Bejeweled

Early in the morning, the inflorescence of a Pride of Barbados, Caesalpinia pulcherrima, is bejeweled.

Crystalline droplets adorn the junctions of peduncle (the main stem of the inflorescence) and pedicels (stems bearing the terminal blooms).  Closed buds–with their promises of floral beauty and pollinator sustenance–echo the water droplets in spherical contrast to the peduncle and pedicels.

The water jewels are ephemeral, soon eclipsed by opened blooms.

I’m delighted to join in today with Anna’s Wednesday Vignette.  Pop on over and check out other garden and nature musings.

 

Bloom Day, August 2014

Celebrating August blooms,  I’m thanking Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this fun flower meme.   With sporadic rains and relatively mild temperatures this summer, there are fewer burnt-toast blossoms in Austin’s August.

My Mexican Orchid Tree, Bauhinia mexicana, has bloomed on and off all summer.

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Elegant, snowy blossoms cool a shady spot on hot Texas afternoons. These flowers are  a favorite of Black Swallowtail Butterflies.

In stark contrast with the white Mexican Orchid, but also favored by butterflies, is the Pride of BarbadosCaesalpinia pulcherrima.  Tropical-hot orange and yellow,

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… these drama queens thrive in the heat.

Royal SageSalvia guaranitica, blooms stunningly in early and mid-spring, but not as commonly though summer.

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This year though,  a smattering of midnight blue gorgeousness has graced the two royal specimens in my gardens.

With multiple flowers opening everyday, the Lemon Rose MallowHibiscus calyphyllus dances through August.

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Flouncing her petals open in the mornings, sashaying during afternoon breezes and bowing to heat at the end of the day, this mallow is a consummate performer.

The  blooms of Coral VineAntigonon leptopus, form on lacy loops along climbing tendrils.

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I’ll replace its trellis next winter when this tropical, but hardy-for-the-Austin area herbaceous perennial freezes to the ground.

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The trellis is a bit wonky, even for me.  The honeybees and I eagerly await the apex of Coral Vine’s blossoming period–soon, very soon!!

A close-up of a coral  Autumn SageSalvia greggii, flower,

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…it belongs to a woody shrub native to Texas which produces a variety of colors.  I like this soft coral pink–it’s the best blooming salvia in my gardens this year.

The bright red Martha Gonzales Rose, Rosa ‘Martha Gonzales’, flowers throughout summer.

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I wish mine received a little more sun–it would bloom even more.  This is a terrifically tough antique rose for Central Texas.

The Mexican HoneysuckleJusticia spicigera, returned full-force after our hard winter.

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It’s orange clusters await early fall visits by butterflies and the occasional hummingbird.

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The shrub is covered in tubular goodness now and that’s likely to continue into the fall months.

This pairing of pink and blue is too sweet!

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The creeping groundcover, Leadwort Plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, produces sky blue florets,

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…which beautifully complement the small periscope blooms atop the stems of Pink Skullcap, Scutellaria suffrutescens.

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And still screaming: Summer! Summer! Summer!–is the sunflower de jour.

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Or rather, sunflower de l’ete.

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While new flowers open daily,

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…those spent blossoms that have gone to seed are providing yummy munchies for the local finches.

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Happy finch!

Visit May Dreams Gardens for more blooming beauties this Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Sniff.

I have Poinciana envy.

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

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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.

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