Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day - a time to rest?

To me, Labor Day Weekend signals the beginning of the end of the worst of summertime's heat. Not that it won't get hot any longer, but we should stay out of triple digits more reliably, and our chances for rain typically increase. This means we are entering a season of rest for the landscape. A time of year when blooming slows, many plants already having set seed for next year's new starts, and there is a general sense of a winding down.My journey of a thousand weeds began with a single pull this morning. I got another area essentially cleared out in preparation for the receipt of my oldest's potted culinary garden since he has moved to a smaller place without any outside spaces for gardening.

We now have not one but two Meyer lemon trees and I am excited to report at least one fruit seems to finally have decided to move from lime to lemon territory color wise. Several of the smaller plants were heat and water loss stressed but we will pamper them with partial shade and extra watering until they get back on their little plant feet. I don't think we will totally lose anything - hope not, anyway.I also got to the nursery to buy more wildflower seeds and some arugula, mache, mesclun and cilantro seed to plant for the upcoming cooler, rainier growing season that can easily last well into January before any freezes will interfere. That gives me plenty of time to get some baby plants started as long as I am good with watering once the seedlings show. I am counting on the fall being a rainy one (based upon nothing more than how handy that would be for me and my plans) to help me get the various greens growing and established while the heat is still on.I'll be keeping my trowels crossed on that one.
I was noting today that our ruellia and more of the obedient plants are starting to bloom. This is the time of year in our garden when it is both the primarily white and the plants featuring shades of pink and purple that take the lead for the most part.
As long as I stay far enough away, I don't see the worst weedy patches so clearly any longer and can enjoy a bit more of the areas we worked so hard to take out of lawn and into garden beds this year. I know it will all be easier and prettier next year, so I am heartened that things are doing this well after a hot summer and a rough start with late freezes and freak hail storms.
That's gardening in a nutshell, right? "Just wait until next year...!".Have a lovely Labor Day Weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Out of sight...

I've been out of town more than usual lately and the time I've been in town has been mostly spent helping my kids move.

I know it rained here last week but it was hot and dry when I left and hot and dry when I got back so that rain seems somewhat unreal to me. It rained just a bit today, not enough to really water anything but at least enough to beat back the heat for a while. There is at least the promise of cooler weather in our overcast skies.The moving help in combination with the travel means I have not spent any, much less enough, time in my yard and garden to keep up with weeding, dead heading, and all the maintenance work that ought to happen even though the heat of August is brutal to both garden and gardener.

The few jobs I have tackled seem nearly futile. I finally took out two of my three tomato plants that simply weren't making any fruit. I can't justify using the water on them if they aren't going to produce. I cut the one remaining plant back to help it hold on through the increased heat and am hopeful that when it cools back off we will coax a few more tomatoes out of it.

I got one tiny section of yard cleared of nutgrass. For the day at least. I know it will be back. Nutgrass always has the last laugh. Besides nutgrass I've got bermuda and crab grass all going totally crazy in spots. So much weeding to do in a few areas I can barely see how to get started. The job is so large it is simply too daunting in this heat.

I am trying to go with the flow, appreciating the sometimes amazing architecture of the seed heads of plants, such as the horsemint pictured here, and the remnants of what I can no longer identify with any certainty.I am endeavoring to fully appreciate how the plants that have survived this summer's heat in combination with my neglect, are more than worthy of their spots in the lineup.I did spot the first of what ought to be an outstanding show of obedient plant blooms to come. The eggplantand tomatillo plantscontinue to produce. The collard is cooly beautiful despite my inattention. Promise is there in even a neglected garden if you know where to look.

I hope you are finding time and energy to tend your garden. If not, I hope you are at least finding time to appreciate the plants that will thrive without your attention. Summer is nearly over and although it will be weeks yet before we have anything that will pass for cool weather, we can at least count on cool-er weather as August winds down. And at this point in the game, cool-er will do. It will do just fine.

About Me

My photo
Rollingwood, Central Texas
Family historian by default. Oldest surviving matriarch on my branch of the Family Tree. Story teller, photo taker, gardener, cook, blabbermouth.