Potluck Post with Something for Everyone

Even with today’s eclipse, the sun has been stepping on Texas like a foot grinding out a cigarette.  That is to say, the ground is hot!  I’m looking forward to the end of August and the start of autumn.

I think if you read other Texas gardening blogs, you would find a post or two in each covering our summer heat and the ever present need to water.  It’s this way almost every August, but we gardeners still like to complain about it.—It’s a rite of summer passage.

So, I’ve been watering and watering and watering!  Nothing new, right?

Lately, I’ve not been having a lot of good luck.  I realize, of course, I’m not the only one who has an occasional rough spot.  We all do, but it’s important for me not to give a false impression of the perfect life and/or garden.  Far from it.

My red hot torch lilies (I have 3), Kniphofia uvaria, aren’t looking too hot at all, and I don’t know why.  They receive full sun in well-drained soil.  If you have answers as to why these plants are in decline, please chime in.IMG_1663

Red Hot Torch Lily above.

Then there is my Karl Foerster grass, Calamagrostis acutiflora Karl Foerster, that seems to be browning.  Again, I have no idea why.  That’s not to say I’m giving up on Karl or the torch lilies because I’m not.  I’m just disappointed.

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Karl Foerster grass above.  Is the brown normal for this grass?

My hellebores appear to be puny, and I thought they were bulletproof.  Phooey!  It could be that it’s the August heat.  This is my first experience growing hellebores so my knowledge about them is scant.

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Above: Hellebore with brown-ish leaves.  Sun scald???

If you’ve gardened for any length of time, you know there will be plants with issues and/or plants that die, and you take it on the chin and keep on “keeping on”. If any of these plants don’t make it, I’ll replace them with something else, but of course I don’t want to.

Before I forget, I need to let you know that because of a significant increase in cost, I’m not renewing my contract with my Internet Service Provider, so I will be accessing my blog from a different computer, which may cause a delay in responding to your comments or for me to comment on your blog posts.

Finally, with all of this, plus a letter from my good friends at the Internal Revenue Service and the possibility of a torn retina, I’ve been slow to post.  I fully believe everything will have a happy ending, but I’m still slogging through these issues just as I’m slogging through August to get to September when the temperature will cool.  Hurry up and get here, September!!!

On a more positive note, I asked my neighbors at the Kolstad Inn if I could photograph their new flagstone path, the one that is replacing those stepping stones I was given (previous blog post).  They gave me permission to take photos but hinted they preferred I take photos when the path is finished and looking its best.

Having just received my copy of Fine Gardening Magazine, I read a reader’s complaint that no one ever takes photos while a project (a garden, a pathway, a wall, etc.) is in progress, so I took some in-progress photos of the pathway.

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Above:  Flagstone paths don’t just magically appear.  They take a lot of effort. My neighbors have been working hard.

The flagstones will be cleaned off with muriatic acid once all of the stones are cemented into place.  Yes, I’ll take a finished photo, but these photos allow you to see the work-in- progress.  I think the readers of this blog are mature enough to know the path won’t look its best until it is completely finished.

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Another photo of the flagstone path above.

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Above:  I’ve used some of the stepping stones from the Kolstad Inn as edging for my new front bed.

Also in the progress of “becoming” (reminds me of Stephen King’s book, The Tommyknockers) is my new backyard garden area. I took a few photos this morning so you can see it’s still in its infancy and growing S-L-O-W-L-Y.

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View from the back of the newly planted area, which is about 3-4 months old.

Finally, I rescued a pot from the curb and never removed the soil inside.  The pot belonged to a 95 y/o woman who was placed in an assisted living facility.  Now, I see this strange plant growing in that pot.  I wasn’t sure what it was, so I’m letting it grow for a while…

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Above: Rescued pot.  Could the plant be a potato vine?  No, as it’s grown bigger I saw it was not a vine.  Could it be a weed?  That’s very possible.

It looks a tiny bit like a hibiscus. Any ideas?

9 thoughts on “Potluck Post with Something for Everyone

  1. Sorry to hear about your eye. Hope that it is ok now. I think that the heat is affecting your Hellebore. We used to have them in our garden and they would come up under shrubs and in less sunny spots. Years of drought killed them off and we never replaced them. Anything that is not reasonably drought tolerant is no longer desirable to have in our garden. Often plants in hot climates start to look a bit dried up by the end of summer so maybe that is the case with your Torch Lily and ornamental grass. I know our violets start to look really crispy by late summer. Despite the heat your garden is looking lovely with all the flowers. And it is nice to see photos of work in progress. Then you can really appreciate the final result.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that’s good to know about the hellebores. I’ve ordered some plants for the fall and being drought tolerant was one of the first things I looked for in their description. It’s only going to get hotter or so “they” say, so I might as well be proactive.

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  2. I do hope all goes well with your eye and with the IRS. Your new back garden area is looking very promising. I can’t say much about your problem plants – only that Hellebores really struggle in the heat and then surge back when the weather cools. Also they tend to spread slowly at first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that’s good to know about the Hellebores. Otherwise, I feel like I’ve wasted a good chunk of $$; however, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too think the heat is affecting some of your plants. We have had an unusually dry, and hot for us summer. This has taken a toll on my hellebores and some starter plantings of hakone grass. I think they will survive once they get a chance to recuperate with cooler and wetter fall weather.

    Sorry to hear about your eye, hope it heals fast and well.

    I love your before and after pics….it is the journey and not just the destination!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right that it’s the journey that matters. Imagine if we could have instant gardens…It would take the magic out of it. I’m extremely hopeful that my town will get rain tomorrow and Thursday. Our last rain was on August 2nd and we’ve been in the mid to upper 90’s almost everyday since.

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  4. Now I am trying to remember the book The Tommyknockers, which I read ages ago. Sorry to hear of your eye problems! Hope that all works out fine.
    I grew hellebores (Lenton Rose) in NH and they were always the first to pop through the snow in Spring with flowers… such a very welcome sight. So I assume they don’t like the heat, as others have said.
    I have no idea what is growing in that pot!

    Liked by 1 person

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