Monday, August 11, 2014


Texans do not give tours of their gardens in August. You'd have to be bonkers to show them off during their worst decline, right? On the other hand, it is the very best time to see who the real workhorses are, and who just isn't worth their water.

There are a couple of plants that I feel are worth putting in each year -- even though they won't survive our winters -- for they look great from early spring until late fall, and add so much color to the hot summer drabness. But only a couple, for I become less and less willing to start from scratch each spring.  One I have mentioned before is the Magilla Perilla above, which still looks fabulous, even in the dead of summer.

I love that Haight Ashbury hibiscus in the metal pot in the front corner, with its copper and coral mottled leaves. However, if I plant it again, I will have to find a shadier spot. It thrives in morning sun, but goes completely limp if any afternoon sun touches it.

I got fed up with having to replace all my purple ornamental grasses every spring -- even the new variety that was supposedly more cold tolerant than Purple Fountain grass. But boy-oh-boy, am I ever lovin' this zebra grass, especially now that I've underplanted it with these precious little Dahlberg daisies. It comes back bigger and better each year, even after a winter filled with hard freezes.

I adored all my succulents, but I was using them in way too many places, and either had to pot them up and bring them indoors for the winter, or start over from scratch each spring. One day I noticed that this one little coral-edged trailing sedum, which hubby had in one of his pots, disappeared over the winter, but came back in spring and took off like gangbusters! So instead of buying all new succulents for my two concrete urns, I planted a red yucca in each and surrounded them with the trailing sedum. Love it!

Then I remembered another sedum that comes back reliably year after year -- sedum Autumn Joy.

My new plants are just beginning to show signs of their dusky coral fall color, which will look fantastic against my Turks Cap with the little coral blooms.

Perhaps I need to add some of the trailing sedum to that grouping as well.

Hubby gets extreme kudos for finally discovering a couple of deer-resistant plants that are managing to hold their own in the extremely dry shade under our oak tree clusters -- Firecracker Fern and Inland Sea Oats. Their lime green foliage really pops in the shade, and the drooping seed heads on the Inland Sea Oats are about to turn the same dusky coral as the sedums. Another possible pairing?

Hubby's designer pot trio is still looking fabulous. The deer did ravish his purple Sweet Potato Vine, but he just replaced it with some purple basil, which I thought was a brilliant move on his part!

Last, but certainly not least, there's nothing like the amazing Yellow Bells to beat the Texas heat, and add a little cheer to the summer garden.

So, that's what's going on in my hotter 'n hell garden. What's goin' on in yours?

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