Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Gardens

We have not walked through the gardens for a few weeks.  When we had the severely hot and humid weather, we shut down outside work at Crest Avenue.  It was just too oppressive to do anything outside which required any physical exertion other than to water.  Thank goodness we did keep up with the watering schedule.  We have been fortunate not to have lost any plants this year.  Here you see how well the cactus is doing.  You see the new growth on the top of each spire.  It is in a sunny spot and we do not overwater.  The fern next to it was lush and beautiful the day I bought it.  I bought it on my first errand stop that day.  Then I stopped a couple other places and then back home.  It got so hot sitting in the car that the fronds simply died.  The brown curly Q's once had beautiful green fronds on them.  You can see that with care it is coming back.  I was really shocked that this happened.  I've never had that happen before.

Here is a picture of a beautiful butterfly bush.  This is a variety that I am not fully familiar with.  It was a gift.  It attracts butterflies.  They have been all over it this past week.  The flowers are a little different on this one than a true Buddleia.  But no matter.  It is stunning.

Another look at the butterfly bush.  These blooms are a very soft pink. 

And the gorgeous crepe myrtles.  These are the wine colored.  I like them very much.  If I had it to do over again, I would have planted the pink.  But really any crepe myrtle, no matter the color, is stunning when in bloom.  You can see the purple martin house in the background.  I believe we have a few happy families in residence this year.

The crepe myrtles in silhouette.

And the elephant ears.  In the foreground is the black elephant ear.  Behind that and to the left are the standard green elephant ears.  These were planted in the spring, so this is their first year.  Less than spectacular, but with each passing year they should become more showy.  These will require heavy mulching in the fall to protect over the winter.  Ideally, they should be lifted but I am going to try the mulch routine and see what happens.

Finally, a not so pleasant picture.  This weed has invaded my back yard from the property next door.  Each year I cut it back and each year it infiltrates a little more.  This year I decided to address the problem a different way.  I sprayed it with Brush Killer.  You can buy this at Lowe's or Home Depot.  It is specifically for heavy duty weed and brush infiltration.  You simply attach the bottle to the end of a garden hose, turn on the water and spray.  As you can see, it has done a very effective job of killing this noxious weed.  However, I believe a second application would only help the situation.  So that will be something we will be doing again over the coming days.
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