A Day in the Garden

Got to get to that weedy patch today. Absolute priority. It’s gone so long the weeds think they have a right to hobnob with, no, be the boss of and push around my lovelies.

First Detour, but the New Guinea impatiens do need daily watering in high heat

First Detour, but the New Guinea impatiens really do need daily watering in high heat

Someone has already called to ask if we’re going to the public meeting about the wind-farm. But I tell him, no, I’ve set my priority for the day, and nothing will get in my way. (I happen to be in favor of the wind farm.)

Before I get started, though, I really should water the pots with the sweet potato vines, and while I’ve got the hose, I might as well give the new guinea impatiens in the window box a drink. They melt so in this heat, and it’ll only take a minute.

Kwanzo, a stunner but a rogue in southern gardens

Kwanzo, a stunner but a rogue in southern gardens

My goodness, that double orange daylily, Kwanzo, I think it’s called, is almost done blooming. I love it, especially with rudbeckia, but it’s a rogue, always a surprise in the bed. Best dig those four upstarts out now before they drop their last blooms, and I forget they’re not some prize I’m coddling. This’ll only take a minute.

Now where is that shovel, did I forget to put it away again? Nope, it’s actually hanging where it should be.

A daylily favorite, short but with long strong scapes. Casual clethra blooms just behind

A daylily favorite, ‘Mini Pearl’, short but with strong scapes. Casual clethra blooms just behind

This’ll be a snap. Well, sorta, I guess. They happen to have strong roots that are invading the entire bed. No problem, once I wrestle them out, it’ll take no time at all to cut them back, root prune them, and plunk them all in one large pot. Then they’ll be ready — for what, exactly, I’m not sure.

While I’m about those daylilies, I might as well pull out the ugly brown scapes on my favorite growers. It’ll only take a minute because I’m not cutting the plants down, as I often do – they still look too good.

Turns out the fennel has taken over the bed and won't need staking

Turns out the fennel has taken over this bed and won’t need any more staking

Hmmm, these particular scapes seem pretty strong. I wonder if I could use them to prop up that hummingbird clethra that’s sprawling? (It probably is not getting enough sun.) Nope, won’t work. Best find some real metal stakes. Should only take five minutes.

Wouldn’t you know, now that I’ve uncovered the clethra, I find mugwort the thug, that awful chrysanthemum look-alike that weasels its way into every bed. And there’s mugwort’s partner, creepy lizard tail, muscling in. It’s a native that escaped our pond and is now putting down happy little rhizomes. I’ll do a quick pull on both of these and maybe that’ll slow them down. (Dreamer!) Just a couple of minutes.

Doesn't the hosta look good without the persicaria?

Doesn’t the hosta look good without the persicaria?

While I carry the dreaded weeds into quarantine, I see that persicaria ‘red dragon’ has taken over the hosta bed. The combination looked great earlier in the season, for oh, maybe ten minutes, before the persicaria began to prop itself up over the hosta. Won’t take any time to get the pruners and nip and tuck, maybe pull them away.

Oops, too late, that one clump I cut was actually propping up the phlox.

Oops, the phlox need a little help. Pretty color

One cut too many and now the phlox need a little help. Pretty color

Now the phlox need staking. I’m running out of metal stakes, so I have to roam the garden for some I can pull from other plants. What a nuisance, this was only supposed to take a minute.

O dear, the crepe myrtles are wilting. Should have put them in bigger pots, I guess. I’d better stop the stake-hunt now and water them before their buds dry out. But I won’t repot them today, have to stay on track.

The brightest in our garden, but it seems to do better in a pot

Brightest in our garden when in bloom, ‘Dynamite,’ it seems to do better in a pot

Which reminds me, I need to repot the heuchera from Linda so I can keep an eye on it in the porch where it is shaded. Don’t dare plant it out in this hot weather, can’t trust my memory to water on schedule. And the hibiscus Janice dug from her yard –  looking a bit wilted.  Soak it in the pond and put it by the back door so I can watch it. Well, that took no time at all.

Ah, here’s a couple stakes I can take from the fennel, it’s so big now, they can’t hold it back. But what do I see next to it?

Too fast for my eye -- and my camera

Too fast for my eye — and my camera

Bumblebees all over catmint blooms. I really should try to get some pictures. They’re so efficient, and they move so fast – try, reject/sip, fly, try, reject/sip, fly – I can’t keep up with them, but it’s so nice to see them busy and happy. Take just a moment.

Now were did I put those stakes? And what did I want them for?

Bob says there’s a leak in the mister watering system. Should I go help him find it? I’m not crazy about getting soaked.

'Ice Star' shastas dance around the sundial earlier in the season

‘Ice Star’ shastas dance around the sundial earlier in the season

Well, I’ll give him some moral support. While I’m half-heartedly doing the rah-rah thing, I can cut back the nearby shasta daisies. Now where did I leave those pruners?

My eye catches a hint of glitter in the soil. Ah, over there! Closer look, shucks, no, that’s only flowing water. Hey, I yell, here’s the leak, it’s under the yaupon holly hedge. I figure I’m off the hook now and I can go look for the pruners, but no, not until I hold the hedge out of the way while Bob fixes the leak.

Free now to do a pruner-search, I wander the garden, retrace my steps. Let’s see, daylilies, persicaria, clethra, fennel. On my route I find the stakes, so I fix the phlox. That’s something.

Fortunately, there are rudbeckias, need only one grand lopping, and I won't lose my pruners on that job. A single blue mist sharing the territory

Fortunately, rudbeckias need only one grand lopping. I can’t lose my pruners on that job. A single early blue mist shares the territory

Sigh, I’ll never manage my pruners. I garden by holding them in my hot little hand like a security blanket and I carry them everywhere – bad habit — until I put them down without thinking. With luck they are where I remember, but sometimes the memory and the pruners just slip away.

Maybe in this pail of weeds? Nope, but the cultivator is there.

That weedy bed, you ask? Well, you can see I can’t tackle it today, I have an emergency on my hands. That’s tomorrow’s priority . . . perhaps.

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2 Responses to A Day in the Garden

  1. Linda says:

    Made me smile. Of course I never have any of those problems. 😄

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