No amount of waiting or wishful thinking is going to bring the Opuntiaback to life. I see them growing happily around town, and I put effort into planting properly. Some sort of critter or bug had been nibbling on it before the rain set in, so it probably let in the moisture to turn it to mush. I think I will try one in a pot next.
The jury is still out on Agave neomexicana. I think it’s too soon to give up on it, but it is not looking very happy.
Nearby, this crispy critter is Astrolepis inuata, or wavy cloak fern. Looks hopeless to me, but I won’t dig it up just yet.
Bucking the trend at the other end of the same berm, the sedums are engulfing a Yucca ‘Bright Edge’ and a hesperaloe. My plan is to extricate them from the sedum’s clutches, move them somewhere else and hope for the best. My best plans for this berm seem to be destined for failure, so I just may let the sedums have it.
Meanwhile, out at the fence-line, the Romneya coulterii was not looking good.
But wait! What’s this? Sometimes I am too timid about cutting back hard. Mom Nature has no such qualms. Time will tell if it was just what this plant wanted.
We were so disappointed when we saw how dejected Rhododendron sinogrande was when we carefully removed his winter wrappings. Those drooping upper leaves soon darkened, curled up and fell off.
Soon the lower stalks formed big buds that looked like they would become flowers, but no, here they are unfurling replacement leaves. Even that stalk in the upper left corner is showing signs of new buds forming. Hallelujah!
In the six years that my ‘Casa Blanca’ lilies have been growing here, they have never been bothered by slugs. I went out there the other day in the pouring rain and there were slugs draped across many of the upper leaves. Looks like they have feasted to the detriment of this year’s blooms. We shall see. I tore them off with my gloved hands (they resisted as if they had been super-glued in place) and threw them back into the woods where they are actually beneficial. I will patrol the area more diligently in future.
And then there are the deer. A friend gave me this geum. The buds were swelling and just beginning to color up. I was looking forward to the splash of orange: just what this bed needed. Instead, the deer neatly nipped off each bud. Time to mix up a new batch of my evil witches’ brew to spray on susceptible plants.
It worked! Here is the first cheery orange blossom to make it all the way to maturity. If you want to try my formula for deterring deer, you will find it here.
My hydrangeas took a big hit with the one-two punch of two harsh winters. Some did better than others, and if you want to know which ones will be hardiest you should check out Joy Creek’s blog. Hydrangeas are one of their specialties and they devoted their most recent blog post to the subject.
Sometimes we have no one to blame but you-know-who. I have had great success with Ipomoea batatas spilling from my porch pocket. I found a couple of them, plus a coleus with exactly the perfect complementary color at our local one-stop market and popped them in the pot. I kept them watered, but they insisted upon this dying act. Well, I emptied the pot, scrubbed it out and soaked it in bleach solution overnight. The new coleus housed there is doing fine. So how about you? How has nature, in her many guises, conspired for and against you so far?