With our heatwave in full force, I do most garden work either before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. due to potential heat stroke. (Note: one of the signs of heat stroke is nausea. Or that sick-to-your-stomach feeling could also be the result of getting your water bill.) In the morning that means enjoying two bloomers that are that rare thing in our gardens: a true blue. The little dayflower (a tradescantia) is growing in a pot with a large twirly-leafed croton that must be twenty years old, as I inherited it from my mother's patio. The tradescantia throws off hordes of skyblue oneshots every day. I brought it back from Port Aransas where it was growing in a St. Augustine lawn, and because it was regularly mowed, it had the matted appearance of a groundcover.
Another early riser is blue daze (evolvulus glomeratus) that also has the benefit of cool blue-gray foliage. Both these little blues are gone with the noon-day heat, but by then I'm inside with a wet cloth draped over my head, fanning myself with the City of Austin water bill that must be wrong because there's no way I could have used 15,500 gallons of water in June because surely then my grass wouldn't be dead, would it?
After 10 years gardening on solid rock in Rollingwood, I moved into a 40's cottage in the North Loop area spring 2007. The little postage stamp yard is black clay and no one had ever dug a single flower bed. After visiting Key West a few years ago, I came back inspired by the little frame cottages, white painted railings, and rustling palm leaves. So the plan is: desert tropical cottage garden.