Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Xeric-Sum Game

You can tell the fellow gardeners. They don't admire the garden generally. They're specific.

Hi! You've got some great structure going on here.

Thanks! You should've seen it in May. Leaves and everything.

What's that thing over there?

There? You mean the dead stuff?

No. The deadish stuff.

The tall deadish stuff just behind the dead stuff?

No, I mean the scrubby deadish stuff just between the tall deadish stuff and the stuff that isn't dead yet.

Oh yeah! That stuff's great. I mean, the nearly dead stuff is a real champ too. I think it might still have a taproot that's hit a pocket of gardener's tears and it's really hanging on.

You know, I had something a little like it, but I watered it in April, and again in late June, and damned if it wasn't squawking for more as soon as August rolled around. Total princess. I don't need that kind of pressure.

Right? I really like the ones like the Bleeding Hearts that bloom in the spring and then die back completely. You can go all the way to the next spring thinking they're still alive. Hey, do you know about this one? It's my new crush. It looks dead right out of the nursery! A real time-saver.

I got one last year! They're cool. Just going to let you know, though, that when it really does die, there's nothing more pathetic-looking on the planet.

Oh rats. I had high hopes.

That's a nice big healthy green thing over there. Pokeweed?

Yup. I'm going to have to hit it with Roundup, I think.

The little maples are nice.

Thanks! They don't need much water at all. In fact the more you water them, the faster the verticillium wilt spreads. I've lost about a third of the limbs on this one and I'm pretty sure the coral-bark is next. It's seeding like crazy. They tend to do that when they know their number is up.

Yeah. Good for the birds, though. You should see them on my dead cascara! I've never had so many woodpeckers.

Aw! I wish I had a big dead tree. None of my dead trees ever got big enough to interest the woodpeckers. Oh, by the way, I totally recommend this little guy here. Sumbitch rises from the ashes every year like clockwork. I'm getting it to where it doesn't lose its leaves until early July, and then it goes out flaming. It'd be gorgeous against the blue salvias if I could get it to hold out that long.

You can't go wrong with the salvias. I'm all over them. My sister in California has one the size of a Volkswagen just blooming its fool head off. Dry, dry, dry! Sucker dies outright if you even sprinkle it. I'm not kidding. Shrivels up like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Ha. That's nothing. I had a hosta plumb blow up the other day. There was a puff of smoke and slug snarge rained down for hours.

That's nothing! I had one native snowberry next to a bed of verbenas and it up and murdered the whole family.

We lean on the wall for a few moments, absently crinkling leaves into powder.

"Don't forget to vote," we said in unison.

30 comments:

  1. A little dry out your way, eh?

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  2. Well, I was going to go out and salvage my flower beds since I have been ill for weeks and crab grass, oak trees, etc. are taking over...but maybe I will just have another cup of coffee.

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    1. Crab grass and oak trees? Now there's a dynamic duo!

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  3. We’re getting ready for 6” to 8” from Florence after two separate bouts of drought since April. So, vote, dammit.

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    1. At least it will come in nice and steady and soak in, right? Right?

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  4. Replies
    1. Prickly pears do all right here. I've got one. It scares me. Throws darts at ten paces. If I get up the gumption I'm going to take it out.

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    2. Cactus is not a 'gardener friendly' choice, but it puts up a good fight against drought.

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  5. Our rain is winter rain. Which didn't happen. The garden is already crispified even before Spring gets into her stride. Summer may have nothing left to burn.

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    1. I am so sorry. My sister is headed your way. Maybe she can drag some rain with her, but they're running short in Colorado too.

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  6. We're 8 inched ahead as far as rain goes. And that's before Florence decides whether to send a few more inches our way. Everything in my home has a coating of moisture. Oh, how I miss our traditional Delaware summer droughts!

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    1. At least if you're not in N. Carolina you won't have a coating of hog poop.

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  7. They are muttering "El Nino" here. And silly old fool down the road is watering his lawn.Then he'll get his petrol mower out,shave off the mouldy-cheese-growth and start all over again.

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    1. Old fools get run over by their own lawn mowers all the time. Fingers crossed.

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  8. If only they could harvest the two feet of rain this freakin Florence monster is fixing to dump on the Carolinas, and pipe it out to you. They have to figure out how to do that. My condolences. Enjoyed a rain-perfect season here (hence garden open house, plant sale) but our usual mode is bone dry summers and wet dreary winters. Love you.

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    1. You're the first person I've heard NOT complain about the weather this year! Obviously good karma is serving you well. Love you right back.

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  9. Wow - your plants really did suffer, didn't they? I was thinking the same as Leslie (above) who recommended cacti!

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  10. I'm home for the first summer in 5 years, you'd think my yard/garden would be beautiful. He'll, it's been the hottest one I can remember. Looks like crap.

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    1. Yeah, I quit going for beautiful months ago, and will settle for Not Quite Dead.

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  11. Things a tad dry over there Murr? Have you tried doing a rain dance? I don't have any suggestion for the verticillium wilt though. Don't even know what that is.

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    1. Oh. It kills your trees, limb by limb, section by section. You can hear the moaning in the middle of the night.

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  12. I only plant dead plants. They're much easier to care for.

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    1. Wish I could think of the name of that plant that looks dead right out of the box. It's cool.

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  13. VOTE. Just learned that almost 90,000 Michigan voters, who voted in the 2016 election that gave Trump all 16 of Michigan's electoral votes, and who mostly voted for Democratic candidates, chose NOT to vote for either Clinton or Trump. They are called "undervoters." They went to the polls, stood in line, cast a ballot, but left "President" blank. Trump won that state by less than 12,000 votes.

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  14. We are red,white and green here in Floriduh.
    Red Tide, Green toxic algae and white fungus choking the salvia to death from the ungodly amounts of rain.
    Keep sending us your parents from up north. Yeah we don't have quite enough voters that vote against our states best interests to finally kill off the state yet.
    Vote Responsibly!

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    1. Our senators and almost all our congresscritters are on our side--which is GREAT, but our votes don't count for as much as yours!

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  15. Just seeing this! BWaahaaaa haaa haaaaa!

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