Sunday, August 21, 2011

PURGE THE SPURGE AND SCOOP THE POOP

When David complained to me this morning that he couldn't walk down the path though the vegetable garden for wayward amaranth and pomegranate branches, I told him. 'First priority is to remove the weeds', namely spurge. They are the scourge of my garden, forming dense dinner plate sized mats along with the taller variety that turn into small trees. Then there is the purslane. One of my vegetable beds, that has seen not a drop of water since I left 7 weeks ago, was covered with them. They weighed a ton. Anyway most of them are out now, although I know they will be back.
With all that I have heard in the past weeks about how bad things were in Austin, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually had some garden left. The drip irrigation system around the sunken garden seems to have kept most things alive. The gomphrena, lantana and a few zinnias are also looking pretty perky. The lower part of the sunken garden doesn't get water but I think the plants there enjoy a cool root run underneath the large sandstone pavers. The chocolate daisy was pumping out its delicious chocolate smell this morning.

The front garden is looking very tired and grey. This front area is not under irrigation so is up for a good soaking tonight. There are many casualties, and those that suffered worst were the cactus and succulents in pots. Some almost look beyond saving; my bloodspot agave, A. augustifolia and A. desmettiana, multiple succulents. I left them out, when I left, in the hope that they would get rained on but instead they just fried alive. I'm hoping a drink of water will rejuvenate them. Other casualties are the Japanese aralia, completely toast, my sweet, sweet Felicia rose-boo, hoo, and a huge pittosporum in the corner of the English Garden. It was 10 years old! The pomegranate tree in the English Garden lost more branches and will probably be removed in the fall.

As to scooping the poop. The foxes must have moved in here because I have never seen so much poop, all in one place. I'll bet they are guilty of eating all my cantaloupes. All that are left are the empty shells.

13 comments:

  1. Wow--I'm envious! Your sunken garden is still beautiful, and the front garden doesn't look too bad, considering our conditions. I'm sorry for your loss of succulents, etc, though. I've only lost annuals so far (knock on brittle wood).

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  2. Your sunken garden still looks beautiful despite the obviously harsh conditions. While the front garden does look a little stressed, hopefully a decent soak will help things along. What a shame about your beloved Felicia Rose and Pittosporum. Fingers crossed that the ailing succulents can be saved!

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  3. I fight that darn purslane, too and big mats of spurge. Your garden looks quite good in the pictures... the poop is disgusting!

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  4. thank goodness for drip. My succulents in pots are frying even when irrigated.

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  5. I didn't realize you had a drip irrigation system in the sunken garden. I'd be very interested to learn how you have it set up. With all the granite and mulch I have between plants in my yard, setting up the sprinkler to water is inefficient, but hand watering is such a chore. Maybe drip is my answer.

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  6. Your garden sounds like a lot of fun. I'm glad most of your plants survived:)

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  7. Easy for me to say, not actually having to suffer the losses, but in the pictures at least everything (with the exception of the poop!) looks fabulous. I hope your succulents perk up!!

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  8. I just love your garden, and it's proof that despite TERRIBLE temps and dry dry conditions, you can have a really nice garden!

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  9. Sorry about your lost plants. But, your garden still looks better than ours, and we've been here the whole time....amazing.

    I'd like to know how the drip system is set up, too. We're using soaker hoses, but they're just letting things hang on.

    Welcome home.

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  10. Boo Hoo indeed. Yes, my agaves in pots have also really suffered. Frankly, I thought about bringing them inside while I go to Indianapolis. 114F is just too hot for most things. We also have foxes, and they do love cantaloupe.~~Dee

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  11. Sad losses, but overall your garden looks very good considering you were gone for 7 weeks in the midst of an exceptional drought and terrible heat wave. Would your canteloupes have been edible after all that time away? Maybe the foxes were just cleaning up for you. Too bad they can't be trained to eat spurge and purslane.

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  12. Spurge - a shame that lives. I had the smaller form of spurge native here, but thanks to some plants grown in Arizona, I now have their larger form of spurge!

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  13. I'm sorry you lost some cacti, but the rest of the garden looks great. We're lucky in that we don't get a lot of spurge (or perhaps I pull it out when it's young, not realizing what it is. I know my neighbor across the road is plagued with it.

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