Surprising summer survivals
During a summer when even the Turk's cap and lantanas are looking frazzled, Mexican petunias (ruellia) have come through with flying colors. Granted, they grow in the shade, but shade hasn't helped other hardy summerers. It's been too hot for faithful four o'clocks to bloom for some time now, also. While sunflowers have not been particularly prolific. Enough of them have produced seeds, though, to attract whitewings and mourning doves. Mexican sunflowers (tithonia) have been doing very well all summer long, both in sun and in shade. Fennel has done fairly well; the seeds are consumed by the birds as soon as they're anywhere near ready. All over the older neighborhoods in town, as houses and yards are destroyed, cadena de amor (queen's wreath) is disappearing, not having the room that it demands to sprawl along a trellis, fence, or wire. The few we have seen, however, are doing very well, despite the heat and the lack of rains.