Bloom Day, August 2008

Well, there’s no huge show going on right now, especially in the back yard, but in the sunny front yard, the new garden is filling in.

For instance, the datura.  There are six datura in the front yard, and right now, they’re all blooming like crazy.  The scent is amazing.  Here’s a long shot down the front porch, where the first three plants are.  I have to admit that I didn’t expect them to get this huge:

This datura is from Diana of Sharing Nature’s Garden, and it started blooming just in time for Bloom Day. I’m guessing it’s a different variety than the ones I got from Barton Springs Nursery, since it’s much more compact and better-behaved, and I’d describe the scent as more melon than lemon. I quite like it. I’m going to have to save some seeds from this one to try in the backyard.

A comparison in flower sizes with the BSN datura:

Sweet Almond Verbena, formerly in a pot on the back deck. Can you believe this baby was only a foot and a half tall back in May? I’d estimate that it’s at least six feet tall now; it’s certainly taller than me. It’s a more awkward-looking bush than I expected, but the flowers smell heavenly. I’m thinking about training it into a tree form:

“Son of Bubba” desert willow. And yes, I bought it because of the name.

Pioneer rose “Thomas Affleck,” being completely worry-free, as usual:

The one section of the backyard that I’ve been watering faithfully in this heat. Sadly, the second flush of roses missed Bloom Day by about ten days and now it’s just shades of green and grey with the occasional bit of purple foliage thrown in:

The half-completed front bed is filling in, although I’m gnashing my teeth over the inability of any trailing plants to actually grow to cover up those el cheapo landscape bricks without smothering everything within five square feet. Next year, I tell you, next year! I’m rooting many, many ice plants along the edge as we speak. Also, I feel the need to mention that I’ve gained a new respect for Pam’s ability to take stunning pictures of her front yard that don’t feature her neighbors’ cars:

A favorite combo (for me and the many neighborhood cats) of catmint, Russian sage, and Pink Knockout. Not terribly original, but I like it:


Duchesse de Brabant, a bit past her peak:

One tough plant! The common name is “Bluebeard,” but I need to dig through my huge pile of plant tags to find the botanical name. This is the one thing that remained uncharred in a bed that I kept forgetting to water. And it was mostly in the shade of some volunteer sunflowers, and I’m pretty sure that this plant is supposed to want part-sun. Color me impressed, and I love the blue-purple hue. I’m going to have to get my hands on more of this:

And as usual, moss verbena and blackfoot daisy are still going strong.  I love both of these plants!
And that’s my Bloom Day.  As another Austin garden blogger commented, the macro lens IS my friend!  ;D

About The Gardener of Good & Evil

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21 Responses to Bloom Day, August 2008

  1. Your blog title made me smile. Enjoyed your GBBD post. What is that dark leafed plant in your front bed?–Curmudgeon

  2. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Lori, you do have some lovely blooms despite the heat and drought! The Bluebeard is known botanically as Caryopteris. I have several of them and am a little disappointed at the lack of blooms. They've had lots of buds for several weeks but they seem to have stalled at that point. Maybe I'll hit them with some fish emulsion & Superthrive.

  3. Lori says:

    Hey, Curmudgeon, thanks for visiting! That dark leafed plant is Ipomoea batatas. I have the dark purple variety, but it also comes in chartreuse and variegated forms. I got it in a little 4″ pot at Home Depot for two bucks a few months ago. Cindy – Thanks! I’ve been watering the new bed in the front regularly, so I’ve been fighting the heat more than the drought. Everything should be established by next year so I hopefully won’t have to be out there every morning hand-watering. Thanks for the ID on the Bluebeard– I really wasn’t feeling eager to wade through my pile o’ plant tags. Are you guys getting rain in Katy? Maybe that’d motivate yours to bloom. 🙂

  4. getgrounded says:

    That Datura is gorgeous! I bought a brugmansia for the first time this year, but alas, no blooms. After seeing your passalong plant, I think I planted the wrong thing. Yours is outstanding, and I’ll bet the scent is glorious. Good job with all the bulbs, and nice pics to boot.Robin at Getting Grounded

  5. getgrounded says:

    Oops, typo in my previous comment (I’m multitasking way too much!). I meant, good job with all your blooms, and nice pics to boot.Robin

  6. Diana says:

    Oh Lori – how cool! I’ve never seen one of my passalongs in a blog before and I was so tickled! I’m glad they worked for you – mine are growing like crazy. I just love their wild abandon. I’d love to see the garden filling in since I was last over there.

  7. Pam/Digging says:

    Wow, six daturas! And all in bloom? You need to throw a little evening party to share the wealth of fragrance and beauty, Lori. 😉 Thanks for the compliment about the car-free photos, but I thought it was funny that on my post that you linked to, there was my neighbor’s car in the picture. Ha! My best defense against cars is to shoot high and aim the camera down, and of course cropping is my friend. (Macros too.)

  8. You are making Daturas look very tempting, Lori! And I’m impressed that you have 6 of them at once, instead of doing the “bitty garden”/one-of-each-plant thing that I’m guilty of. You’ve got a lot of cool plants in your GBBD post. No caryopteris here at present, but I have fond memories of one with golden foliage in a border of dark blues and lemons and silvers. We also have had no rain- guess I’d better water the containers, at least. It’s usually our own cars that are the problem in front yard photos, but neighbors’ cars and trash cans can be a problem. Sometimes it has to be Photoshop Elements to the rescue ;-]Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. Bob says:

    It’s amazing that Daturas blooms smell so good but squeeze a leaf and smell it and it is horrible.Remember that even the fumes of Daturas are poisonous. Be careful dead heading as my mother would always get headaches when she dead headed hers.Even though, I still have to grow them every year. Have you seen the purple and white double bloom Daturas? Not as aromatic or as poisonous but even more beautiful.

  10. Lori says:

    getgrounded – It’s funny that you say that, because I came THISCLOSE to getting a brugmansia instead of datura. The tiebreaker was that I could get six datura in 4″ pots for the price of one fancy brugmansia. And you’re right– the datura scent is glorious! 🙂Diana – I’ve been waiting and waiting for your datura to bloom. For a while I was afraid I’d killed it, since it wilted and then took a week or so to perk back up despite my trying to bribe it into happiness with SuperThrive. As for the front bed, boy, is it filling in, finally. I can’t wait till it cools off enough for me to start digging again and finish the project.Pam – I know, six daturas are kind of excessive, aren’t they? I blame Barton Springs Nursery for selling them in 4″ pots for cheap. The nice thing about six is that the combined scent is heady like jasmine and hovers over the front yard from dusk until 8:30 in the morning. As for your current car photos, heehee! And I note that at least you’re lucky enough to have neighbors who don’t drive giant pickup trucks in colors that clash with every single in your front yard. 😉Annie – I know, six daturas is kind of crazy, but they were on sale and I’d been wanting to try them for ages, and then Diana aided and abetted me. I wasn’t expecting to get so obsessed with datura, but every night I’m out there sticking my nose in the flowers. I just have to be careful that there aren’t bees napping in there– they seem to enjoy the big white trumpets as much as I do! As for the cars, at least mine is green and matches the rest of the landscape, right? If I squint a little it could almost pass for a hedge on wheels. ;DBob – I wasn’t sure whether it was a good thing to plant datura in the front yard because of its poisonous qualities, but I read somewhere that most of the poison is concentrated in the seeds, so I’ve been very careful about deadheading, just in case. As for the double, purple-leafed variety, I’m going to have to find some seeds and give it a try. It looks like a fancy brugmansia, and I’ve had much better luck so far with datura than with brugmansia!Thanks for visiting, everyone!

  11. Lots of lovely blooms despite the heat. I love the datura-such a perfect flower. The largest of the native flowers I believe.

  12. getgrounded says:

    Lori, You mentioned wanting a Snail Vine like I got from Natural Gardener, but worried they might be out of stock. Just want to let you know I was by there today, picking up my second new favorite vine, a Rangoon Creeper (which they have lots of), and they still have about 10 Snail Vines for 6.99. Go get one! It is so gorgeous!Robin at Getting Grounded

  13. Carol says:

    Your gardens look wonderful, no small feat on your part I’m sur given the heat and drought in Austin. I’m impressed by the Datura as well. Thanks for joining in for bloom day.Carol, May Dreams Gardens(you commented about my grapes… I remember seeing grapes at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center so I bet there are some that would grow in your Austin garden…)

  14. getgrounded says:

    Lori,I was drooling over your daturas and roses again this morning, and looked more closely at some of your pics. Your photo with the pond in it looks familiar to me – similar to a house I walk by in my neighborhood. Do you happen to live in Westcreek?Robin at Getting Grounded

  15. Love your daturas, they’re so nice and compact and covered in flowers. It’s a pity we don’t have a scratch and sniff thingy on our pc’s. 😉 I like your rose Duchess de Brabant a ;lot and also her name as I live in the province of Brabant and have a rose called Honorine de Brabant. What’s in a name, eh? 😉

  16. Lori says:

    lancashire rose – Thanks! I had no idea of that fun fact about the datura. The blooms were far bigger than I was expecting.getgrounded – I made it to The Natural Gardener on Thursday right before they closed and now I have a Snail Vine of my own. Now if only I can make up my mind about where to plant it! By the way, I’m a little south of Wm Cannon, so I’m not in Westcreek, which is north of Wm Cannon and south of 290, right? I take it that you live in that area? If so, you live five minutes from me!carol – I saw some grapes growing at The Natural Gardener last week, though none of the vines seemed to have any fruit. But I was in a huge hurry since they were about to close, but I’ll be sure to ask about growing grapes in central Texas the next time I’m there. Between you and Yolanda Elizabet, I’ve got this image in my head of walking out the door and picking dessert off the vine. 🙂yolanda elizabet – I’ve wondered whether all of those roses with “Brabant” in their names originated in that provence. I love my Duchess, and other than our “Brabants,” our gardens also share Madame Alfred Carriere, although mine is much, much smaller. My goal is to see my roses look as voluptuous as yours someday!

  17. Hi, Lori,Your daturas are gorgeous. I can’t advise on the wintering over of the brug b/c this is my first venture. So far all I can say is that it takes a lot of water; I feed bi-weekly. I really want to try putting it in the ground to over winter. I’ve seen one in the ground in West Austin on Scenic Dr. and maybe with a little coddling it could take the winter. My yard is very protected. As trees they are spectacular in bloom, literally dripping with trumpets.

  18. Wow! Those Datura look spectacular! I have a few varieties but not that one.Mine are lavender in color or creamy yellow doubles. Do you ever trade seeds? Let me know if you would be open to a trade. I’m a zone 10 gardener.Enjoy today~Karrita

  19. BLOOM DAY! this day will always make me thankful of everything God has given us..the beauty of nature.

  20. cheap viagra says:

    this first flower is known in my country as “reina de la noche” a very popular hallucinogen used by silly teenagers.

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