulous but due to arthritis.) How I wish dogs could talk instead of, you know, POOPING IN THE OREGANO.

As I now see an empty stand in the background of this shot it’s time for another rousing game of: “Where the hell did the gazing ball roll to now.” Castroville basil plant in foreground rocking out.

We have seven of the Castroville basil seedlings planted around the garden, and joy of joy they appear to be coming true from seed. I’m trying to convey how visually pleasing they are, hope that comes through in the picture above. The world needs more of these used decoratively, I tell you what.

And next up: this crazy thing!

Looks like it’s from the muppets, no?

The above picture is the decorative amaranth (not the weedy ones discussed here) called Love Lies Bleeding. Isn’t that the most hardcore name ever?

Another shot with a less than ideal background but what ya gonna do

The flowers are about 6″ long right now- so quite small for the plant- I probably haven’t been fertilizing enough as these things get loooong.

I cut the first bloom a few weeks ago, but it was difficult to fit into an arrangement correctly just due to scale and proportions as it was a good 12″ long. To be proportional in an arrangement the top blooms would need about twice the height of the Love Lies Bleeding trailing down the front. (it’s… a little more “Golden Rule” of mathematics then that- the Parthenon is involved) but lord that’d be a flower arrangement 3′ from top to bottom, what is this, Versailles? The lobby of the Radisson hotel? I don’t even have a vase that will work with that. What an interesting problem to have though, no?

I’ll be growing more of these in the future, as it’s just an unusual and tall plant (checks a couple of boxes for me. I hate common short flowers) but may grow the green ones next. This is my worst habit around seeds. Still have plenty left over but I’m going to order the same thing in a different color. Why am I like this.

The foliage, as you can see- gets absolutely ravaged by flea beetles. I swear to god if this intermixes with those annoying weed amaranths and reseeds but with thorns I’m gonna lose my mind.

And finally: Tithonia/Mexican Sunflower.

Tithonia- my favorite part are those velvety stems.

My tithonia grew by leaps and bounds (not always desired as it can lead to weak stems if something big grows too fast) to a height of 5′ and then every side stem broke and collapsed and then the man stem snapped off 2′ up. The side stems are still connected to the remaining main stem by the smallest amount… and are now thriving and blooming, resting on the ground. It doesn’t seem like there is any way that would be possible and yet here it is, now covering 12 feet in all directions, blooming away. At the point I’m just letting it do it’s thing- gardening is like that sometimes.

4 thoughts on “The Texas Garden in Mid-August

  1. The Love Lies Bleeding is amazing – the name AND the plant itself are so cool. And I do love the decorative basil! Usually I am trying so hard to prevent my basil from bolting I never let the flowers grow, but they are lovely!

    Your poor dog. But also: YOUR POOR OREGANO.

    1. Appreciate that! The basil is a Thai basil- and it doesn’t seem to suffer from going to -flower- flavor stays the same and it’s super decorative- and, as it turns out it come true from seed!

  2. The tithonia is a really pretty plant. The intensity of the colour reminds me of zinnias. As for watering, I feel the same way. You wish for something (like a tiny bit of sunshine) and then you finally get it and you don’t stop getting it, and getting it, and getting it. Enough already!

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