Thursday, August 27, 2009
Can this be Autumn??
We've had some very strange weather here this summer. It's like we had August weather in June and June weather in August. The first six weeks of summer (as the weather guys determine summer - June through August) were blistering hot, triple digit temperatures and no rain. The last six weeks we've had rain, cool fronts, some dry air, and most recently, low temperatures in the 60's (or even high 50's!) and high temps in the 80's. Some plants that I normally see blooming in September are already blooming and some plants that shouldn't be doing anything at all are doing strange things. Let me take you on a tour.
The top photo is of my Wavy Leaf cactus. Normally it has blooms and new growth in the spring. But those two smaller pads are recent additions and notice the little bud on the left? It looks like the beginnings of a bloom to me!
Check out this Carnaby clematis. At this time of year it's barely hanging on. You can see all the brown, struggling vines behind this bloom. This bloom! It only blooms in the spring! Well, I guess I can't say that anymore.
Now here's something that should be doing its thing soon, Sweet Autumn Clematis. I think it's more or less on time.
Garlic chives start budding about now and come into their glory in September.
One thing I've started to realize about gardening here is that my peppers don't really do all that much until the end of the summer. Then in fall they really start growing. Above is my Poblano pepper plant. The peppers are never as huge or thick as the ones in the store. But I think they're cool looking nonetheless.
When I see my Autumn Joy Sedum start to bud out I know Fall is around the corner.
Ah, moonvine. Specifically ‘Giant White’ Moonflower. This vine has been growing and growing all summer and is finally starting to bloom. I hope to see some Sphinx Moths pollinating it so I sit outside in the strangely cool air in the evening. But so far, none. The Sphinx Moth comes from the dreaded hornworm, which I know was seen at some of my friends' homes. I never saw any here so I'm wondering if I'll see the moths. They're sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds because of their size.
Speaking of which, here's a little guy I managed to capture at my feeder. I'm wondering if he's the same one I rescued from one of my potted plants. One day recently I went to water my plant and heard this weird squeaking as I watered it. It took a few seconds before I realized there was a little hummingbird lying on it's back among the leaves. I picked it up and tried to warm it with my hands. I think it hit the window and then fell into the plant. I didn't have a lot of hope for him because he looked so sad. So I made a little nest for him, put a lamp right next to it to warm him, and placed him in my storeroom so the neighborhood cats wouldn't get him. A little while later he flopped around and flew out. He had a tiny little touch of ruby on his throat, that's why I'm wondering if this is him. I'll never know but I do hope he survived.