I have to confess, I find white to be a little boring. Much of that has to do with all the white vinyl fences and railing and trim which abounds in my part of town, and the competition it provides to any white flower which tries to do its own thing in my yard, but it’s also probably too tasteful for me. Anyway, my garden is also mostly full sun, and unless it’s the moon shining down, white can become a glare, and any other colors cooled by white into pastels are also lost to the sun. Hot colors on the other hand, can put up a fight. Bright reds and golds, yellows and hot pinks, intense purples… these are the colors I love to see when I look out upon a yard baking in the afternoon sun, preferably from the other side of a window… comfortably cooled by air conditioning.
Today it was mostly hot, but it was absolutely humid and sometimes that’s worse. I cut the grass, was drenched in sweat, but not much else happened and I was fine with leaving it at that.
Even with the heat and humidity I did try and get the last of the weeding done. That sounds good but of course I’ve already got to re-visit the weeds in the beds where I first started, and the rains aren’t slowing anything down other than the gardener.
A slow gardener shouldn’t surprise anyone, and this one’s about ready to stop completely, call it a year and just sit back to watch things rather than try and exert any more control. We’ll see.
Actually with vacation season approaching the sitting back part will be even easier, and that’s usually when all control is lost.
The local wildlife seems to enjoy the messiness and I’m happy to see that, even if it means more and more baby bunnies eating the coreopsis while I watch. Actually I was also enjoying watching all the bird activity until I realized it was the blueberries and gooseberries which were entertaining them. I guess my netting problems are still not even close to being foolproof but no matter, who wants to pick all those delicious berries anyway?
On the down side the birds seem to really enjoy retiring to the bath apres dinner, so the pond is always a mess of splashing and berry vomit and whatever else comes out the other end so it’s not nearly as nice as some of the other amazing garden ponds I’ve seen. Maybe someday a (clean) mountain creek plus koi pond will grace this garden but right now I’m absolutely thrilled with the dirty little sump which I call the pond, because in spite of the duckweed and murk I have something far better than koi. I have tadpoles. Finally. Since building it I’ve been hoping “The Pond” would bring in a couple frogs or toads and this year in spite of a healthy population of mosquito devouring aquatic water beetles, eggs have survived and now tadpoles are sprouting legs. I love it and in moments like this I realize what a nerd I am.
So I’m way off the ‘hot’ theme but whatever. Let’s just wander out front again to see some of the amazing cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) which are just days from flowering. These are much cooler than they are hot and each day I have to touch them just to verify again how solid and spiny they are. I like them and I bet when they go to seed the goldfinches will also like them… even if these artichoke relatives are a little bigger than their usual thistle meals.
If the goldfinches like thistle seed then the cyclamen must be making the ants happy. Cyclamen purpurascens are showing up all around the base of our ant-infested cherry tree and I suspect the ants take the seeds in, nibble off the sugary coating, and then discard the seeds down the sides of the tree. Works for me, I would have never considered planting them in such a dark, rooty location.
Back to the hot theme. I’m not sure if I mentioned, but 2021 is the year of the caladium, and a five pound box of tubers from Caladiumbulbs4less (quite the subtle company name) have been potted up and are just loving the semi-tropical weather. I love them almost as much as the tadpoles, and when the tadpoles sprout their legs and hop off to new frontiers at least I’ll have my caladiums.
In case you’re wondering, five pounds of mixed caladiums is much more than this garden needs, but just about right for what this garden wants. 87 corms would be a pretty good guess of how many caladiums were planted, but I’m sure to actually repeatedly count them would be a little obsessive. Obsessive would also be ordering mixed bulbs but then potting them all up individually so that later on you can plant all the similar forms together… and then running individual drip lines to all of them. Amazing how obsessive can easily co-exist with lazy as long as you buy enough drip emitters, but it has to be done since cool weather and drying-out are the biggest dangers to an excellent 2021 caladiumfest.
I’m sure you’ll hear way too much about the year of the caladium so I’ll end it here, but I do enjoy seeing them revel in the warmer weather and nearly daily thunderstorms so I could really go on and on if I had to. In any case it sure beats a drought.
Have a great week, hot or not.