Calye’s Corner: Gardening Goals-The Great Grass War of 2017

Hey, everyone! Are you ready for the second installment in my gardening antics? Good deal, because this is the perfect blog post for you! Let me fill you in on what all has been going on. (See my first round of gardening antics here.)

Now, not to worry, for my schefflera plant is still doing quite well! It has been putting on a significant amount of new growth, and it is getting tall. I was thinking of trimming a couple shoots off and soaking them in water until the sprouted roots. I remember my mom doing this years ago when one of her schefflera plants was starting to die. She successfully grew a new plant from the old. So, it is possible, right? Then, I would have two (or more!) of them! But, I am nervous about killing the sproutlings. Well, maybe another day. Don’t fret, for I will keep you updated!

So, we left off last time when I had planted the East Friesland Salvia and the petunias in my mailbox planter. Well, a series of unfortunate events transpired in the short few days that followed my gardening adventures. First, the driest and hottest wind we had had thus far in the summer in Oklahoma blew through our neighborhood, bending my poor plants and drying them out. Not to fear! I was there with the water right away! (I even purchased a lovely navy blue watering can for just such an occasion!)

I was worried, but I was still confident that they could survive!

Until the storm of the summer struck, raining torrents of rain and sharp pricks of hail down upon my poor flowers. Those in the flowerbed by the house were somewhat sheltered, and they survived. But, my poor mailbox planter flowers did not fare as well. The blooms were beaten off, and the plants leaned at a sharp angle that I could not seem to rectify.

After that, the days grew hotter, and I worried about watering the plants in the morning. Somewhere I had heard that water on the leaves could burn a plant worse than if you had not watered them at all. So, you would think to water them in the evening, right? Well, after a full day of work I would often forget to water my plants. (Bad habits die hard, ladies and gentlemen!) I know, it is my own fault.

When I realized my mistake, I fear it was likely far too late. The beautiful purple and white flowers had all crisped and dried a disheartening brown. As I leaned closer, I could see some life in the plants—a hint of green had held out at the very center of the cluster!

I continued to water them, but, alas, I fear I was far too late for most of them, especially the salvia. Those, I hate to say, are gone…in a sense. Their browned stalks haunt the planter to this day, for I have yet to pull them out since I gave up on these plants.

Well, I often weed the front flowerbeds, because after a rain they can get ridiculously overrun. There is one type that I cannot stand! It grows incredibly fast and sends out runners that burrow into the ground, sprouting roots of their own. They are so hard to get up and out of the flowerbed without churning the soil so much that all of the other plants are pulled up with it. It is some type of grass, but I am uncertain as to what kind. Remember, I am a newbie gardener with no green thumb. (Side note:  the flowers and bushes in the front flowerbeds were planted by the builder of my brother’s house, and I have nothing to do with their thriving success…unfortunately. It is a little depressing that even though the builder does not tend to these flowers, more have sprouted up from dormant seeds than what I have ever been able to successfully grow with my full attention.)

Now, I easily pulled up several trash can loads of garden weeds the last couple of weeks, and I feel like the beasts are besting me. Especially that accursed grass with its runners that snake around everything. Jerks.

I tell you this, because I work out in the morning and then go pull weeds before it gets too hot with the intention of fixing up the mailbox planter. However, the problem is that there are so many weeds that I spend the entire cool of the morning fighting grass and pigweed, and by the time I am done, I am so exhausted that if I were to trek down the small hill to clear the planter that I would fall on my face in the grass, unable to rise and return to the cool sanctuary of the house. Then, with my Irish skin, I would bake like a lobster in a pot. Hello, third degree burns that would make me bedridden. In the time I am laid up in bed, the weeds would take over led by the couch grass king, and I would never be able to vanquish his army.

Spiraling.

Plus—there is a black widow that has burrowed into the bricks of the mailbox planter, and it rushes out anytime something disturbs its web. Now, I am not particularly afraid of spiders. At work the other day I successfully captured a wolf spider that had wandered into a hygienist’s operatory through the back door, releasing it back in the grass out front. But, there is something about black widows. Shiver.

We had them around the outside of our house in the country when I was growing up, and I do not know if I had nightmares about them or what, but black widows are one of my kryptonite (kryptonites? Eh…). Plus, they are poisonous, people! No thanks.

So, being that tired and not wanting to tangle with the widow, I opt to getting a cool shower and some ice water. Surprisingly, today as I am writing this at the dining room table, I looked out the window at the planter. Wonder of wonders! I see little white flowers on one side! And the salvia still has a touch of green!

White Flag Petunia

Perhaps not all is lost! However, it could be that little petunia is merely waving a white flag of surrender…. I still may have to buy new plants and start again. Good thing I have been doing some research and brainstorming. I think I have something I can work with. But, I better get a move on before the season ends completely!

Stay tuned to Calye’s Corner for more half-baked gardening and a myriad of other adventures!

Gardening Goals: My Sad History of Gardening

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