The sunrise was so lovely this morning. The sun behaved gently; it did not show itself as a sizzling orb before lighting the sky most delicately.
There's a lot going on in the garden right now, including, at this very moment, buckets and buckets of rain! Whoop whoop yee-haw hooray! The weather has been milder this week, in the low to mid-90's during the day and often cloudy, which makes a difference if you're working in the garden. As September draws near, many plants that go semi-dormant in high summer are preparing to show off once again. The roses are beginning to bloom more vigorously, Mexican bush sage, salvia leucantha, is almost in full bloom, and those few plants I took the time to prune earlier in the summer are coming back strong. Hummingbirds are everywhere and, indeed, bird activity in general is beginning to pick up. I've seen lots of butterflies, too; sometimes I feel I should never walk outside without my camera.
But I should not give credit only to those plants returning full force with milder weather. What of the plants that have bravely faced the heat day in, day out? One of my favorite annuals is globe amaranth, also known as bachelor's buttons. Gomphrena globosa is from the tropics and gomphrena haageana is a Texas native and there are lots of hybrids between the two. These plants love the heat and butterflies love these plants.
I learned three things about the globe amaranth today: it is a designated Texas Superstar, it makes a nice tea, and the globes aren't flowers but bracts. I wasn't surprised that it's a Texas Superstar; I was surprised that I was surprised! It's tough, reliable, and maintains its good looks throughout the hottest season of the year. I was a little surprised that the dried globes make a mildly sweet herbal tea that's reputedly good for the skin. I was very surprised that the globes aren't flowers! The flowers are hardly noticeable.
I have my doubts about its anti-aging effects (although I suppose it's worth a try), but I do know that it's a cheerful addition to the garden, even on a rainy day. I wish all of my plants were looking so perky; I think they will soon enough!