Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spring in October

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

The rains have started falling and the drought may be slightly on the wane here in Austin, but as Robin at Getting Grounded explains in her entry Recapping the Summer from Hell 2009, it will take a whole lot of heavy showers before our lakes are full again. Still, my garden is finally happy after a long torturous summer. The sweltering 100+ temps started in May this year and stole spring from us. Now the cooler temperatures, wet weather and colorful flowers make me feel like spring has arrived in October.

This is the first year my Senna (Cassia?) flowered well. When I planted it several seasons ago it was little more than a twig. This summer the caterpillars clung to the foliage and butterflies drop in for an occasional sip at the blossoms...



Since space is at a premium I'm attempting to train it rather flat against the stark white brick wall...




The blooms are so luscious and plump, it's no wonder the butterflies can't resist them...



The drought scorched most of my groundcover this summer so I tried covering my mulch with some purslane (Portulaca oleracea). It flourished in the heat and the honey bees approved of all the flowers.


Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha), Bush Daisy (Euryops) and Prostrate Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) are blooming all at once today...

This butterfly bush (Buddleia) is surprisingly attractive to humming birds as well as the butterflies.



Here's the view of the front flower bed from the lavender-skirted birdbath...

My basket of begonias looks so healthy you'd never guess the scorching summer heat ever bothered them...


Inside, this pink orchid is blooming in my breakfast window for the 3rd year in a row...



Mariah, my Siamese Cat, has completely recovered from her run-in with steroids. Here she seems to wonder when we're adding a screened-in porch for her bird-viewing pleasure.


From the window she can see the flower bed I've begun planting in the back garden.

I removed one of the dwarf yaupon holly under our family room window and am in the process of replacing it with salvia, bulbine and assorted flowering plants. I plan on replacing the remaining yaupon as well with hummingbird-friendly flowers like my new Salvia coccinea 'Coral nymph', seen here looking extremely pleased with itself...


Finally, I'd like to share a little good news: As some of you may know my son's former one-on-one school assistant inexplicably quit her job without giving notice. She just didn't show up on the first day of school this fall, which left the administrator's scrambling to hire someone and my son with substitute aides for the past month. I was very proud of him for coping so well despite the upheaval; not always easy for someone in the autistic spectrum. The good news is the school finally hired a nice lady for the job last week. I met her today and she seems like a lovely person. We're all breathing a collective sigh of relief, hoping things will get back to what passes for normal in our lives. Whew!

And with that, here's wishing all of you a very contented Autumn Gardening Season. If you get tired of your rain, please send it here, we're enjoying every drop in Austin.


"The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency." ~Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons


Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

14 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We are getting some of that rain that keeps you inside today. I do hope your area gets plenty of rain this winter to replenish the earth and reservoirs.

Pam/Digging said...

I'm things are going so well in your home and garden (and school), Dawn. Isn't it amazing how quickly the well-planted garden recovers with a little rain and cooler temps?

Dawn said...

Hi Lisa,
Glad you're getting some rain as well. We experienced 4 years of drought (and fires) when we lived in Florida. That's when we learned to love the rain. I hope you get enough for your garden, Lisa.

Thanks Pam,
You're right about the recovery. It is marvelous to watch Mother Nature heal herself; at least on a small scale like this. Even the birds seem more relaxed in my garden now.

Enjoy the Liquid Sunshine,
Dawn

Annie in Austin said...

Having a white wall is like having a screen to project your garden designs on, Dawn - the Senna looks great!

That's good news about the school assistant - hope all goes well from now on!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Dawn said...

Dear Annie,
So nice to 'see' you. It was hard to get used to the white brick at first, but I'm starting to like it. I feel lucky that the Senna bloomed this year and extremely relieved about the assistant. Maybe it's time to let my guard down a bit now.

Enjoy the rain! :-)
Dawn

Lancashire rose said...

I love your idea of training the senna against the wall. It really is a great little tree, although I find I have to replace mine every few years. Still there are always seedlings around. It certainly brings those sulphurs into the garden. Your begonia is amazing. It must have had plenty of TLC during the summer.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I've always said that fall is Austin's spring and this year it is more true than ever. I'm happy your garden is springing into life again...and that school headaches seem to be averted for the moment.

A wildlife gardener said...

I love all your planting, especially the senna against the wall...and especially Mariah...couldn't take my eyes off her... :)

getgrounded said...

Oh, your Coral Nymph is luscious! Mine is blooming, but nothing like yours. What on earth do you do for it to get it so lush and dense? And what a great idea with your Senna - mine also is against a limestone house, and I love that contrast, but I never would have thought to train it next to it. Brilliant! For some reason, your blog hasn't been showing up on my blogroll, and I've missed several of your postings. I'm catching up now.

ConsciousGardener said...

Your garden looks lovely! I've been amazed by the things I'd given up on, like an artichoke that died back...I forgot about, planted stuff around, and then after a few rains...fine myself with not one but two new artichokes in that area! It's like a second spring!

ConsciousGardener said...

Your garden is lovely and lucious! It looks fantastic,
I can't imagine how it looked this past summer...yes, bring more rain!

Austin School Garden Network said...

Hello Dawn,

We'd like to notify you that the Austin School Garden Network website has launched and we've included your blog on our blog roll.

The Austin School Garden Network is a collaboration of groups, agencies and individuals dedicated to reconnecting children and nature. The purpose is connecting Central Texas community resources to promote the social, nutritional, environmental, and academic benefits of school and youth gardening programs. We have included a local gardening blog section to help new gardeners learn more about gardening in our area.



For more information visit our About Us page.
http://www.austinsgn.org/about.htm

Your blog is linked to from our Gardening Blog page.
http://www.austinsgn.org/gardening_blogs.htm


If you would like us to remove the link to your blog from our website please contact, Lisa Anhaiser at laanhaiser[at]ag.tamu.edu.


Get growing and keep going!

Austin School Garden Network

A wildlife gardener said...

As well as the beautiful array of photos in this post, Dawn, I love all the photos down the right hand side...the relaxing squirrel...that's how my cats used to lie sometimes...and I love your cats...wow!

ibrahim said...

wow!! your orchid look amazing. I hope my orchid blooms again this year.