Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you about the stuff that got done recently. You may remember me from such posts as “House Of A Different Color”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. You might have to look closely.
The thing is, there’s a new block of suet in the feeder hanging pretty close to me, and the squirrel thinks it’s for him. It isn’t. But he keeps trying to get to it, so it’s my job to make sure he doesn’t.
The guy I live with has been watering, because it hasn’t rained at all so far this month, which isn’t all that unusual for here, these days, but it’s distressing to him. I can tell.
Watering has helped the plants of Salvia greggii flower more than they normally would in a dry period.
I know this is a crummy picture of ‘Grenadine’, but then, I didn’t take it.
The ones on the south side of the house are doing well, too. There are a lot of plants.
The Wasatch or bigtooth maples, Acer grandidentatum, have had nice color this year.
This maple is native from I think Montana all the way south into northern Mexico. The guy I live with planted a couple called ‘Manzano’, from the Manzano Mountains of New Mexico, but that’s a place far enough south that the plants didn’t turn color in autumn; the leaves just went brown. This is called consequential dormancy, going dormant because it suddenly gets cold, rather than the usual predictive dormancy, where plants prepare for cold weather, like the leaves turning color and so on.
Which is fine, but if you plant something for autumn color and it doesn’t have any, there’s not much point.
You can see the fence, which is slightly in front of the maples, and that makes the beginning of what’s always been called “the way back”, as in “way back” in the garden, because you can’t see it from the patio.
The fence is where “the enclosure” is; the guy I live with’s wife made that garden for herself, and it’s had a difficult time since she died.
Since it’s falling apart, some, the fence is being replaced. It takes quite a bit of time for the guy I live with to get things done.
He cleared out a bunch of the vinca that had grown over the flagstone his wife set, so that now the crocuses (Crocus speciosus) can flower. This was taken from the bench in the enclosure.
Most of the dirt you see there needs to be swept away, because it’s covering the flagstone.
There’s a good view of the maples, one of them, anyway, from the bench.There is a big deal going on in the enclosure, and a very big deal at that.
About a dozen years ago, the guy I live with transplanted the huge Paeonia rockii that was growing in the front yard back to the enclosure. It was his wife’s favorite plant, and she took lots of pictures of it in flower.
He was super-worried that the peony would die after it was moved, but it didn’t.
On the other hand, it hasn’t flowered since it was transplanted, it’s only a third the size it used to be, and the leaves get sunburned because the sumac shading it died a couple of years ago.
The guy I live with thought about this for a couple of years, and decided it to dig it up, after the leaves fall off. (They sometimes turn a beautiful purple and red.)
It’s going to take a truck ride, and be planted in Plantasia at Denver Botanic Gardens, where it will have a good home.
He said people have blathered a lot to him about “letting go”, after his wife died; well, this is really letting go, and he feels okay about it.
The “Autumn Joy” sedums in front of it are going to go, too, but to a neighbor’s.
Some new plants have been ordered, to go in their place.
Aside from the enclosure work, the guy I live with did a bunch of work in the way back border. I hear that years ago it was packed with perennials, but watered all the time, when my Private Lawn was bluegrass rather than the buffalo grass in it now.
The border on the east side of my lawn gets watered fairly regularly (that means about once every ten days or so), and there are crocuses there, too.
This is where the Sedum ‘Matrona’ and big lambs’ ears are.
But the border along the back fence, the way back border itself, is another story.
The soil here is like dust, so what he did was completely cut down the ‘President Lincoln’ lilac, another plant that rarely if ever flowers, and planted an Austrian Copper rose there. You can hardly see it in this picture, but it’s to the left of the ‘Annabel’ lilac, which is going to stay.
The roses will tolerate the very dry conditions in this border quite well. I say “roses” because there’s another Austrian Copper, and a Persian yellow rose (the Austrian Copper was a sport of it), and a Rosa xanthina.
The guy I live with wanted native dryland shrubs to go there, but the roses were easier to find.