Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today for yet another post. You may remember me from such posts as “The Disappointments”, among so many, many others.
The guy I live with has explained to me just how inconsiderate people can be. I like most of my neighbors, but there are a few whom I don’t like at all. Not even slightly. I’d like to chomp them, but the guy I live with said we don’t do things like that.
He’s also explained to me that life can be full of disappointments. If you look at the post I mentioned above, you’ll see what I mean.
But in this case, it’s because the weather forecast called for a seventy percent chance of rain today, and we got none. A couple of sprinkles was all. Lots of heavy sighs around here.
Every time they’ve forecasted rain here, nothing has happened.
It hasn’t rained here since the first of June.
You can see from the picture below that it looked like it might rain, but it didn’t. (That’s a lonely Eremurus olgae in flower.)
The guy I live with said that very dry weather and firecrackers do not mix.
I’ll show some more garden pictures now. These are plants that have done well here without any irrigation and ten inches (twenty-five centimeters) of rain and snow a year, if even that.
This is Helianthus pumilus, which is native here.
And of course the sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata, which does well on even less precipitation.
Maybe more Melica ciliata than we really need in the garden, too.
Sphaeralcea fendleri, just starting to flower.
Salvia greggii. Some of these are new plants which have been watered in. The salvia will flower in May and June, but won’t flower in autumn (its common name in “autumn sage”), unless it rains, like it does in its native habitat. Although it won’t die from drought.
A happy bee on Amorpha canescens. The guy I live with finally smelled these flowers after having them in the garden for over a quarter of a century, since it was covered with bees and bumblebees, and said they smelled “lemony”.
Now back to the other stuff.
The guy I live with said it’s been a disappointing year for seed-sowing, too. In general, anyway. I know he doesn’t care hugely about this, but still, he paid for the seeds, and so when nothing happens, it’s a bit frustrating.
He got some vegetable seeds, and they did come up, but grew so slowly he said probably nothing would bear fruit. Tomatoes, some Thai eggplants, and chili peppers. Of course some of these can be grown indoors, watching for whitefly in the winter.
Then there were the amsonias. Native dryland species, not the ones from eastern North America. These are mostly really easy to germinate, but then most of the seedlings die for no apparent reason.
There are some amsonias in the seed frames out in back, too. Some amsonia species just come up and some need a cold treatment and so the latter spent the winter in this frame.
You can see that there are a lot of pots with no seedlings in them. The guy I live with said this was okay; maybe they’ll germinate next year. That happens a lot.
The pot at upper left with all the greenery trying to burst through the hardware cloth is filled with Oenothera caespitosa seedlings.
(The guy I live with went to one of the big box stores looking for hardware cloth, and the person there didn’t know what he was talking about. So the guy I live with took the person over to where the rabbit fencing was, and there was some hardware cloth, and he showed them what it was. It’s that screen-looking thing in the picture above.)
The buffalo gourds, Cucurbita foetidissima, were a bit tricky to germinate, but then there were a lot of seedlings, most of which died. A few lived, and were doing well, but all of a sudden they dried up.
This plant, which is native here and to a lot of the Great Plains to the east, makes a huge underground root. Claude Barr called it a “spectacular trailing vine”, and the guy I live with said that was true. A plant growing here died some years ago, for unknown reasons, so he tried to grow it from seed, and when the seedlings’ leaves dried, disappointment set in again.
But then look what happened. This is a pretty blurry picture but you can still see what’s going on.
You can also see the formation of the gigantic root.
Another thing that almost became a huge disappointment when the seedlings dried out and all the leaves withered, but then a lot of watering brought them back to life, were the acacias.
These are seedlings of Vachellia constricta, which used to be known as Acacia constricta. You can see that they’re forming thorns.
So not everything is totally terrible. I guess that’s our message for today.
But we really could use some rain.