A lot of people here in Central Texas believe we have only two seasons: Summer and Not Summer. It does feel that way.
This morning the temperature dipped below 70 for the first time in months, and I overheard a little boy outside my children’s school complaining to his mother about the cold. He wanted a jacket. It’ll be 85 by afternoon, though, so he’ll be okay. We won’t be hanging out in the high 60’s until sometime in November.
Now that I have a garden I realize that we do have four seasons here. You just have to be paying attention.
Do you remember Byeya’s irises in the Spring?
Here’s the same bed now, completely swallowed in lantana. I can’t even see the irises they’re so buried.
It’s a symbiotic relationship because the irises hate full sun, the lantana loves it, and during the summer the lantana provides shade for the irises. Look how it has taken over to the point of encroaching on the path. Three months from now the lantana will be dead woody stalks.
Speaking of dead woody stalks, check out the yucca:
In Spring it sends up a green stalk from its center and flowers at the top. Now the stalk is dead. I’ll snap it off when I dead-head everything at the end of Winter.
The end of Summer is blooming time for Mexican heather:
I love purple flowers. This year I’ve noticed some new wildflowers I haven’t seen before:
I wish I knew how to photograph them to do them justice. They’re very ethereal looking, like fairy tutus. I know that sounds stupid, but that’s what I thought of when I spotted them this morning. There’s a very airy, gauzy look to them. Here’s a close-up:
The fine little hairs make me think of ears.
The Copper Canyon daisy is taking over its bed like it does at this time of year. It’s the green plant in the upper right of the picture. By Halloween it will be completely covered in yellow flowers and about twice as big as it is now. Those little bushes will be buried underneath.
The dwarf nandina are telling me that Summer is ending. They are starting to turn red.
The holly berries are on the bushes, although they’re still green.
I’m sorry to tell you that I can’t remember the name of the plant in the foreground with its wonderful red blooms.
Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there.
My arthritic, bushy little live oak is producing acorns.
This little flowering annual whose name I’ve forgotten loves its location in front of the patio. Behind it is the overturned inflatable kiddie pool. If that isn’t a sign that summer is ending, I don’t know what is.
My wild lantana wants to put up an argument. “Look! There’s still a hammock up!” it says.
Right next to it, however, the redbud is losing its leaves.
It may still feel like Summer, but the plants are telling us that Fall is on the way.