Thursday, August 5, 2010

MIA but not DOA

Well?????, you say...where the heck have you been?

I have been MIA, since June, I know.  I apologize to all those who wrote me and I have yet to get back to.   I am back now.  I have had a #*!$) of a summer.   New job, new relationship, massive family in town, out of town on vacation and I don't know what other excuses I can throw at you, but please add in any others you can think of.

The good news is, despite blog neglect, and moderate garden neglect, the garden is doing really quite well.  Particularly since it hasn't been below 90 degrees during the day since the last time I wrote in May, and I refuse to water regularly when I should because I've been so exhausted every day when I get home.  Plus its still 90 degrees out with a dew point of 85, and even 5 seconds out there with the hose equals a total sweatbath.   It apparently still doesn't matter, they are all still alive save for 1 pot which for a few weeks failed to drain adequately, and boom.  Everything dead.  Yet another example that overwatering can kill something 8.7x as fast as underwatering can.

I have learned some more from my first hot season as a gardener in the south.
1)Do not plant stuff that only blooms in the summer.  You *might* see it from your window but you will never get to enjoy it.   I am going to spend next spring and this fall replacing some of these plants. 
2)Beebalm is really mildewy.
3)David Phlox is awesomely NOT mildewy.  Even though it is right beside the beebalm, it is perfectly fine.  I am buying more next spring.
4)I have a major ivy problem.  If I were to leave the garden untended for 2 years, I am 100% sure that it would be entirely, ENTIRELY covered and coated with ivy.    I also have a passionflower vine and some other vine problem.   Oh, and the jasmines, which I actually planted, are slowly trying to permanently shut the gate.  Vines do really well here.
5)Full sun, in this climate, means death to most things. (not vines) Full Sun plants need partial shade.  The prettiest part of my garden this spring is the hardest part to keep looking 'alive'.  Angelonia seems to be thriving, but even the knockout roses are looking parched constantly.   There will be a lot more angelonia in my garden in those spots. 
6)While I haven't purchased any new roses, when they go on sale here in October, I'm getting some more.  They really are awesome plants.  My MAC rose (Madame Alfred Carrere) which was one stick and 4 leaves when I mail ordered it from Antique Rose Emporium in May, actually bloomed.  It is in a spot which I frequently ahem, forget, to water, and though it looks wilty during the day, it still is growing like a weed with rosebuds on it.  I have yet to: a)fertilize it, b)train it, c)spray it for any pests, or d)do anything really at all to it, and yet it is thriving.  It has grown 4 feet in 2 months of intense neglect.
7)It pays to pay attention to your plants, and when you take 2 weeks off because you are so busy you don't even have time to go to the bathroom, things like 'tiny bugs coating 100% of both sides of your elephant ear plants' happen with disastrous effects.   Then, probably too late, you go to spray them with something, anything that will get rid of the bugs that are now crawling up your arm, and you find that some neighbor has decided your insecticide was too good to pass up from the backyard potting bench, and stole it.  While leaving a $50 ceramic pot sitting there.   I guess when ya gotta have bug spray, ya gotta have it.  Anyhow.  My elephant ear (colocasia) is looking a bit compromised.  Its only been a week since this happened, so hopefully there will be recovery.

Okay, well here's a pic of the garden :)  I'll be writing more regularly again because my schedule has returned to 'somewhat' normal.   And I'll be visiting everyone's blogs again with my new found time.  I started last night! Missed ya'll.


  1. Hey, Jess is back! I hoped you were just busy and not ...well...any other possible thing. Your garden does look good. I agree with you about bee balm. Mine disappeared altogether this year, but I would have probably gotten rid of it anyway since it nearly always looks horrible. It's good to see you posting again.

  2. Daricia - I know, when frequent posters all the sudden disappear I also start thinking they might have been hit by a car or something. But no, I'm doing just fine!

  3. SO glad to see you back! :D I was actually getting ready to write you and plead with you to keep writing, but I followed the advice I always give Chuck...he'll complain someone didn't email him back after a couple of days. I tell him, 'They DO have lives too, ya know!' :)

  4. Hey Jess, great to see you back! It is amazing how much time life can take away from blogging, lol.

  5. Hello Jess, very happy to see you back and posting! 8.7 x ? is that an exact figure? :D

  6. Welcome back, Jess. The weather alone would be reason enough not to post. And to think we were moaning here today because the dew point got up to the unheard of value of 75. -Jean

  7. I'm sweating just thinking of that heat! We've had a very warm summer but every few days it drops back to low 80's and low humidity and then I get out and weed, weed, weed. Welcome back.

  8. and we missed you! welcome back. my David phlox is absolutely full of powdery mildew, go figure.

  9. Whew. I am really glad to see you back, Jess. We've missed you. David phlox IS totally awesome. Your monarda might develop less mildew if you keep it well watered, as too dry a soil will stress it and cause mildew to erupt. I've only had it badly in 'Bluestocking', and some of the newer cultivars, like with phlox, are more mildew resistant. (But that doesn't mean mildew proof, of course. )

  10. Yay! Glad to see the blog back! And the plants are lookin' good...I know what you mean about the full sun/part shade thing. I have a part shade area where I quite logically planted part shade plants...and the majority have fried deader than dead things. Next year, full sun plants, and the part shade can go into the nearly-full-shade zone...