Wildflower’s guide to low maintenance flowers

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   As summer winds to a close, I can glance out to my deck and clearly see which plants worked for me.  I am the sort of gardener who likes to look at the flowers, not spend time watering them every day. Following are my recommendations for drought tolerant plants, for the “otherwise occupied” gardener.

 

Angelonia This was a new one for me, but it grew happily in a planter and I will probably get it again, this time I will probably plant it with something else.  It’s name sounds like Prince’s girlfriend’s name, only better.

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Arboricola I have had exceptional luck with this houseplant.  I got my first one when I was a freshman in college.  It lasted about 15 years.  It can withstand the occasional freeze, especially if you don’t care what your plant looks like.  It finally froze too much.  I was pretty bummed, but when they started handing out the gift plants from my grandpa’s funeral, I chose another one.  It is doing well, after a small freeze because it got left in the back of the car in March.  Oops.  It was ugly for a while, but it snapped out of it in spades.

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Bacopa This stuff can come back from near death time and time again, I love it.

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Gerber Daisy I am hoping I can take this one inside this winter.  I think I heard you can.

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Lantana I first learned about this from my sister-in-law who could raise it outside in Mississippi.  Here it comes in for the winter, either in the garage or our bedroom.  It sheds leaves all over then goes dormant for a month then it grows again.  It has some flowers ready to open and some that are on their way out, so the photo does not do it justice.

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Laurentia I called my greenhouse lady twice to figure out what this was, (she was more patient than I deserved, but she turned me onto Swan River Daisy for next year).  Laurentia is just glorious; it blooms all summer long and needs no maintenance.

 

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I am not sure what this is, but it had “Tequila and lime” in the name and it smells great!  It will go inside this winter as well.

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Of course I have impatiens, petunias and pansies too.  These hardy plants do well in a sporadic watering situation.

 

I know you all have been anxiously waiting to hear about that wildflower I was trying to germinate- scarlet globemallow.  Well, of the 100 seeds I planted, none sprouted.  None.  I went camping and dug some up from a state park with a plastic spoon with as much native soil as I could get.  They looked pretty darn good, then Paul dumped them out and played in the dirt.  I put it back and am hoping there was something to survive.  Then a friend mailed me a plant, and that looked dead, then looked promising then the cats started using that container for a bed then it looked dead and now it looks like this.  I call it promising.  I guess we will see next year.

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From the Men in Plaid series…

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Leo and his potty tractor and big boy underwear.  Success at last.

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Will the baby kitty fit in the trailer?

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The ladies looking lovely.  I forget how short Jane is, she is 15 months younger than Mae.

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And the whole family except the granddaughter.  I am having an exceptional hair day, if I had realized that, I might have lurked around so people could take more photos of me.  Paul’s finger, by the way, is in his mouth, he is getting teeth.

September 09-38

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I am in the middle of a busy next couple of weeks.  We had a family death, a tragic, violent one which looks like it might tear what is left of my husband’s family apart.  My SIL plans to have a mental health counselor talk to the family about grief and healthy ways do deal with it.  Please pray with me that she succeeds in diffusing or would that be defusing the vitriol that is currently being spewed everywhere.  That would of course be this weekend. 

Next weekend we leave for Disney World.  In the meantime we were planning to leave the gentlemen with my mother and stepfather while we vacation in the sun with the ladies.  My stepfather went camping several weeks ago and chopped wood, like he was 70 instead of nearly 80.  He hurt his shoulder.  After deciding the pain would not go away, he called his doctor.  The receptionist said he wasn’t in so she couldn’t make an appointment or some crazy thing.  He called back and said “I want an appointment to see my doctor.”  She gave him one for a few days down the road.  He went and the Dr said “You need an MRI, I will schedule one for a week from today and here is some Vicoden.  Have fun, and see you in a week.”  One week later he showed up and was unable to lie down on the table for any length of time due to the pain.  They decided he could have an anesthetic to cut the pain so he could lie back completely.  They scheduled an MRI for a week from the day and gave him 60 more Vicoden.  Yesterday he fasted from 5 pm the night before and showed up for his MRI at 2.  The receptionist gave him the proverbial paperwork to fill out (again, since they didn’t save it from the week before) and said, “I will let the guys back there explain the problem.”  The problem was the MRI was down and nobody bothered to call him to tell him he didn’t have to come in.  “We will schedule one for next week,” they said.  Here my mother lost it and demanded they schedule him sooner.  So as far as I know, my stepfather is under the ray as I type.  I pray he is anyway.  Mom says, “And we didn’t even have to go to Canada to get this kind of health care!”  He still has to have surgery to correct whatever the problem is.  I suppose that will be another week and more Vicoden.  I hope he feels up to little boy company.

It has been two weeks

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According to my records, I have not blogged much this summer, with the exception of a spurt at the beginning of this month.  I have been busy cleaning.  I shampooed the carpets, and boy did they need it.  Hopefully Leo is done tinkling on them, and they will stay relatively stain free until we potty train Paul.  Ha.  Last week I cleaned out my office.  I only have two small piles left to file.  This room is our piling room, and a great place to toss all kinds of miscellaneous stuff.  Except now it looks so clean I may not want to ruin the ambience.

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Paul’s scar seems to be healing pretty well.  We had Aunt Mi-shelf, as Leo calls her, remove the stitches.

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Paul spends a lot of his time doing just this.

The ladies started school.

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And our good friend Leo is still potty training.  He seems to have some confusion about how the uniform is to be worn.

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We are planning a trip next month, specifically to build up the trust funds of Walt Disney’s heirs.  It will involve taking the ladies out of school for a week, but if all goes well, we will not be there at a really busy time.  We decided to leave the gentlemen with Grandma and Papa.  I don’t think it would be much fun to try to keep track of the little guys in a place like that.  We can take them somewhere special in a few years, when they are a little older and smarter. (not wearing their underwear backwards?)  Any practical tips on Disney vacations would be appreciated.

 

Father’s Day

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We feasted on mulberries and walked by the crick (which covered the entire pasture two weeks ago).  Did you know it is much easier to get a natural shot of the ladies when you tell them to turn their back to you?  Look for more of those in the future, and don’t tell anyone I let Leo out in just his diaper and his Tony Lamas!  He has “Off” on too, you just can’t see it.

I wanted to return some of the hospitality we have been offered over the past few years, so I planned a party for June 28.  I invited a couple of friends and they couldn’t come, but they had a suggestion, have it Friday, as in this Friday.  So I am having a party to celebrate the fact that I sprayed our lawn for mosquitoes.  I hated to do it because I will kill all the lightning bugs too, the spraying will kill them not the party.  I have invited a boatload of people, we’ll saddle Prairie horse and give rides, we’ll clean the playhouse (again), we’ll play horseshoes, croquet and that new game which involves PVC pipe and two balls with a string.  I will make a beef brisket, iced tea and maybe ice cream.  Everyone else can bring something and it will be fun.  Feel free to come if you are in the neighborhood, but don’t expect to hear from me in the next few days.