Saturday, August 10, 2013

What's Living in My North TX Garden in the HOT Season 2013? Survival of the Fittest!




I don't even want to go out in my yard during this time of the year in North Texas - it is absolutely miserable.  When I do make it out it is usually after 7:00 pm.  However, in the interest of keeping up with my garden diary, I decided I needed to check things out so here goes.

Cottontail Bunnies come out in the backyard in the early morning and late evening. 

A male Cardinal visiting my backyard.

Close up shot of Flame Acanthus - Hummingbirds love it and it is very drought tolerant - see more below!

Flame Acanthus in back, Salvia Greggii in front.



Silverado Sage in bloom!



Sage in front - Althea in back.  Both are very drought tolerant.

Close up of an Althea bloom (also called Rose of Sharon) - they attract Hummingbirds.


Salvia Greggii

Butterfly Weed


Crinum Lily















Vitex has a few blooms left that still attract hummingbirds.


My Silverado Sage had many beautiful blooms covering them last week and they attracted many Bumble Bees and Honey Bees.  See the beautiful pollen sacks on both kinds of Bees!









There are a lot of wasps this season.



I saw a female Ruby Throated Hummingbird visiting my Flame Acanthus this morning!






I also found a beautiful Garden Spider this morning!  See her beautiful zig zag on the web.  She will catch a lot of pests.



Turk's Cap is very drought tolerant and attracts Hummingbirds.


Trumpet Vine is also very hardy and attracts hummingbirds.


The Vegetable Garden has a few tough plants producing during the hot season.

Cantaloupes




Harvest from 8/3/13


The tomato plants look ratty - but are still producing some tomatoes.  The tomatoes are not perfect though - they have big cracks at the top.

Harvested 8/11/13


Cinnamon Basil is in full bloom now with Marigolds (planted to ward off garden pests) in the back.

Bell Peppers are in full production now.  Swiss Chard is in the back. 

Banana Peppers are also producing heavily now.

Okra loves the heat.  Our problem is we don't harvest it frequently enough and it gets too big to eat real fast.

See an Okra bloom - it looks similar to a hibiscus.



I still have a few blossoms on the one lone squash plant that the squash bugs and heat didn't get.




The Eggplants have a lot of fruit - but they are very small and tough now.

Cucumbers are starting slow down in production but we still get a couple every day.








The pink and yellow Lantana is still blooming.  It also attracts Hummingbirds and Butterflies.

I have the Lantana planted underneath the dark red Crepe Myrtle.  Crepe Myrtles are very drought tolerant and bloom during the hottest time of the summer - I counted and have realized that I planted 22  - I now think I went overboard.




Lots of Rose Hips were produced this year after the spring bloom.  Rose Hips are typically produced on Antique Roses.
 They have lots of Vitamin C.

I have planted quite a few Cactus and Agave since they don't need much water.

Cow's Tongue Prickly Pear - this is a large and very vicious plant.

Blue Salvia variety - it is still blooming in the heat and attracts Hummingbirds!

Spineless Prickly Pear with sage behind it.

Crepe Myrtle and Althea in bloom.



Potted plants around the garden.  I chose cactus so I don't have to water them regularly.

Hen and Chicks (Sempervium) in a pot.

My Front Porch - see my huge Aloe Vera in a pot.  I have had this plant for 20 years.


See green spider on front porch.


I'm ending this post with a hope for cooler weather!  We planted some Squash for a fall crop - see it coming up!