Hovering into Summer time! | Central Texas Gardener
June 21, 2022
Hovering into Summer time!
Flamboyant datura beckons us out into summer season evenings as soon as the solar goes down, giving us a slight break from cruel warmth. Hawk moths dip into deep white trumpets by night time and bees sip by day. Within the beds past, hummingbirds dive into native turk’s cap flowers.
There are a number of species of datura. Mine is native D. wrightii that sprung up in Bastrop after the 2011 fires. Final 12 months, a buddy handed alongside seeds that I planted in a big terra cotta urn on my patio. Virtually every day I depend on the Wildflower Center’s extensive Native Plants of North America database for identifications and data.
All components of this intriguing plant are poisonous to individuals and pets, so please maintain that in thoughts. New seed pods appear like little dish scrubbers, tender and bouncy as toothbrush bristles. And probably irresistible for a curious toddler!
In maturity, the pods’ mighty thorns and exhausting coat defy fondling. Finally, they crack open to disclose their future. Good packing job, don’t you assume? It’s simple to see why they unfold so prolifically when situations swimsuit them.
As temperatures spike into record-breaking highs akin to 2011’s brutal climate, hummingbirds head to standing cypress’s flaming sizzling flowers.
Standing cypress is a local biennial that flowers, units seeds, and dies in its second 12 months. The buddy who dug this one up for me final 12 months tells me that I’ll get one other stalk of flowers if I minimize it again when it finishes. Sow seeds instantly in fall or begin as transplants to set out in fall or spring. In the proper situations, it would maintain seeding itself after that.
Though it looks like summer season’s been right here since December, native shrub flame acanthus heralded Tuesday’s summer season solstice to make it official.
Within the night, I watch hummingbirds dart forwards and backwards between it, the standing cypress, and turk’s caps. All these crops actually deal with scalding warmth and drought fairly effectively so long as they get slightly water. Presumably even more durable is tender groundcover snake herb (Dyschoriste linearis).
It’s formidable, however if you happen to’re in search of tremendous simple upkeep, evergreen low progress and talent to take some foot visitors, I extremely advocate this native for solar or half shade. Tiny flowers entice tiny pollinators late spring to early summer season.
Lately of hotter climate throughout, Pleasure of Barbados is a standard sight, even after harsh winters. There are such a lot of now even on my road that bees of all types don’t need to journey far.
A succulent beloved by bees and hummingbirds is native purple yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora), now nearly spent. There are a few completely different cultivars, together with ‘Brakelights’, which are extraordinarily drought powerful. Not too long ago, Texas A&M AgriLife named it a Texas Superstar for its sturdiness throughout the state.
Though a few of our crops are mighty thirsty, the wildlife actually wants our assist.
In my yard, I’ve offered a number of choices for various-sized birds in addition to for squirrels and the raccoons and possums by night time. I’ve acquired shallow dishes, together with rock perches or basins with rims for bees, wasps, lizards, and toads.
Not too long ago CTG visited Ana and Julio Lopez of their wildlife-friendly Leander yard. Even with us there, so many birds fortunately splashed round of their fountain, completely oblivious to us strangers.
Ana tells me that they’re actually going for it now! Their story’s coming your manner on July 7.
Thanks for stopping by! Linda