18 October 2006

The Waste Land

I was working on a long post about California's "second spring" [we were laughing the other day about recent immigrants and their sad, predictable complaints about "seasons"], as well as the various failures this year [this list will have to be updated], but I don't have the energy. I spent the weekend excavating and building the raised bed, which gave me ample time to gauge the progress of my physical decrepitude, and also turn most of the yard into a desolate mud pit (punctuated with bermuda grass stolons). The end is finally near, but it hardly seems like it right now.

These flowers would have encouraged me, if there were more than two of them, and if the color had actually been "blood red" (The alleged "common" name of Distictis buccinatoria is blood red trumpet vine). A bit finer, perhaps, than common trumpet vine, and supposedly less "vigorous" (= weedy), but not long for the garden if it remains so stingy with the flowering.

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12 October 2006

Death Comes to the Salvia

Ironic that these salvias are looking their best on the week they are to be sacrificed. But they must die that the raised bed may live.

The hideous purple is Salvia leucophylla leucantha. I'm not entirely sure the hummingbirds won't peck my eyes out when I destroy it. They've taken exception to pruning attempts in the past.

I'm going to try to save the red S. elegans twining through the fuchsia in the foreground and move it to the front, but I have low expectations.

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04 October 2006


C'mon feel the negative ions.


03 October 2006

Gardening with the Eagles (and subsequent solo spin-offs)

1. The heat is on

The weather is of course the most proverbially boring topic there is. And yet it is necessarily of surpassing interest to the gardener. I've never noticed summer turn so quickly into "fall" before, but of course I've never paid attention. I do believe that our traditional late-September heat wave was uncharacteristically abbreviated this year. We resorted to central heat for the first time a few days ago.

The days are abbreviating fast too. No use trying to get anything done after 7 now.

But the garden likes to remind me I'm not in Kansas anymore: one of the sweet peas is still blooming.

2. Take it to the limit

It's good to know your limitations. My limit, I just discovered, is six bags of concrete. Which means I'm a pathetic weakling. Nevertheless, I managed to get the slab poured last weekend, notwithstanding the disgusting wound left behind when the concrete float ripped off a callus. It didn't even hurt that much, but the next day it felt like my hands belonged to someone else. That's an inscrutable picture of the slab curing under plastic above, by the way.

I should also note that if you plant to run your own conduit, test it for leaks before you cover it up again.

Now you have Glen Frye in your head too, sucker. Just be thankful I spared you Don Henley.

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© 2006