As May Comes to a Close


In a stroll around the garden toward the end of May, it’s clear that it’s been humid and drippy here in Austin, Texas.

May (and April!) rains have given rise to a powerful, flowerful show.

Rose of Sharon, Althea (Hibiscus syriacus)

Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Clasping coneflower (Dracopis amplexicaulis) and Nuri the Cat

Lots of cloudy days–unusual here in sunshiny Texas–have provided nice light for the blooms and photographs of those blooms.

Big red sage (Salvia penstemonoides)

Turk’s cap (Malvaviscus arboreus)

Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata)

Clasping coneflower

Pink Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea)

Colors are richer when the Texas sun-blast is diffused by clouds.

Sunshine has crossed the garden, brightening some days, or parts of days,

…and enticing bees to action.

Engelmann’s daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) with visiting metallic sweat bee

Heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata) with honeybee

The honeybees of my hive, Scar, are quieter this past month–only working when there are no raindrops to dodge.

Mild temperatures and plenty of moisture allowed for new growth on the roses,

…and full-to-bursting gardens.

May is typically a wet month for us here in Central Texas–downright floody at times. But this May, at least thus far, it’s just been grey, damp, and steamy.

Very steamy.

Some autumn bloomers thought it was just fine to test out the late spring air and send forth a sampling of fall floral scouts.

White mistflower (Ageratina havanensis)

Gregg’s mistflower (Conoclinium greggii)

Those two perennials will bloom prolifically in September, October, and November–after they conquer the summer months.

Summer blooming trees have kicked into action,

Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis)

Desert willow with a backdrop of American sycamore

…adding dollops of color to the palette of arboreal green.

I grew up in Texas and am mostly comfortable with the long, toasty summers; I develop goose bumps when it’s below 60 degrees F/15.5 degrees C.  However, I must admit to a love/hate relationship with the Texas summer season–both dreading the long, hot, and sticky, while at the same time, reveling in the abundant flower show and the wildlife which typically accompanies that show.

Rock penstemon (Penstemon baccharifolius)

Left-to-right: purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Iris, potted Color guard yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’),  potted Ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense). Bottom: foliage of Blue mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum)

Engelmann daisy, Heartleaf skullcap, Purple coneflower

But in the end, it doesn’t matter whether I like or dislike summer–it’s well on its way.

As May draws to a close, we’ll mark Memorial Day on Monday, May 29–remembering those who’ve served this country.

Blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)


Then, schools will dismiss for summer vacation and we’ll move into a different sort of busy in our lives.

Hill country penstemon (Penstemon triflorus)

Wishing a good and safe end to May–and a happy summer to come.

27 thoughts on “As May Comes to a Close

  1. What a gorgeous post! 83 degrees outside just now with 82 percent humidity… It “feels like” 93 my computer assures me. Ugh. I’d spotted a stinkbug youngster, bright orange, on a flower, and sure enough when I looked closely there were many MANY more on other flowers close by. Out came the soapy bath and though several escaped to tell the tale, I reduced their numbers a bit. The heat, humidity and stinkbugs combine to assure me summer, once a promise, is now realized.

    I hope you and yours have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day weekend.


  2. Why thank you, Ms. Deb! it is SO humid. Ugh! I grew up in Corpus Christi and it feels like that– without the sea breezes and the beach! I’m also noticing a few bad buggies, though not as many as I did this time last year, but I suppose there’s still time! I haven’t seen as many bees and butterflies, though, and that’s a disappointment. And, the same to you, vis-a-vis, Memorial weekend.


  3. Wow! What a collection you have and it all fits together so beautifully. I love the clasping cone flower. I have seen it at the WFC but not in the wild. Did you buy seed? I might have to try it next year. All this rain has made it easier on the plants this year-or at least so far but the humidity has been tough on the gardener.


    • Thank you, Jenny. It’s been a really lovely spring, don’t you agree? The Clasping coneflower seeds were given to me by the most lovely TexasDeb of Austin Agrodolce. I’ll save some seeds for you, if you’d like. I’ve really enjoyed them this year–I hope they make an encore appearance next year.


  4. Tina all your garden is magnificent. There are dozens of wonderful flowers and all in bloom with spectacular colors. All I really like your flowers and your cat Nuri. Bees eating flowers is perfect. I wish you a good day on Monday 29 May on Memorial Day. Margarita Greetings from Spain.


    • Thanks, Allison. One of the aspects of garden blogging that I most enjoy is learning the diversity of what gardeners can and do grow in their respective homelands and regions. Enjoyable (and sometime jealousy inducing 🙂 )!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How beautiful is that Desert willow! I have to say Tina that your garden looks for me like being in a sort of eternal summer 🙂


    • I LOVE the Desert willow–such a lovely tree. The flowers always have native and honey bees around them, though usually toward the top of the tree. I think they’re getting tired of me. 🙂 As for “eternal summer”–trust me when I say that it will certainly feel that way by August.


  6. Wonderful summery pictures (I was especially fascinated by the desert willow). We could do with your temperatures here at the moment (or maybe not) … Summer vacation starts really early with you! Is that because of the heat?


    • Thanks, Cathy. The Desert willow is a definite favorite of mine. The too-long summer vacation (early let out, especially) is a vestige of the rural past in the south. Kids were let out of school to work on farms. Never mind that we’re an urban society now, we haven’t changed the school calendar substantially. In more northern states, they tend to let out mid-June and my son attends college on the West Coast–he won’t finish his spring quarter until mid-June. There’s a bit of variably throughout the country on that.

      Liked by 1 person

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