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This morning I have been enjoying all the post of flowers in everyone’s garden that participated in GBBD (Garden Bloggers Bloom Day) hosted by May Dreams Gardens. Click on her site to enjoy! I was able to get out and snap a few photographs before the storm really hit the Heights.  Houston Radar picture for 11/17/2015We have had 80 inches of rain in the 12 months, 20″ in the last month and 1″ since I started writing this. I check the gauge at White Oak Bayou and Heights Blvd. via the Harris County Flood Warning System. In addition the front brought in cold air and in the space of an hour went from 80 to 55 degrees! Brrrr…

I will start in the back garden catching the last few blooms on the Esperanza Yellow Bell that we recently planted near the back door. Esperanza Yellow Bell Heading to the south side of the house hoping to catch the Blue Sky Thumbergia that is finally blooming. Sadly there were more blooms on the ground than on the vine.Blue Sky Thumbergia As you can see it had been raining off and on since dawn. We first saw a variety of Thumbergia in Puerto Vallarta growing on trellises with very thick trunks. Here it freezes back most winters but it manages to come back and cover the arch by the end of summer. Blue Sky Thumbergia Here are a few flowers that were still on the vine. But probably not now : (Blue Sky Thumbergia The Yule Tide camellia had a bloom earlier in the month but not now. Should be more in December. The White camellias, Camellia sasanqua ‘White Doves’ (‘Mine-No-Yuki’) ,are blooming. It is my favorite plants in our garden. I would love to use it in designs but can’t find a source for them anymore. They are the perfect size for smaller beds. I find the Sasanqua do much better in Houston than Japonicas. White Doves Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'White Doves' ('Mine-No-Yuki')As I was taking the picture I noticed a little insect having a feast. It looks like an ant to me but not really sure. White Doves Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'White Doves' ('Mine-No-Yuki')The Shrimp plant is full of flowers. It can be a bit invasive and we cut it back hard last year. It seems to be happy and came back quickly. Shrimp plantThe last plant on this side garden is also a new one for us. Thryallis, Golden Thryallis, Galphimia gracilis. Interesting that we added two plants with yellow flowers. We had to take out a Loropetalum in order to plant two thryallis. It was just time for a change. I can see both the Shrimp plant and the Thryallis out my window were my computer is located. Thryallis, Golden Thryallis Galphimia gracilisThis is my view from our office where my design work table is located. You can see the camellias are getting a good rinse. In the foreground are the Miniata salvia. I find their red flowers very hard to photograph. Looking our our office window. Heading to the back yard, bypassing the holding area, I noticed the orange mums we saved from a rip-out and stuck in the end of the raised herb and veggie bed. They come back every year and make for a bright spot in the sea of green. Orange MumsToday it was hard to get my camera to focus because the darkening clouds were blocking the sunlight. While at the Dallas Arboretum over the weekend we noticed all their Sweet Olive, Fragrant Tea Olive, Osmanthus fragrans were blooming. I made a note to check on ours and sure enough little cream flowers and a lovely sweet scent. Sweet Olive, Fragrant Tea Olive Osmanthus fragransWe have a hedge of 4 that were left over from a past job. They have been in the ground about 5 years and are now taller than the fence. I think they make a nice privacy screen if you are patient enough to let them grow in.  Next to them is Canna Row. It took a big hit last year with a hard freeze. These lovely red ones are putting on a show right now. Red CannaI think I caught them just in time before the hard rain takes its toll. This one was looking rather sexy cuddling up to a Crape myrtle that is waiting to be planted in our next install. Red CannaHeading out to the front garden we have a few things still blooming. This is a volunteer Turks Cap probably planted by the birds. It is using the climbing rose as a trellis. Turks CapI had to share these little Mexican Mint Marigolds that have sprouted up a few feet away from where we originally planted them. Mexican Mint Marigold The flowers on the Variegated Jewels of Opar, Fame Flower ‘Variegatum’,Talinum paniculatum are very hard to see and even harder to photograph. This plant froze to the ground last winter but seems to be root hardy. I love the leaves!Variegated Jewels of Opar, Fame Flower 'Variegatum' Talinum paniculatumAround on the north side of the house, in the shade garden, there is very little in bloom. I did find several flowers on the Red firespike that grows behind the row of Japanese yews.Red Firespike Here is a closer look at the little tubular flowers.Red Firespike The Matchstick bromeliads in the back corner of this garden are putting on a good show. I don’t cover much in the winter but if there is going to be a hard freeze I cover my collection of bromeliads. Matchstick BromeliadOne last photo, and not even a flower, taken a week or so ago is of our little volunteer American sycamore that is rooted into a crevice in our big rock that sits between to giant sycamores in the right of way strip. Plants are truly amazing. I can’t believe it survived the summer! Baby American Sycamore in crevice of a rock. Happy Gardening!