Every stroll through the garden revealed dead and near-dead plants.
|The orange foliage in the foreground on the left is that of a now-dead Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'. A healthy specimen can be seen to its right.|
|This was a Solanum quitoense I planted in early July, shortly after I returned from the Garden Bloggers' Fling. Even though planting in summer here is foolish at best, I thought the plant was doing remarkably well - until last week.|
|The heat even took a toll on Dahlia 'Loverboy'|
There are many more such sad scenes but I'm not going to depress you or myself by highlighting them all. Some plants took the heat in stride or simply activated their own defenses.
|The Gaura lindheimeri I cut back by half in June is back and blooming with abandon|
|Aloe cryptopoda (formerly A. wickensii) is back to its summer contortions|
|And Yucca 'Bright Star' has adopted a similar strategy|
Oddly, a plant that is known for blooming after rain, Zephyranthes candida, suddenly burst into bloom just before the heatwave began and continued to produce new blooms while it was at its worst.
|Commonly known as rain lilies, these flowers have rarely bloomed in my garden. I suspect this flush of bloom was a product of a deep soaking I gave the area in mid-August.|
Relief finally arrived here in the form of a thunderstorm Sunday evening. Monsoonal storms are common in the deserts and mountain areas of Southern California but they don't generally extend into the Los Angeles Basin so Sunday evening's storm was a welcome event. The wind picked up, the clouds blew in, and all of a sudden it was raining. It started slowly but then came down hard for a period of perhaps half an hour.
|This isn't the best photo but, as summer rain here is an event to be celebrated, I'm offering this as my Wednesday Vignette - you can find more such vignettes at Flutter & Hum. (Pieces of the fountain were strewn across the patio as the pump had failed and we'd taken it apart for repair and cleaning.)|
Monday remained cool. Our temperature here never exceeded 75F (24C).
|This is the Galileo thermometer that sits on our bedroom mantle. My husband had been complaining for days that "we have no balls!," meaning that all the weights had settled to the bottom of the cylinder, indicating that the temperature in the bedroom was over 82F. On Tuesday morning, it was a more comfortable 76F.|
It's warmed up a bit since and it's still humid but we haven't needed to run our air conditioner since Sunday evening. After more than a week of hearing it rumbling nearly non-stop during the day, just having it silenced was a joy. The garden looks fresher too.
|The Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana) has finally added leaves, as well as producing a new flush of flowers|
|The white-flowered Lantana in the front garden also has fresh green foliage and a mass of flowers has attracted the attention of the butterflies|
And signs of autumn's approach are becoming evident.
|Clematis paniculata, aka Sweet Autumn Clematis, has begun to bloom|
Is this the end of our summer heat? Possibly not. Heatwaves in October aren't uncommon. But it's time to move on - fall garden projects await!
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party