Since it's been so very hot here, I thought it would be fun to give a 'heat award' to the plants that are taking our temperatures in stride.
Apple Blossom Flower Carpet Rose won in the rose category.
Pavonia won in the perennial category.
The last category is the ground cover category. I must say when I started really looking at my ground covers, I was quite surprised. These were the hardest hit of any grouping of plant in my garden. Perhaps it's because ground covers generally spread, so their roots are shallow. They rely on more moisture in the soil since their roots don't go deep. And the heat that bakes the soil also bakes their shallow roots.
And of course, the ground covers that are in full sun are in much worse shape than the ones in some shade. Even if they are supposed to be able to take full sun.
It's so bad that even my asian jasmine is scorched and parts are dead! Anyone in Texas will tell you, nothing kills asian jasmine!
So, I was quite surprised when I realized that Lamb's Ear (stachys) is the best looking ground cover in my garden! Yes, I know what you're thinking. It has always dried up and burned a bit for me in years past. It has been a plant that I always considered to be a bit unhappy in the heat. A plant that I really was pushing too hard to make it through our summers.
So why is it looking so good now? I have a theory. It think it all has to do with water.
You see, I don't usually water my plants very often. I let Mother Nature take care of that. But this year, Mother Nature is not doing her part. So I had to take up the slack. And I think this has been the only year that lamb's ear has been watered enough to pull though our heat without dropping dead.
I'll have to remember that next year.
I'm truly amazed how well it's looking. It may be a fluke, but it's a nice fluke. Surprisingly, the best ground cover award for August 2011 goes to... Lamb's ear.