Texas Sage Blooms to Announce Rain

The Texas Sage is an evergreen (zones 9, 10 and southern part of 8)  to semi-evergreen (farther north than zone 8), heat and drought tolerant shrub with small blue-green hued leaves and pink flowers. This shrub needs well-drained soil; it is located in a raised bed near an old garden rose that blooms only in early Spring.

Texas Sage in Bloom

Texas Sage in Bloom

Blooms appear on the Texas Sage throughout the growing season, each time it rains—and usually before the rain arrives. This shrub has yet to bloom when rain is not in the area—it’s a great predictor of rain, but doesn’t distinguish between a sprinkle or rain and a downpour.

The blooms in this picture first appeared on Saturday morning and we received 3/4 ” of rain on Saturday afternoon. We have a 30% chance of rain today—with slight chances for the next two days—and there were fresh blooms this morning. (Simply watering the shrub will not cause it to bloom; it apparently needs the pressure changes associated with rain.)

This particular shrub is located on the North West corner of the house, so it gets a massive dose of evening sun throughout the year, and often receives the brunt of Fall/Winter storm winds. It is now about 4 years old and has grown from around 18″ to 4 feet or so.

Ornamental Color in Trees


Ornamental plants can both decorate our landscape and serve a purpose. This picture–taken March 21, 2013– illustrates my point perfectly! This year the environment provided optimum conditions for beautiful Spring color!

Each of these trees provides shade and a privacy screen. Ages are; redbud (7 years), oak (6 years), Arizona Cypress (5 years). Each Spring provides a beautiful compliment of colors–in Summer, the redbuds are leafed out (green), and the oak leaves fade, and the arizona cypress fades slightly.

(The wood pile is from an oak that died in the drought.)

Ornamentals–Mimosa Tree


Mimosa [Albizia julibrissin]

The Mimosa tree produces beautiful pink feathery bloom show from mid spring through early summer (late April through June in central Texas). The pictured tree was planted from seed 2 years ago and is  still small enough for me to take this picture from the top! Mimosa grows rapidly but does not live long (about 20 years) so it is not always intentionally included in the landscape. The  hummingbirds  love this tree, so add a feeder or two—and a bench to view the birds and the fluffy pink plumes!