Bloom Day, July 2014

The sun is blazing, everyday, all day.  It’s hot and it’ll be that way for a while. This gardener may be wilting, but her blooms are fresh and lovely.  Here is a quick view of a few heat-lovers in my garden this mid-summer in Austin, Texas.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for promoting this monthly bloom-palooza.

These daylilies that were  pass-alongs to me many years ago are reliable June-July bloomers.

Double-blooms with a shorter scape than some other daylilies, I like them because they flower well in part shade.

My pond plants flower well year-round, but are in full bloom-mode during the hot months of summer.  The native Pickerel Rush, Pontederia cordata, grows quickly  and produces lovely spikes of blue.

It’s a flower that dragonflies, butterflies and bees regularly visit.

The Colorado pond lily, Waterlily Nymphaea ‘Colorado’ is a gorgeous lily for the pond garden.

As is another pond lily, the ‘Claude Ikins’ lily.  It blooms in tandem with the ‘Colorado’ during the long growing season.

This particular specimen of Yellow Bells, Tecoma stans,  blossoms earlier in the growing season than any other of this species in my gardens.

All of the Yellow Bells froze this past winter, so blossoms started a bit late this year.

A beautiful native tree, Retama, Parkinsonia aculeata, flowers throughout summer.

Each bloom has four yellow petals, with one orange/red petal.  This is a very drought-tolerant small tree with few requirements from the gardener–except to enjoy.

Another great small native tree is the Desert Willow, Chilopsis linearis.  Related to the Retama, it has an open, airy form with lush, trumpet-shaped flowers.

The Pride of Barbados or Dwarf Poinciana (which is what I grew up calling it), Caesalpinia pulcherrima, blooms magnificently in the hottest spots of any garden.

I have two of these beauties, neither of which grows in full sun. Each one produces 2 or 3 stalks with attendant flower clusters,

but the show is muted in comparison to Poinciana which grow in blasting sun.  Those Poinciana develop multiple branches with masses of blossoms–like this one.

Wow!! That is an absolute showstopper!  My bit-part Poinciana are nothing compared to this diva. This one (and a partner Poinciana) star in the full-sun garden of some lovely neighbors who live down the street.


I have Poinciana envy.

My Globe Mallow, Spaeralcea ambigua, sports blossoms this summer, which is unusual, but what a treat!

Typically, this woody shrub blooms in spring and fall, taking a rest during the heat of the summer  months.  Flowers this July are likely due to our earlier summer rains.

What’s blooming in your July garden? Share your bloom-palooza by visiting May Dreams Gardens for Bloggers’ Bloom Day!


16 thoughts on “Bloom Day, July 2014

  1. (cry) zip zero de nada. Nothing is blooming for me right now. I live in a dead zone for color — if you remove ‘green’ that is. I totally need some help finding flowers for deep shade and hellish heat. I think that is why I am a gardening blog junky — so I can vicariously enjoy other people’s flowers. I love love pickerel rush and waterlilies of course. Great shots. I do have an esperanza growing in this tiny corner of sun on the very edge of the property. It froze right to the ground and is astoningly way above my head now but no flowers … (sniff) 😉


    • Take heart on the Esperanza–they bloom up late in the season for me, except for that one. Have you tried Turk’s cap in shade? Or Columbine for spring? If you have deer and shade, that of course is a double whammy. There are also some native ruellia which can happen in shade and might be deer resistant. Salvia coccinea (Tropical sage) also–red and white. Oh, it’s hard for a flower-lover to have no flowers….


      • Oh dear. You should probably just ignore my whining hahaha. The problem of course is that this shady habitat is so radically wrong for plants that evolved to grow here. Trees didn’t make it to this size naturally (or least in such dense thickets) so the vast majority of native plants here are sun lovers or shade plants that grew along creeks where there was plenty of moisture. When the heat kicks in everything dries out quickly and the moisture that is available gets drawn into the trees. I do have columbine but it is ready to go to sleep. I have never been that much of a fan of turk’s cap. I’ve seen even good gardeners with leggy ragged versions so I am afraid to try it. (Because if -they- have trouble mine will look even worse is my thinking). I love ruellia: I have clumps of the short pink ones but they won’t bloom until much later. I think I am just going to have to enjoy the shade — and when it is this hot maybe SHADE isn’t all bad =)


      • That’s probably the attitude to have, Debra. When I lust after the full-sun gardens that I see in Texas, either in real life or in blogs, I remind myself how hot those gardens must be and I’m thankful for the cooling trees on my property.


  2. The Poincianas? Tecoma stans? I’ve killed them all, some of them more than once. I believe it was a combination of them not getting enough sun followed by too cold winters for plants that weren’t well established enough. At least those are my “excuses” and I’m standing by them. So you think you have poinciana envy? You have no idea…

    That reminds me to go check on my daylily that I keep having to transplant as each area I’ve chosen for it moves into progressively more shade as the trees grow. I realize it is not time to move it now but I’ll need to set aside a sunnier spot even if it means creating one. I love those orange blooms and wouldn’t they be great close to purple coneflowers! Hmmmm.

    Great post as always – love the close shots and love-love-LOVE your pond lilies. Those flowers have always stolen my heart even though I’ve never had a pond here. Some day!!!


    • I resisted building a pond for the longest time; I thought it would be too much work. But it’s been one of the best gardening decisions I’ve made and I wish I’d done it sooner. It’s not much work, except for that one day of cleaning in February-ish. At the next house, (which may well be in Oregon….), a water feature will be one of the first things I build. You may be colder on the outskirts than I am in central Austin, so I guess your more tender perennials are trickier to get through winters.


      • Checked the day lily – no sign at all of a bloom stalk. Either mine is running late (which happens all the time) or it is struggling due to a lack of sun. I’ve got a spot all picked out for it in a sunnier corner and plan to move it this Fall and plant a coneflower close by to see if I can get them to bloom together. I’d consider that a huge victory and the sting of losing the blooming trees would fade a little further. : )


  3. Gorgeous!
    You have so much more blooming, than we do here.
    Poinciana…never connected Pride of Barbados to them. But, thinking back to visiting my mother-in-law in south Florida, they were everywhere…big trees, though. Beautiful.
    Hope the one I planted this spring will bloom sometime soon.


    • Oh, I hope it grows for you! I wish I had a better (more sun) spot for the two I have, but I’ll take what I’ve got! I usually call that plant Pride of Barbados; I’d forgotten that another name was Poinciana and it’s what my mother referred to them as.


  4. Pride of Barbados and Tecoma stans both die back to the roots every winter in my Coastal Plain climate. They finally make an appearance in late May when I’ve given up hope and by July start to make a show. I started more Caesalpinia from seed two years ago and am anxiously awaiting the first blooms on these seedlings. I see buds!

    Your water lilies are exquisite.


    • Both of those plants die back for us as well, if we have a cold enough winter. Like you, I eagerly await their blooms, too! Enjoy! The water lilies are so fun and are always in bloom, it seems.


  5. A great selection of Texas-tough plants. I saw several Pride of Barbados blooming in semi-shade earlier today so they can adapt pretty well.

    Those water plants are so gorgeous and just might get me to consider a pond (again) after some not so successful efforts at it the last few years.


    • I’d encourage you to build a pond, Shirley. It’s so rewarding and truly, not that much work. The Pride of Barbados, aka Poinciana are just beautiful, aren’t they??


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