Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mood Indigo & Garden Updates

For some reason, all of our (very limited) stock of indigo flowers all popped into bloom at once. Frost was dead wrong about gold being Nature's "hardest hue to hold"--as anyone can attest who has ever tried to identify one of the [fake statistic:] 47,568 species of yellow daisies. In June and July, hot, blaring, gaudy, distressing gold--along with sulfur, canary, and banana--is everywhere, making you feel even hotter and more exhausted. Indigo, on the other hand, cool, crisp, clean, bright indigo, is much harder to come by.

So here's what we've got. One two-inch tall larkspur.

Several leadworts (which I had to molest violently in Photoshop so that the color would come out at all right)
And some morning glory that we keep trying to get rid of without success.

It's not a lot, I know, but I have to appreciate it while I've got it.

Things That Are Thriving (Or Making a Miraculous Comeback. Or at Least Looking Less Puny Than Expected)
In other happy news, we have about 4 big lemons on our Meyer lemon and a good 4 or 5 more that are still teensy--smaller than the pink part of my pinky fingernail.

We have the variegated pink Meyer lemon, which has this wonderful mottled foliage and striped fruit with a pink interior.

The two Kimberley Queen ferns Mom gave us nearly crashed upon arrival. But now they've greened up and have some nice, new foliage. I think they've decided to live, which is great--we're counting on them to provide much-needed privacy on the front porch.

The cordia keeps blooming, somewhat to my surprise. It's put on some new foliage as well, though not as much as I'd like. Its scrawniness makes the blooms that much more of a coup.

And the tilia/linden/lime/basswood has shot up a good foot or so in the past month! It's handsome, leafy, fast-growing, and one of the few trees we own that isn't crooked--it's gone from being a tree I viewed with mild curiosity to a fast favorite. Plus, I love all the history and folklore around tilias.

At the same time, our little bur oak seedling from Mom & Dad is looking healthier and bigger than ever. I assume this means that it's finally got a good root system going. Back in Houston, the sister seedling to ours is apparently 3 times taller--ah, the copious rains (and irrigations) of Houston! Our little fellow has a tougher, more rigorous life ahead of it, but he seems to have finally girded up his loins and accepted his fate. Funnily enough, this one's leaves are actually bigger than the leaves of our much older ~6-ft bur oak by the garage. Rather variable species, apparently.

The 'Fruit Cocktail' shrimp plants, while looking a bit scrawny in the shade garden, have put on some of their adorable lime-and-cherry-colored blooms. Why isn't everybody growing these?

And the roses are beginning to bend their wills to the task of climbing the gazebo. ' Buff Beauty' is slowly recovering from whatever it is that's been inhibiting her for the past two years. It's growing and blooming a little. Nevertheless, the roses we bought last fall after Pete & Christi's (brother-in-law and sister-in-law-in-law's) wedding are still out-thriving BB. Climbing Cécile Brunner, in particular, is growing and twining with enthusiasm.

In other good news, the Crinum jagus that I got early this spring is--slowly, cautiously--leafing out. We've got C. x powellii all over the place (fruits of an early propagation effort on Matt's part), several C. macowanii seedlings in the ground, and now the C.j.

The only fly in the ointment is the fact that the crinum I actually wanted (C.j. was a bonus freebie), C. jagus scillifolia, has been very reluctant to come to life. This sad green stub is all we've got, at present. Grow, little C.j.s., grow!

And the last bit of good news is that one of the Texas Mountain Laurel seedlings Mom & Dad gave us a couple of years ago is finally growing. The other two seem to have stalled out (too much shade? Too little water?) but this one may actually go somewhere. A few decades hence.

Plants That Are Grumbling (or Worse)
So the baldcypress is still alive; it just isn't very alive. What it is, is very crooked. Below, I superimposed a straight line and a protractor. The tree has a 20-degree angle. I assume this is drought damage.

And the oak-leaf hydrangea we bought this winter has been annoyingly wussy. The good news is that it lets you know when it's feeling the least bit neglected. The bad news is that it always seems to feel neglected. So I use it as an indicator species to let me know when to water the shade garden. Since I intended it to act as a screen, I dearly hope it toughens up by next year, when, presumably, it will have a stronger root system.

And finally, worst of all, the farkleberry is no more. Apparently, I didn't use anything like enough sphagnum when I planted it. It's been scorching and dying limb by limb. It was a beautiful dream. And now it's dead.

1 comment:

Mrs. Darling said...

I love looking at peoples plants and gardens. The pics of the plants aroudn your deck and chairs makes me curious to see the entire deck. It looks like you have a beautiful place there!

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