Snow On The Mountain: Strictly Out Of The Ordinary

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata) is one of the few late summer plants that grows well in my garden. They’ve been in bloom for a couple of weeks now, adding at least a little color to my barren landscape. For information on this flower please see my post from earlier this year.

The close-up below highlights the intricate detail of the plant’s small flower clusters.

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)

Here’s an even closer view. These flowers measure only about 3/8 of an inch across. If you don’t look closely at this plant you might miss the blooms altogether, as the most striking part of it remains the variegated white and green leaves.

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)

The seeds of Euphorbia marginata take a while to form and dry. I usually end up picking the small pods off the plant and crushing them so I can drop the seeds where I’d like them to come up. The number of plants that come up in my garden doesn’t change much from one year to the next, so I’m guessing the rate of germination for these seeds isn’t very high.

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)

Though small, the flowers do attract pollinators. Most of my plants, as they get larger, seem to be inhabited by a spider or two, also.

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata) is a great addition to any garden, especially for those of us who must put up with hot, dry summers. They’re drought-tolerant and at this time of the year they brighten up an area that has reverted to mostly foliage.

Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Snow On The Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)

Twilight Zone Of Summer

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call…..the twilight zone.” (Introduction to “The Twilight Zone” TV series)

…and that’s where my garden is right now — in the twilight zone of summer! It’s in a place “between light and shadow”, striving to survive the hottest and driest part of the year in North Texas, and it’ll remain that way at least through the end of August if not longer. It’s a time when most annuals have already withered away, perennials are struggling to survive and the greens of spring are rapidly disappearing.

Since my garden and I are currently in this zone, I decided to post a montage of some of the flowers that graced my landscape during the spring along with a few that are still blooming, albeit somewhat reluctantly! Just a bit of nostalgia…sigh.

Our strange gardening year continues, weather-wise. Oh! If we were only blessed with periodic rain showers instead of one and done storm events! The month of May brought us 17 inches of drought-busting rain in a seemingly continuous onslaught. June brought us 4.19 inches, slightly above the monthly average, but most of it fell during one week in the middle of the month. So far in July we’ve received 2.59 inches, a full inch over our monthly average, but again most of it fell during a brief period earlier this month. Even with this rain huge cracks mottle the ground, which is parched and concrete-hard though moisture lurks below.

Will we have a wet Autumn? Hopefully. I’ve read that the effects of El Niño will continue through this Winter and may actually last into early Spring of 2016. Of course, that prognostication could go by the wayside at the snap of a finger, but it’s cheering to the soul to think we might enjoy an above average abundance of rainfall and slightly colder cooler less hot weather well into next year.

What a difference four years makes. The 2011 calendar year (the first official year of our drought) saw 12.97 inches of rain and 100 days of temperatures reaching at least 100°F. This year, through July 18, we’ve received 31.89 inches of rain and have had 0 (zero, zip, zilch) 100°F days. Texas weather. What can I say?

Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

A pair of hummingbirds have been hanging around the neighbor’s Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans). They ignore my feeders but they love these blossoms. Can you blame them? I’m going to hazard a guess and say this is a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris).

Here’s a close-up.

Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

She doesn’t seem to mind the twilight zone my garden has disappeared into. I don’t really mind either, as I’ve become accustomed to it over the years. I just miss the daily enjoyment of getting out amongst the plants, digging in the dirt and watching nature take its course. But the dog days of summer won’t last forever — only 67 days until the first day of Autumn!

Wordless Wednesday: Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Wordless Wednesday: Hoverfly On Larkspur

Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium consolida Rocket)
Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium consolida Rocket)