Quick. Name 5 or 10 ways your life was not normal during 2020. Here’s my list: School closings, Masks, Isolation, Restaurant and store closings, Stand six feet apart, No travel, Quarantine, Nasal Swabs testing, Social distancing, Events canceled, No hospital visits, Virtual school and everything else. I could also add limited supplies, especially paper goods.
Here we are in 2021 and things have continued to be unusual for some of us. The first half of the year had some of the same restrictions listed above. Add to that covid vaccinations and strange weather patterns, especially for us in Texas. The epic freeze that lasted for days will always remain in our minds and in the records.
During July, we’re usually melting under three digit temperatures and piercing sunlight. Instead, we’re having mild temperatures (in mid to high 80’s and a few 90’s) and humidity. The areas around us have received heavy rains. We’ve managed a couple of inches in two weeks, which is still unusual.
So plants, like this Gladiola are blooming way past their normal time.
Also lost Dusty Miller, but it’s an inexpensive plant that grows quickly. It’s already grown tall from a small bedding plant. During most winters here, it survives in a pot.
After the dead branches and trunks were cut off, Basham’s Party Pink Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Basham’s Party Pink’) is showing off.
We’ve had to cut away dead wood from many trees and woody shrubs and lost one large Texas Ash.
Big puffs of soft pink clusters draw one’s eyes up high.
One plant that did not suffer at all was White Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri). In fact, it’s multiplying so fast that I’m finding clumps all over this flowerbed that need to be dug up.
Not sure if Gaura’s nickname Whirling Butterflies refers to the flowers that twirl around in the wind or the many butterflies that land on it. It feeds lots of pollinators.
‘Ellen Bosanquet’ Crinum Lilies are bold in their leaf size and flowers. I like both their buds and unopened flowers. A good old southern standby, it’s tough as nails. It really thrives on the east side of the house.
Their opened flowers only last a day or two, but others are opening soon.
The return of this unknown plant surprised me. I’ve had it about three years and don’t know what it is. I thought it was a sage, but it doesn’t get tall or woody. The taller stems reach a little over a foot tall. It dies down to the ground and returns in early summer, even this past winter.
Two hardy plants: Blue Fortune Agastache and Marjorie Fair Polyantha shrub rose. Marjorie Fair rose has clusters of roses on long stems that tend to bend low to the ground. Both of these plants are great performers.
So, whatever you consider to be normal, I hope you’re having a great summer.
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind of man could invent.” Arthur Conan Doyle