Hey, it's August 2013! How do things look in the garden?

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)August 2, 2013

Hi everyone,

Yay, it's August! That means the REALLY nice weather is just around the corner. I saw in the weather almanac that last August we had several days in the 90's, hopefully the same will hold true this August too. I also see the average daily high is starting to go down (even if the actual isn't, hah!) so I tell myself the cool and lovely autumn gardening season is here, even if it's NOT quite here yet, LOL.

Anyway, lots going on in the garden, mostly good, though some bad (my iresine looks like it's been blowtorched!). Here's a couple of goodies, a potted Tavaresia meinthesii making a bloom, and a Stapelia grandiflora (I believe, although I bought it unlabeled so I'm open to other species suggestions on this one). Late summer is when a lot of my stapeliads (Stapelia and its relatives) REALLY start blooming, so that's something to look forward to. Anyway, pics below, with Wilson the tennis ball to show size. Share your updates, good or bad, with or without pics, when you can. Happy gardening! Grant

Tavaresia meinthesii:

Stapelia grandiflora:

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my little garden August 2013

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GeeS 9b

A few random shots from the back.... Why are offsite pics resized to postage stamps? Just awful...






    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Laura81

Beautiful pics ! Compared to your yards, mine looks like a moonscape. Too embarrassing to post pics of plants so I'll contribute this beauty.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:09PM
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GeeS 9b

Roadrunners are awesome!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:26PM
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joncongaroo(Phoenix(Ahwatukee)AZ)

More fauna.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Laura81

Amazing pic! Pink dragonfly. Very interesting. I never get dragonflies.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 7:53PM
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joncongaroo(Phoenix(Ahwatukee)AZ)

I don't recall ever seeing a pink dragonfly. Here's a better shot.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Laura81

It looks like something from a Disney movie. Just too cool!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 9:08PM
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Laura81

I apologize to Grant for hijacking the plant thread with bird pics. Sorry!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 9:11PM
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GeeS 9b

Random Agave shot.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:23AM
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phxlynne

I'll add a garden 'visitor' picture too. I couldn't figure out what was eating my pepper and okra plants...until I looked out the window the other day and caught the guilty party. We've since blocked the space under the gate we think was his access.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 1:39AM
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Laura81

GermanStar, That agave is so art deco. I love the the white "paint" look. It is like someone took a paintbrush and just decorated a plant. You didn't find that at Home Depot, I'll bet.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:19AM
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GeeS 9b

That is a King Ferdinand Agave. Here is another you might like, a Queen Vic.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:05PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I LOVE all of the new pics and posts, critters included. So fun to see! My little garden is just bursting with activity in the morning, with lizards, birds, bees, and butterflies all around me. It's so nice. I love seeing your plants and critters too. That pink dragonfly is really interesting! Love all of the new eye candy.

Speaking of critters, here's what I *think* is a white-lined sphinx moth caterpillar shedding his skin. If you look at the top, you can see the little point on his rear end, attached to the Oenothera plant you can see the same little point on the skin he just shed. I think he's actually kind of pretty.

And here's a flower and fruit on our native passionflower, Passiflora foetida, clambering through a 'Washington navel' orange in the garden. Keep the pics and comments coming all, happy gardening! Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden pics August 2013

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Laura81

Very nice. The royalty of agaves.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Laura81

I don't get caterpillars either. Not ones I see anyway. Loving the passionflower!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 1:31PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I get a ton of caterpillars for sure: tomato hornworms on my daturas, Gulf fritillaries on my passion flowers, and now these big colorful white lined hawkmoth caterpillars on my Oenothera. I don't mind of course, since they're interesting and become active moths or butterflies. Here's a new pic of one of the caterpillars, they're getting big, larger than a breakfast sausage link for sure.

Plus a pic of a hollyhock seedling happily growing among some Stapelia plants. That just goes to show how much hollyhocks love it here. Mine grow and bloom each late winter, and I love them. Plus, our low humidity means no foliage diseases like rust or mildew, that plague hollyhocks in more humid climates.

Finally some type of desert nightshade (Solanum) that I purchased from one of my favorite nurseries, Shady Way Gardens, waaaaaay out in Apache Junction (worth the drive!). They've never had a specific ID for it other than the genus Solanum. They said Mary Irish gave it to them many years ago. I've had it for about 7 years and love it. It has blooms every single week of the year, but is a very, VERY aggressive spreader, so be sure you want it before unleashing it in your garden.

Happy gardening,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden pics, August 2013

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:23PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hi everyone, wow, did you get rain yesterday, August 6th? I sure did, over half an inch in my rain gauges, yay. This has been a great monsoon season for my little garden. What about yours?

I'm finally getting some blooms on my Merremia aurea that I grew from seed. It's taken a few years to hit its stride, but now it's really taking over the 7 foot tall iron arch.

A self sown oleander blooming away:

And, finally, a Pseudolithos migiurtinus budding up. I've had it for a couple of years and it's teased me with buds before that it drops, so we'll see if they stick around.

Happy gardening!
Grant

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:31AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hi everyone, wow, did you get rain yesterday, August 6th? I sure did, over half an inch in my rain gauges, yay. This has been a great monsoon season for my little garden. What about yours?

I'm finally getting some blooms on my Merremia aurea that I grew from seed. It's taken a few years to hit its stride, but now it's really taking over the 7 foot tall iron arch.

A self sown oleander blooming away:

And, finally, a Pseudolithos migiurtinus budding up. I've had it for a couple of years and it's teased me with buds before that it drops, so we'll see if they stick around.

Happy gardening!
Grant

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Laura81

I love the morning glory. I didn't think they would grow here. I am very envious of your garden!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:03PM
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richsd

nice pics, everyone.

GermanStar, what is the name of that tree-type yucca-looking plant in your second to last picture? My sister has one and I don't know what they are.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:30AM
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joncongaroo(Phoenix(Ahwatukee)AZ)

Cool solanum Grant. Much greener leaves than the prickly glaucous ones I see growing as weeds.

Passiflora arizonica purchased from Desert Survivors in Tucson growing in a western exposure. The flowers are about the same size as P. foetida longipedunculata but they bloom in the late afternoon instead of the morning.
Hamelia patens froze to the ground last winter now four feet tall.
Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) ready for Monarch and Queen butterflies and caterpillars.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 4:27PM
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GeeS 9b

@ richsd: That is a 5'+ example of Yucca rostrata.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 5:27PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great new posts and pics! Keep them coming. Beautiful garden, JonCongaroo! Thanks for sharing it with us, I love it. Your Passiflora arizonica is really cool--the foliage definitely looks different to me than my P. foetida. Hmmm..let me check, yes, I'm envious, hah!

Love the nice hot colors on your Hamelia and Asclepias. I grew the yellow form of that Asclepias in my last garden but left it behind when I sold it. You're giving me a craving to grow more! Definitely keep the pics coming!

Just for fun, here's that huge Oenothera ("evening primrose") blooming away in my garden. It's been covered with blooms (and caterpillars, hah!) for over three months and just keeps on going. I'm definitely letting it, and its siblings, self-sow wherever they want in the garden.

Mornings are quite lovely these days. I'm thinking/hoping the worst of the summer is behind us now. I know, I know, afternoons are still brutal, but mornings are lovely again (upper 70's in my garden for the last week--so nice, EARLY, lol).

Happy gardening,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, August 2013

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:29AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hi everyone, get ready for some very hot afternoons this week and weekend! Just for fun, here are a few pics of a Stapelia hirsuta flower that *popped* open this morning over a three minute period. So fun to watch. Wilson the tennis ball to show size. Happy gardening and keep the updates coming!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Laura81

It is wonderful. It looks like it has fur growing around the edges. Does it smell good?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:16AM
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GeeS 9b

Those are carrion flowers. They smell like rotten meat to attract flies as pollinators. There are many different kinds and some smell stronger/worse than others.

@Grant: Those are fabulous. And BIG! Are those in the ground? :-O

This post was edited by GermanStar on Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 13:04

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Laura81

I was being a smart a$$ when I asked if it smelled good. (I actually looked it up before posting). It is still a beauty regardless of the smell.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 1:43PM
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dlg421

It is interesting to see the different plants and landscapes that the people on this forum have. It is also fun when someone like Laura moves here from another area and adds new insights and poses insightful questions.

In my area of Tempe, we have missed most of the monsoon rains so not much is looking good now except this one barrel cactus that has decided to bloom.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Laura81

Dlg421, I didn't get much for rain either in the monsoon. Something like a 1/2 inch in dribble and drabbles. Your barrel cactus looks beautiful, mine just looks sad and scabby.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 3:19PM
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GeeS 9b

If you dump a bunch of water on 'em once per week 3-4 weeks in a row, they'll flower. That said, you don't have to, since Fero's are native. They just won't flower or will delay flowering until they gets enough aqua. To me, it makes sense to water them once in a while through summer. As I said, you don't have to, they'll be fine. But they'll grow a little faster and look less scrubby if you do.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 4:06PM
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Laura81

I don't know if they can get frost bitten but it looks like it has blackish grey scabs on it. Just the top is green. Very homely plant.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 4:28PM
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GeeS 9b

A. horrida lookin' good.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:19PM
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GeeS 9b

A. zebra lookin' good.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:21PM
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richsd

THANK YOU Germanstar re: the yucca rostrata info. Now I know what my sister has!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:00PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hah, yes the Stapelia stinks, LOL. From three feet you smell nothing, from 3 inches you smell rotten fried chicken, sweaty adolescent gym socks, and maybe a bit of cat poop, hah!

The agave pics are just wonderful, GermanStar and DLG that barrel cactus is wonderful. The blooms are gorgeous!

This has been one of the best monsoons ever for my little garden, with over 7 full, real inches of rain since June 1st (I have several rain gauges and compare with friends in the neighborhood too (N. Scottsdale)). Sorry others haven't had as much good, soaking rain. My 75 gallon rain barrel is absolutely full and it only catches rain from 20% of the roofline.

Anyway, great fun pics everyone, keep them coming! Here's nothing fancy, but still pretty, a flower on my 'Golden' variety of pomegranate. I've gone overboard with pomegranates in this garden (thank you AZ Rare Fruit Grower's club, hah!) and really glad I have. My friends are calling my house Casa Granada now (pomegranate house in Spanish). I think I have seven different varieties now, oink oink oink. Happy gardening all!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden August 2013

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:05PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Here's one of my very favorite tall-growing Euphorbias, E. royleana in my front garden. I've had this plant for seven years and haven't covered it once in winter or in summer. I like it so much I've planted a dozen of them around the garden. Good news? Because the sap is toxic AND bitter AND an irritant, the javelina always leave this plant alone. Love it! Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Laura81

It is quite nice and javy proof is a plus.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:29AM
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dlg421

Grant hearing about your 7" of rain makes me almost sick. My rain gage in my yard has recorded just over 3/4" for the monsoon to date. You are so fortunate and your pictures are always awesome.

Everyone else's pictures are great too.

Anyway here are a few more pictures of my yard.

Blue Glow Agave

Corn Plant recovering from being frozen to the ground, young Sago Palm.

Chihuahuan Sage in bloom, Organ Pipe Cactus, Barrel Cactus

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:47PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

GREAT new pics, dlg, thanks for posting them. I really love your garden. I really should get some organ pipes planted in this garden, tsk tsk tsk, LOL. Is that an organ pipe behind the barrel cactus in the final/leucophyllum pic?? So fun to see! I also see a nice little floppy penstemon too. Mine look about the same although they're starting their s-l-o-w recovery from summer to rebound in autumn.

Just for fun, here's a pic I just took, casually, showing a gulf fritillary butterfly feeding on a 'Fireworks' gomphrena flower in the garden. Each morning/evening my garden has several of these butterflies thanks to the many summer blooming flowers, and the several passion flower vines I've planted for their caterpillars to eat. Happy gardening and keep the updates coming! Grant

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:03AM
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GeeS 9b

I have S. thurberi, S. pruinosis, and S. eruca -- all sizes, and javalina show no interest. a 10' S. pruinosis takes some small freeze damage just about every winter, but not the more desirable S. thurberi.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 4:04PM
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GeeS 9b

A. pelona

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 12:46AM
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dlg421

"Thanks for the compliments Grant. Yes that is another organ pipe in the third picture. It broke off of the main plant and I stuck it in the ground and it rooted.

Another barrel cactus blooming.

View of cardon, ocotillo, desert willow and Mexican bird of paradise.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:48PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Ooooh, another great agave, Germanstar, thanks for posting it, thanks too for you new awesome pics too, dlg. Great stuff! I'm a HUGE fan of cardons and definitely favor them over saguaros since they grow so much faster and have that neat blue blush over the skin. Yours looks tall!

I enjoy the clouds today and took a nice walk through the Desert Botanical Garden. So nice to see it all cloudy and yet warm. Fun!

Just for fun, here's a pic of a Merremia dissecta flower from today. They're fun aggressive vines with morning-glory-like blooms that stay open all day. Definitely a house eater so only plant it if you really want it AND if youv'e got something tall for it to climb, and aren't shy about hacking it back when necessary.

And a mutant stapelia flower with a couple of extra, deformed petals. It usually produces perfect five pointed stars.

Happy gardening all, keep the pics and updates coming!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, August 2013

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 10:39PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Got a couple of nice heavy downpours again last night, this has been an amazingly good monsoon season for my little garden. Here's quick pic from this morning, an Abelsmoschus plant in bloom. They're fun little hibiscus relatives and they've really perked up with this high humidity. Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: 150 pics of things in bloom in my tiny garden this month Aug 2013

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 2:12PM
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