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Posts Tagged ‘penstemmon’

I slipped up and did not post either Friday night or Saturday night. Friday, my office hosted a little meet-and-greet for past clients, and while I was not obligated to be there, I went for a couple of hours. I hate small talk, but sometime you have to do what you have to do, and I wanted to support my real estate agents. Small talk kills me, and I came home and dove into a movie instead of getting on the Web.

Saturday, I gave myself permission to take the day off from responsibilities, writing, and plugging away at my website goals over at Two Crow Feather Woman. I did some minor chores. but most of the day was just a long, lazy, happy day.

Today, I jumped back into responsibility. Groceries, laundry, feeding the birds. The sun came out, although a bit weak, what with high, thin, clouds. I dove into the garden. Who knows when next we’ll have a relatively decent and warm day to tackle the constants of a living garden? The rainy season is fast approaching and I admit that I am none too fond of working in the yard in the cold, finger-cramping, Autumn weather.

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This doesn’t look like much. I’ll explain: you are looking at a slew of yellow evening primroses (Oenothera biennis). I have wonderful childhood memories of the fragrance of these wafting on a warm summer’s evening. Then I grew up and forgot about it until some bird dropped these seeds into my yard and I decided to see what grew from the clumps. They are every bit as fragrant as I recall, and they are insect-friendly, hosting bees, moths, and hummingbirds. Occasionally, we even get hummingbird moths (common name for a sphinx moth that resembles a hummingbird, but which flies at night. The evening primrose blooms in the evening and fades with dawn’s light.

This year, they spread over the top of my beleaguered mountain penstemon, and I had to decide: primroses or penstemon? Oh, why choose either/or? I chose to pull apart the broad leaves of the primroses to find the living branches of the particular penstemon I have: something we dug up in eastern Oregon or the high Cascades and replanted in the yard. This particular kind grows much like kinnickinnick (I love that word!): woody, close to the ground, and on slopes.

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I planted it in three different areas of the yard, naturalizing it into the rocks.

Well, that was easy, so why not tackle the irises? It is Autumn, and the best time to dig around irises. My irises survived the gravel drive of my folks’ house in Ely, Nevada, for decades. They were my mother’s, and a few years after she died, my father dug them up (he hated them) and boxed them, and shipped them to me.

They survived the wet climate here, but every few years I have to dig them completely out and pull the grass out from between them. The grass is insidious. It strangles my other plants, from peonies to irises to gladiolas to my lavenders and the Russian sage. Anyplace that was a neglected flower bed when we bought this house, the grass creeps in and takes my garden hostage.

I don’t have this problem in the beds I created since we moved in, only in the beds that were neglected by the previous owner.

Grass and red sorrel.

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I have temporarily won: the irises have been replanted sans grass roots.

Finally, I mulched a zone 9 plant out in the front garden (I live in a 7/8 zone), and I pulled out half the Hallowe’en decorations. I’ll put up the lights next weekend.

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