Wednesday, June 15, 2011

August in June garden bloggers' bloom day

The coleus I planted in this cool planter was ripped out by squirrels  within hours.
Today is this year's 11th day of triple-digit heat. Mid-June! And of course, Austin's still in an exceptional drought. I think the term "exceptional" is a little too cute for what is the most severe level of the drought o'meter, but no one asked me. Please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see other garden bloggers' blooms in more moderate climates!
My new favorite, bog sage. Thanks getting grounded
trailing verbena with a tiny bit of santolina (bottom right)
more trailing verbena
white gaura with a tiny dot of blue leadwort plumbago 
I don't care if plumbago is overused; it's a tough cool-colored winner.
White bougainvillea seems to love all this sun and heat. I do have to water it every other day.
Also blooming now (barely) are salvias, marigolds, zinnias, blackfoot daisies, lobelia, Turks' cap, and torenia

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

happy tomato report

Black Prince, Green Cherokee, Lemon Boy, Black Krim, Sungolds,  Habanero, Serranos
Despite the fact that Austin's drought has returned to the most extreme level, "exceptional"--we had two 100-degree days last week--we've managed to grow some darn pretty tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. I'm thrilled, especially because the Sungolds are the only variety I've grown before.

The Black Prince tomatoes have been the most prolific and are fairly tasty, although their skins are a little tough. The less prolific Black Krims are my idea of the almost-perfect heirloom: juicy, rich, a little smoky, a little sweet, somewhat tangy, with tender skin. Green Cherokee is tied for almost perfection with the Black Krim, just a little tangier.

The Lemon Boys are prolific and more acidic, less sweet. Today I picked my first precious Cherokee Purple from a plant given to me by the tomato queen, Renee Studebaker. It's ripening in the safety of my kitchen.
Juicy, thin-skinned Armenian cucumbers
Contender and Tavera bush beans
first-ever okra flower
I'm tempted to plant more okra next year just because the flowers are so beautiful! The squirrels have discovered the newer tomato beds and stolen a few green Lemon Boys, so we'll try the bird netting again this weekend. The drought seems to have chased off most of the leaf-footed stinkbugs at least.