Monday, October 21, 2013

October Color

   The weather has been WONDERFUL ! The colors are really responding. I know all of your gardens are too, but let me share a few of my current performers.

Fall Aster-Symphyotrichum oblongifolium
 Mexican Bush Sage-Salvia leucantha

   Every time I go to a favorite , out of the way nursery in Waco, Bonnie`s Greenhouse, the owner usually gives me a small plant as a freebie. I ask what a particular, small 4 inch pot was and she told me it was African Blue basil. She said I would love it, so I took it home and popped it into an out of the way small nook near the pool. It has rewarded me with rapid growth and constant blooms since April. The bees love it. Here are a couple of shots with the pollinators busy.

Ocimum kilimandscharicum

   The cacti are even putting on color.

Nipple Cactus-Coryphantha sulcata

 Wavy leaf Cactus-Opuntia?

   Scarlet sage is scattered all around my landscape but most of it is past it`s prime ,as I have failed to cut it back for it`s third round of bloom. There is one volunteer clump that arose in one of the places the chicken tractor was parked and it`s growth is large  and lush as one might expect, given the extra nitrogen.

Salvia coccinea

Dorothy Borders of Gardening With Nature turned me on to Chili Pequin in one of her posts. I planted it in the worst of the heat wave and gave a it a little extra shade for few weeks. It has settled in quickly and is a fun plant to grow and to look at. I haven`t seen the birds on it yet, but Dorothy says they love it.

  Another all summer long-into -the-Fall performer has been the Narrowleaf Zinnia that I got from two packages of seed I bought at Great Outdoors in Austin, It can`t be found up here in local nurseries and I`m hoping that the seed heads will work for next year. I`ve really enjoyed it. I think Shirley`s Rock-Oak-Deer is the first place  I saw it. Thanks ,Shirley !

   There are a lot more great plants showing well in the gardens now, these are only a few of my favorites now. I`ll be back soon for a look at the grasses in the wild patches and in the gardens. They are beginning to make their own show. It`s easy to smile now that the weather has cooled and the rains have come in abundance. Let`s keep praying that nature is finally going to end this years long drought .


  1. This is the most amazing time of year for blooms in Texas. Your asters are especially beautiful. Narrowleaf zinnia should return for you either from seed or as a perennial depending on the winter. Thanks for the mention Randy!

  2. Thanks, Shirley, and thank you for your wonderful blog. It has helped me so much.

  3. Lots still growing for you Randy. Love the leaves of that basil.

    1. If that Basil doesn`t come back from roots, I will surely buy another. I really like it Maybe a mass next year.

  4. Randy, you have lots of color in your garden now. We received a nice rain last night. Hope you got some too. I notice a mockingbird picking some red peppers off my chili pequin a couple of days ago. The pick them and swallow them whole.

    1. We got an excellent rain Satuyrday nite and I think i`ve seen more of it in the last six weeks than all of last and this year combined! Regardless, this is the best period wqe have had in over 3 years. Yes, am enjoying the pequin a lot.

  5. Your flowers look great, Randy. It's so nice that after suffering with heat and drought all summer you finally get to enjoy some decent temperatures and flowers. The Scarlet Sage and Zinnia are doing so great, I'm going to try a little Zinnia next year. I have a chicken and a duck tractor, they really improve our grass. We are using them on some new parts of our yard that are overrun with dandelions, and hope all the fertilizer will give the grass an edge, since our main lawn that has been used as chicken pasture has almost none. The little pepper is cute, is it edible? It seems most of the ornamental peppers are not edible or at least don't taste good.

  6. I do believe the peppers are edible, but I`ll pass. :) Will have to restock the chickens next spring. The racoons ate all of mine in September! They manage to dig under the tractor. so I may have to go to a coop.

  7. I would eat those peppers... One added to a small batch of re-fried beans sounds about right,,,
    How does Hannah define inedible?
    Recently identified a pseudo capsaicin for someone... he talked about the berries being hot... That one isn't supposed to be edible...

    Really like the blue basil... Perennial... too bad that it's said to taste too strongly of camphor to be useful in the kitchen...

  8. I`m not big on peppers, my Dad was a sadistic sort that would slip them into your mashed potatoes..:)