Come September, gardens and gardeners in Austin, Texas, zone 8b, breathe a sigh of *qualified* relief, thankful that we’re mostly through the long hot, the searing sun, and the toasty dry. Come September, very welcome rain usually occurs and even a couple of lame cool fronts puff through, cooling things off (however briefly) and all but ending the truly hot and ushering in the merely warm. It is still warm, downright hot many afternoons, but our second spring–a flush of autumn blooming–is just beginning.
Turk’s cap, Malvaviscus arboreus, blooms from early May until November, but peak in floriferousness (turns out, that’s a word!) during the last few months of their bloom cycle, just in time for migrating monarchs and ready-to-migrate hummingbirds.
Accompanying the Turk’s cap during the long growing season are potted bougainvillea, a Mexican feather grass, and an American agave–sun worshipers, all.
Rock rose, Pavonia lasiopetala, rests during July and August, gifting to the gardener only a stingy few shockingly pink delights during those hot months. But add a little rain and the pink petals produce a pow-wow.
Late summer rain sets these lovelies up for a profusion of tiny flowers until the days are short and cool and their blooming cycle is complete for the year.
Mexican orchid tree, Bauhinia mexicana, have an on-and-off bloom cycle, except from late July and through hot August when this native of northern Mexico enjoys a bit of a siesta during the hottest time of the year. As soon as the weather patterns gentle up the blooms bust out.
Busting out is also a good description of the masses of frothy pink bloom clusters that Barbados cherry, Malpighia glabra, produce after some needed precipitation.
Most of the year, this large shrub lacks these floral decorations and is green, dense and provides good cover for birds, lizards, and other assorted critters. But with spring and fall rains, blooms develop (to the cheers of the gardener) followed by luscious red fruits (favored by many birds). The dainty clusters attract all sorts of pollinators and fill the air with a fragrance reminiscent of baby powder.
A pretty plant which provides so much for so many. Win!
I’m linking with Carol at May Dreams Gardens for her monthly bloom huzzah. Check out her blog for more bloomin’ love!