Monday, August 23, 2010

We're drawing toward the close of the long hot summer, Florida panhandle version. It's been the worst, far too hot, not enough rain, but we seem to be in more typical summer weather now. Soon, the cooler autumn days will come. None too soon!

It's been hard on the trees and gardens here. The pear set a lot of fruit this year, as the spring was fairly benign, but they are rather small. Most of the trees and bushes saw little growth through the hottest months, if they survived at all. At least the Madagascar Periwinkles love this weather -- my 'bulb garden' is overrun with plants that came up volunteer. I've transplanted a few and will continue to so do. If you find something that will grow that readily, go with it!

And now it's time to think fall garden. I don't know if I'll do any veggies, not because I couldn't but because I may not have the time to dig beds and tend them. More and more of my time goes into my mom's care. I'm rather surprised that she is doing so well physically now, after seeming to be fading last winter. She may well be with us longer than anticipated.

But not mentally. There is continuing decline and I have to be more and more 'hands-on' in her care. I do worry about getting her to eat enough, too, so I try to get nutrient-rich foods into her.

But the garden...sent out a nursery order this morning for a few things, probably all I'll get until next spring. I've had some luck with starting plants from cuttings -- have lots of PG Hydrangeas -- so I could cross a few things off the list I might have otherwise ordered. The only trees this time are a couple of weeping willows. I do not know if I can get them to take here but I do have a low area near the carport where they may do well. I'm recognizing that I haven't necessarily chosen the very best spots for trees so far, in terms of shading the house. And if I ever get the big oaks cut down I'll have to rethink that further.

I went heavy on the bulbs this time, get them in the ground in the fall so I'll (theoretically) have them growing come spring. Sparaxis and Starflower mainly, a few Oxalis and such. More Rugosa roses for my hedging but no Robin Hoods this time; they did rather poorly over the summer and the prices have gone up a bit. Prices were too high right now for more Firethorn as well. I might, when the plants I have get larger, do cuttings.

Out front is what I think is a Lenten Rose. Can't figure it as anything else, though it seems a little larger than the descriptions. Anyway, I ordered a couple more to set out. Supposedly, they seed and spread themselves rather well. Also going to try a few Coralberries for erosion control and, just for the heck of it, got some Pampas Grass as well. I suspect it will hold up a lot better than the Perovskia I attempted this year.

Btw and completely off topic, I'm over 180 songs finished, formatted and cataloged now. Twenty some to go, assuming I don't write more in the mean time!

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