From Linda: Bloom Day August 15, 2009

August 15th, 2009 Posted in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

This time, motivation was a tad low to participate in Carol at May Dreams Gardens Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Here in east Austin, Texas, we’ve had over 50 days of over 100º, and no rain. My garden missed the surprise drench this week. But, I consider Carol’s idea a fabulous one to connect garden conditions from around the world, a sort of National Geographic tour for gardeners.  But, believe me, if you’re thinking of moving to Texas, bring water!

I was so happy that this one premiered just in time.

Variegated althea from Robert Beyer

My friend Robert Beyer gave me a cutting of his variegated althea last year, started from a friend’s plant in Houston. I put it in a pot and watched it grow up (now about 18″ tall). I’m sure glad I didn’t plant it this year! On the patio, I can keep an eye and the water hose on it. When things look a little better this winter, I’ll find this beauty a spot in the ground. For us, altheas are very reliable shrubs/small trees through just about everything.

On gardening in drought, check out Bob’s new guide and splendid plant list.

Most of my blooming plants are in pots. The sambac jasmine (Jasminium sambac) still perfumes the patio morning and night.

Sambac jasmine

Every week, I have to cut its exuberant stems away from the equally prolific ornamental (and edible) hot pepper, which does require water every two days. The sambac is not so thirsty.

Ornamental peppers

Across the patio in its new pot, the Valentine rose is still at it.

Valentine rose

Next to it, the carnation I succumbed to this spring hasn’t cratered.

Silver Pink Carnation

I mixed in a lot of decomposed granite with well-draining potting soil and topped it with more granite. I only water when it’s completely dry, not just because I think it needs it (like your mom putting you in a sweater when she’s cold).

I’m so glad I moved the potted bougainvillea to the now sunny cat cove earlier this year. Before, it never bloomed worth a dang, no matter how much blood meal I put on it.


Now, it’s such a show-off that every morning when I walk into the den, it’s the first thing that catches my eye through the window.

My first plumeria keeps pumping ‘em out too.

Plumeria white and yellow
When blossoms fall to the ground, I put them in a tiny vase on my kitchen windowsill. They last for days!

This morning, the Brazilian rock rose (Pavonia brazilienis) in the crape bed begged to be in Bloom Day, too.

Brazilian rock rose (Pavonia brazilienis)

Turks cap, pavonia, shrimp plant, and lantana are blooming today too. But sweat was fogging my glasses, so I gave up on them.

I bloom best right now when I’m in my kiddie pool, so see ya later!  Linda

  1. 12 Responses to “From Linda: Bloom Day August 15, 2009”

  2. By Pam/Digging on Aug 15, 2009

    Enjoy floating around in the water, Linda. It’s the only way to get through this summer. That’s a great shot of the Brazilian rock rose!


  3. By Iris/Society Garlic, Austin on Aug 15, 2009

    I think today’s our 56th day 100 or hotter. I got about one minute of last week’s alleged surprise drench. Oops–sorry, I meant to keep this comment cheery.

    As usual, your blooms and your photos of them are beautiful. The hot pepper photo particularly thrills me!

    My potted bougainvillea has stopped blooming (for now, at least), even though I moved it to a sunnier location. I’ll try the blood meal–thanks!


  4. By Diana on Aug 15, 2009

    Linda – love all your beautiful blooms. We have a lot of the same plants in pots on the patio – and as long as we are slaves to watering them, they’re happy in this heat, right? But I am TIRED of watering! Sigh. Fall and its promised more than average rainfall, courtesy of El Nino, can’t get her soon enough for me.


  5. By ESP on Aug 15, 2009

    Hi Linda.
    I am right there with you on the kiddie pool-cooling down factor, although I must look extremely bizarre with my 6ft2 frame curling around the edge of it, trying to fit inside it’s confined interior along with my two squirmy hobbits, and their oversized feet!

    I opted for the non-inflatable version this year (I must say, a new & welcome innovation) after I had had my near-death-blowing an inflatable-one-up experience in August of last year. Even though my new model was not inflatable, it naturally still developed a leak, requiring yet again a healthy portion of red-neck duct-tape.
    Well, it simply would not be August without frantically searching for a tiny hole in a massive plastic object in 105 degree heat!
    Ah the sheer joy,


  6. By Annie in Austin on Aug 16, 2009

    You’re a trouper to do Bloom Day this year, Linda… guess I could have put up the blue plumbago and a surviving tropical milk weed and a plumeria, too. Next time I see a dropped blossom on the patio it’s going in a tiny vase – cool idea!

    Your Althea/Rose of Sharon looks good in the container and is probably safer there until the promised El Nino arrives ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


  7. By Jo Dwyer on Aug 18, 2009

    Looking at these beautiful photos while enjoying the air-conditioned comfort of the computer room makes me almost forget what it’s like outside. Almost. We also missed out on the rain, and although most of our flowers are the ones on vegetable plants inside the farm fence, I’d been hopeful over the five blue plumbago bushes I planted around the perimeter of the house in the spring.

    Yet who knew that chickens LOVE plumbago? Apparently they’re delicious. Every day when we open the henhouse, the girls run straight to them.

    Since the hens won’t allow my own flower garden, at least I get to enjoy yours — even if only the ones in pots! Thanks for sharing.



  8. By Dee/reddirtramblings on Aug 20, 2009

    I think it’s amazing how much you do have blooming your garden. We had the heat in June, for heaven’s sakes, and I thought, wait, that’s supposed to be in August. This month, we’ve had a lot of rain and cooler temperatures. I’m going to wish for that for Texas too. You all are tough, but you deserve a break.~~Dee


  9. By renee (renee's roots) on Aug 22, 2009

    Linda, every single bloom photo is gorgeous. You are quite the photographer, even when you’re sweating. Hurry up, October!


  10. By Jenny Peterson on Sep 18, 2009

    Great pictures, Linda! I do balcony gardening now and have been sticking with succulents, but it’s good to see in-ground blooming plants out there!


  11. By Terry Beckett on Apr 15, 2011

    Wonderful post and photographs-every bloom looks fantastic.


  12. By Caleb Goode on Jun 21, 2014

    I was just wondering if you knew the name of that ornamental pepper? My dad found some seeds in the cracks of a passenger airplane’s baggage hold… put ‘em in dirt, and grew the hottest peppers I have ever had. I now have a couple that he planted for me, and want to know what to call them when I’m sharing them with others. Thanks!


    Linda reply on June 21st, 2014 2:58 pm:

    Hi, Caleb! Thanks for writing. I just got them as ornamental peppers. Yahoo for your dad’s foundlings! They could be pequins or tepins, too. They are perennial where my ornamentals or annuals unless protected in winter. But as you discovered, they seed back readily if nipped.


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