It's so easy to not write, to not take photographs, to not enter this summer's losses on the semi-permanent record of a blog. There seemed little point in joining Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I wrote nothing full of facts and numbers like the posts by MSS of Zanthan Gardens, no posts rejoicing that drip irrigation kept most of the garden alive like the vacationing Rock Rose, no celebrations of serene stock tank lilies and stately agaves like Pam/Digging, no struggles with enormous water harvesting projects like Bob of Draco, nor dramatic storm photos like Nature Sharing Diana or hopeful words about fall vegetable gardening like Renee & Iris & Katina or contest-winning photos like East Side Patch.
II loved Julie and Julia (the photo of the wonderful Meryl Streep is from @JulieandJulia on Twitter) but said not a word. A week slips past, and another - the neglected inside of the house gets attention, closets are rearranged, the Diva website is caught up, a book or two read, music put in written form, stuff tossed out. We hope for a shower to christen the rainbarrel. We're painting and shopping and hanging curtains and cooking as old movies play on Netflix.
Writing a blog post takes too long while jumping on Twitter takes 10 minutes, a simpler but more limited connection to other gardeners. Then a post by Linda from Central Texas Garden made me laugh as she led a cheer for the heat, calling for just a few more days over 100°F so we can beat the record and hearing Linda's voice as I read made me want to speak. I took the camera out on Monday, planning to ease back in via Cindy's Through the Garden Gate. I missed that deadline, but Cindy didn't make it either! From the gate you can see what gets hand-watered - small trees, shrubs, plants that make flowers, fruit, seeds and nectar for bees and birds and butterflies. And what only gets the 'slop-over water' - the nearly dead grass away from the edges. Looking around the garden I've realized that most of the lambs ears are dead, the abutilon is gone, most of the callibrachoa croaked, as well as some of the sedums, some of the salvias and the native Texas betony, too.From the other side of the triangle bed we can see that some Salvia coccinea are green and even the picky Blackfoot daisies look happy In the same bed we don't see several Ex-lavenders, Ex-snapdragons, missing Balloon flowers and even native Ex-scutellarias. All the lavenders in the ground died but the very old 'Provence' lavender in the clay pot and cuttings from it in the hypertufa trough live and even bloom. A small 'Catawba' crepe myrtle is okay, the 'Mutabilis' rose isn't blooming but isn't dead, and the lived-over Jatropha integerrima/Spicy Jatropha is doing fine, with daily visits from hummingbirds. Afternoon shade provided by the house wall wasn't enough to help the clematis but it let the blue Plumbago and Mother-of-Thousands thrive. Do you see that seedling mixed in with the pecan debris? It's one of hundreds of invasive ligustrums sprouting in the beds and paths. I don't have any ligustrums, but they grow in all the yards surrounding mine. Native plants die while invasive ligustrum, Chinese tallow, nandina and Chinaberry stay green. The greenest spot on the lawn is under the birdbath - water is essential for the Chickadees for the black crested titmouse who shows up every day and for the bees, wasps and all the other creatures who come here to drink Keeping the birds alive keeps me from giving up. I give water to the red house finches, water to the giant native sunflower and to the shrubs that make berries. I try to keep the hummingbird favorites alive. Shouldn't the cardinals, blue jays, gold finches, wrens, doves, grackles, hummingbirds and starlings recognize me as their friend by now? But no - they still only let me photograph them through the window. You'd think the squirrels would be grateful, too... but they'd rather toss pecan shells down on my head. Survived August...check. Now the tiny tips of the Oxblood Lilies are poking up again, giving me hope we'll survive September.
2016 – APRIL ANNIE’S GARDEN DAY
1 week ago