Thursday, June 14, 2007

Off on Holiday

Tomorrow I am off to Spain for two weeks and I am busy getting the garden ready. I finally got around to fixing that old split rail fence post and in the process of cleaning up the bed I discovered that my buddleia (butterfly bush) survived yet another winter. Yeah! They are very slow to come out of dormancy so I am never really certain it survived until I see it leaf out, sometimes not until June. It's surprising how tender this plant is here, because once in London I saw one growing out of a crack in the facade of a building three stories up! I also dug out the Balloon flower (Platycodon) that had become a little invasive. Some of the roots were as thick as my thumb! When I get home I will have to find something other things to plant there.

I have been watering like crazy, making sure to water really deep so even if it doesn't rain the plants' roots can reach moisture. I am sure watering will not be a big priority for Mr. Ross. For a guy who grew up on a ranch, you'd think he'd be more attune to that sort of thing. I have the girl down the street coming in to check on things and water my containers and hanging baskets. With limited amounts of soil in the containers and nowhere for the roots to go once they reach the side of the container, those need special attention when you are away.

I promised myself several things this year with regards to my garden:

1) I was going to work on the weeds in the lawn. Besides the usual dandelions, I have some thistle, medic and clover. I have been using two products: the Bonide Ultra, which also works in cooler temperatures, and Bonide WeedBeater. The Ultra only comes in a Ready-To-Use spray bottle (or as we call it, "the carpal tunnel bottle), but the Weedbeater comes in RTU, hose-end and a concentrate. When spraying weeds, be sure to spray early in the day before it gets hot. Herbicides work by being taken in by the stomas that are on the leaves. It is where transpiration takes place. In order to survive the hot weather plants will close down their stomas in the heat of the day so they don't lose too much moisture (it's what causes plants to wilt). It also means they aren't taking in any moisture either so your spraying will not be effective.

2) I was going to work on getting rid of the grassy weeds that have grown up in my rose bed and mulch. I used Roundup to get rid of the weeds, but now new seedlings have sprouted up. Last night I got out the hoe and hoed in there, so I hope that took care of the grass. When I get back I'll lay down the mulch.

3) Work on the front bed. Well, so far I got the fence fixed, now I just need to fill in a few areas with some new plants. That bed is mostly pastel colors with phlox and penstemon and the butterfly bush, although it's been so long since I've seen it bloom I've forgotten what color it is.

One more thing: Thanks to my goof ball friends who came by Monday night and TP'd my house in honor of my birthday. It was the big 5-0 and I must say I am looking forward to the next however many years I have left. I guess one thing that keeps me going is no matter how old I get, Lori will always be older!

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