Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eleventy Billion Oxeyes; Tillandsia Baubles

Ball of moss. Kind of.

Ode to the Sprinkler
Matt's nursery dumped their oxeye daisy inventory--apparently, it's hard to get them to bloom in a pot and thus hard to get them to sell. We were the beneficiaries. I'd been want something daisyish to cluster around the roses and hide any knobbly knees, and oxeyes are--I hope--just the thing.

I spent several hours yesterday and several more today placing them, using a carpet knife to cut openings in the blasted weed barrier (in my head, I now say this word the same way Seinfeld says "Newman!"), and digging holes. It was pretty damned unpleasant, even at 8:30 this morning, until I turned on a sprinkler to give a little encouragement to the daisies still in 4-inches. I had flats and flats of daisies to plant, so I just plodded away under the spray and got completely, blissfully drenched. You've no idea (unless, I suppose, you've ever been wet yourself. Then you might just possibly have an idea) how cool and refreshing it was. I may do all my summer yardwork under a sprinkler. Beats the hell out of heatstroke, and goodness knows pretty much every inch of the yard could use some extra water.

The daisies are all looking a little appalled by everything (it was very hard to keep them from crispifying in their pots), but I'm hoping they'll bounce back now that they're in the earth. I do think they'll make a nice unifying motif in a yard that is often (charmingly?) heterogeneous.

Some traumatized daisies lining the front walk

On a side note, adding the daisies pretty much necessitates that we switch from spaghetti tubing to regular PVC+sprinkler heads. Digging irrigation trenches behind 5' roses: that should be... fun.

Suspended Epiphytes

In pond news, I bought some Tillandsia ionantha 'Fuego' plants a week or two ago to grow as a sphere and suspend over the pond. I'd like ultimately to have about 5 baubles, each growing different Tillandsias, all hanging from the Robinia over the pond. Tillandsias are the genus to which Spanish moss (T. usneoides) and ball moss (T. recurvata) both belong. I rather miss the Spanish moss from home, and its brother and sister species come in some really fantastic shapes and colors, so I think it could look really neat. Anyway, I installed the T. ionantha ball today. I used a grapevine ball and hot-glued (I know, but this is actually a recommended method!) the little plants to the ball. Turns out, it taked umpty-zillion plants to fill in a small (~5" dia.) grapevine ball--and I had seven. So it's looking a little sparse, but I'm hoping it will fill in over time. Or I'll buy more. (The idea was to look like this).

Bear in mind that this is the first of 5. I'm sure it will eventually make visual sense.

4 comments:

Yolanda said...

It's a great idea!
Here, it's often cultivated hung windows, on fences.
It's an amazing plant! landless, it's always interesting.

Bob said...

Those moss balls look really good. You guys come up with some of the neatest ideas. My Mom would have liked that as she liked the regular old ball moss on the oak trees. Do you have to water them or feed them?

I have a rose question as well that I thought you guys might know the answer to. Is there any rose that would perform in only half a day of sun? Doesn't matter what color it is. Thanks, Bob

rosesandgargoyles said...

Hi there. Found your blog when I googled for more info on my Kronprincessin Viktoria rose. Cool blog.
Jeanni

Elgin_house said...

Hey Bob! You've been doing some awesome metalwork lately! I just saw the post about your gate over on Great Stems--it's beautiful. Nicely done!

We've hung the tillandsia ball where it will get hit by the sprinklers 3 times per week--that seems be sufficient. They aren't cold tolerant, though--we'll have to stash them in Matt's greenhouse come winter.

Thanks, Yolanda! I had no idea they were grown in Spain--and on fences, no less. I wonder what species? I'd love to see a picture sometime.

Welcome, Jeanni! You've got some awesome blooms in your garden--I really like the accidental Autumn Red. And I didn't even realize pomegranates came in peach--I've only ever seen them in safety orange, which is what we've got :-(

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