September Highlights for Bloom Day

The selection of flowers in the small sunny garden in September still speaks distinctly of summer.  And this past summer has been a difficult one for the garden, not so much because of extreme heat as because of an unusually high number of windstorms.  They have brought down our little apricot tree altogether and made it quite uncomfortable for everything else as well.  It is hard for plants to withstand the effects of drying winds scouring them with suffocating dust at some thirty miles per hour!


At least the dust storms seem to be finished, creating a long, slow, hot, late summer that is far more bearable but still has little feel of autumn in it. 


At present Leucophyllum frutescens has been promising rain, though there is certainly no other sign of it!

leucophyllum frutescens

Asclepias subulata and the tarantula hawks believe it is summer - no point in slowing down yet, according to them!

asclepias subulata with pepsis wasps

However, some of the cool season's hummingbirds have been around occasionally already, so it's a good thing the hummingbird plants have some nectar available.  At present that is mostly Hamelia patens...

hamelia patens

...and Russelia equisetiformis.

russelia equisetiformis

I still love the combination of the Hamelia with the bright blue flowers of Salvia farinacea at it feet.

salvia farinacea with hamelia patens

And I am happy to mention the bloom on Jasminum sambac, the so-called Arabian jasmine, as this is the first summer it has taken hold and really flowered, though still quite small.  It is not from Arabia, despite the common English name which became attached to it centuries ago, but rather a somewhat drought-tolerant Old World tropical.  But it loves the heat and heartily resents cold weather.

jasminum sambac

A few flowers are scattered across the miniature roses, but this has been a hard summer for them.  Here is the ever-faithful 'Daniela'.

miniature rose daniela

As conditions have become kinder, the everblooming lavenders have taken heart and just begun putting out some new flowers.  At present that mostly means Lavandula dentata...

lavandula dentata

...and L. multifida.  Hopefully this is just the beginning!

lavandula multifida

But the queen of the summer still reigns supreme: Caesalpinia pulcherrima is delighting in the prolonged heat.

caesalpinia pulcherrima

Perhaps by next month there will be more of a change over in the garden, but this is the selection for September's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  Many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly look at what is flowering in the garden!


And a Sulphur butterfly - we are also beginning to see more butterflies again.

sulphur butterfly

Don't forget!  Handthrown Flower pots will be coming to the Small, Sunny Garden Shop soon!


Weather Diary: Fair; High: 108 F (42 C)/Low: 85 F (29 C); Humidity: 9%-28%

Write a comment

Comments: 13
  • #1

    Lea @ Lea's Menagerie (Sunday, 16 September 2018 06:29)

    A nice variety of colors. Very pretty! Lovely butterfly!
    Have a wonderful day!

  • #2

    Lisa (Sunday, 16 September 2018 11:03)

    I love lavenders. I think I have eight kinds, if I haven't forgotten anyone. Other than the big Munstead and Hidcote, my best bloomer is the Mini Blue. Your fern leaf one is pretty. I doubt it would do well for me though, those lacy leaved ones are usually more delicate for my weather. The Englishes do well, and the hybrid Goodwin Creek Grey (if I can keep it dry), but not the oh,so lovely Frenches or Spanish.
    Your photos are beautiful.

  • #3

    Kris P (Sunday, 16 September 2018 12:07)

    Despite the degree of difficulty your climate presents, your garden never ceases to amaze me, Amy. I have to look for that Asclepias, a species I've never heard of. And maybe I need Hamelia too...

  • #4

    Jane (Sunday, 16 September 2018 17:26)

    I loved seeing your photos, Amy. Taking photos of flowers with a dark background certainly highlights their form and colour. I have just spent some time reading some of your earlier posts, and it’s interesting to learn about how you started your garden and what you planted in it. I feel I shouldn’t be saying that I garden in a harsh climate!

  • #5

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 16 September 2018 19:23)

    Thank you so much, Lea - glad you enjoyed it! :) I've been waiting for a chance to get close enough to photograph our returning butterflies!

  • #6

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 16 September 2018 21:03)

    Lisa - I promised myself plenty of lavender when I started this garden - I've certainly tried to keep it! ;-) I tend to grow the tender varieties; they work very well here and I don't have to worry about them getting too wet...!

  • #7

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 16 September 2018 21:05)

    Kris - Asclepias subulata is definitely a winner in a wild-type planting. Fortunately I sited it in a rougher area of the garden, where it does well with very minimal water.

  • #8

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 16 September 2018 21:07)

    Jane - Those dark backgrounds are oh-so-easy to come by here because of the strong contrast with our intense sunlight. I admit the climate is harsh - can you tell I like a challenge?! ;-)

  • #9

    danger garden (Monday, 17 September 2018 10:21)

    High, hot, winds with unpleasant! Here's hoping that truly is over. The Hamelia patens is lovely!

  • #10

    Cathy (Tuesday, 18 September 2018 15:10)

    Hi Amy. Lovely to catch up on your garden. Salvias are something I must try to grow as they seem to like hot dry conditions. Hope that wind dies down as autumn approaches.

  • #11

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 19 September 2018 13:05)

    Loree - By my count, we had one major haboob and two more full-scale dust storms this season, but the worst of it was the many afternoons with high winds just whisking the dust and dry air through the garden. Am happy to say it's not usually so bad, of course! Not sure what happened this year... Love that Hamelia, wish it was in heavier soil to hold the moisture better, but it's great!

  • #12

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 19 September 2018 13:07)

    Cathy - I've come to adore Salvias! I had only grown the culinary sage before I moved here, but I wouldn't want to be without the decorative types now. Lots of color and very sturdy! ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

  • #13

    Diana Studer (Friday, 28 September 2018 17:34)

    Sorry about the apricot tree - an extra layer of sadness in the lost fruit.