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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dead Garden Walk 2010--You Are Invited!

Welcome, master gardeners and amateurs alike. Gardening on Hearthstone Drive this year had been a challenge!
When it wasn't 95 and sunny, it was 90 and storming. Despite our best efforts to cultivate only hardy plant life, some specimens proved to be too delicate for the "every plant for themselves" philosophy of this Garden Walk.
Step lively with me as we begin this year's Dead Garden Walk:
First, the gerbena daisy hanging death basket. When healthy, this plant from the dandelion family can survive almost anything. In my capable hands, it quit blooming cheery yellow and orange blossoms a month ago, and has been dying a slow, leaf-by-leaf death ever since. Next stop for this puppy: trash bin.

In a decorative watering can hand-painted by my sister, a wan, fading spike plant oversees the death of a pink petunia. Friends, it takes a special amount of neglect to kill a petunia, and I have accomplished it with several specimens this summer. I may be breeding mosquitoes in the bottom of that watering can, though.

These relatively vibrant pink petunias reside under the crab-apple tree, an infamous part of our yard. The crab-apple has a stunning, show-stopping moment of pink-hued beauty when it blooms in May. It then begins a summer's-long fade, so that by August, it look like Tree of the Apocalypse. I think the reason these petunias have done so well under it is the healthy amount of sunshine they receive through the sparse crab-apple branches.
What can I saw? These petunias lived--oh, they tried to live, so valiantly!--on the front porch. A combination of roof (keeping the rain off them) and sun (dead-on every afternoon) and benign neglect (what excuse can I give?) brought about their banishment from the porch to the side garden, where they can continue to die in peace.
But enough of death! (For a moment.) Here's my accidentally organic tomatoes! Organic, because they were grown sans chemicals or even fertilizer. Accidentally, because I just forgot to take care of them! Wah-la! But, they live!
Meet The Stupidest Oak Trees Every. They are spindly, pathetic-looking, and ... they live in a POT. A give-away from work, NO ONE -- us, nor neighbors, nor family -- seems to want to plant a pathetic oak tree in their yard. But perhaps I am looking at these specimens incorrectly. Perhaps I should call them ... The Most Unique Oak Trees Ever. Because who else do you know who GROWS OAK TREES IN A POT!? And, again ... they are alive!

If only you could have seen these potted petunias, which live (optimistically speaking) on the patio table in the backyard, a month ago. Their cheerful white-and-pink countenance would have cheered you. Alas, they, too, have taken a downward spiral.
Despite my forgetting to water this palm time and and time again, I have failed to kill it, which is GREAT, because Angela gave it to me, and I would have major maternal guilt if it perished. YEA ME. THANK YOU for not dying, Potted Palm!
These particularly pathetic and neglected pots were not chosen to grace the landscape (?) this year, but chose to participate anyway, from top to bottom, we have: Weeds; More Weeds; and Wild Clover with a Volunteer Petunia. Who says I don't have a green thumb!
Great news, gardeners: We'll be wrapping up this tour high note. First, on the north side of the home, the Hosta Garden, or Those Things Which Cannot Be Killed Even By Cathy. I think it helps that 1) sun is sparse on this side of the house 2) the sump pump empties on this side, so they get watered and 3) the bird feeder is right above them so they get crapped on all day by the birds, aka, ORGANIC FERTILIZER. AGAIN with the organics! Is this a 'green' garden or what!?
And last, and certainly, not least (the Least Award going to that dead petunia in the sideyard):

The ever-blooming ground roses. All I do is cut 'em back after blooming and they keep going and going. These are the roses I watch at night. There's a moment when the evening is almost done and twilight is over when the color of the blooms changes from red to black. It's time to go in, then. This bush, healthy and growing despite owner apathy, get the PERSEVERANCE AWARD.
The NOT YET DEAD/NEWCOMER AWARD goes to this astor, which took the place of Dead Petunia on the front porch. Please contact your bookie for the odds on how long it will take me to kill it.
Winner of the OPTIMISM AWARD goes to this pot, given to me by my friend Dave (who moved). It's yawing maw of possibility is just waiting for something beautiful -- some fall mums, perhaps? -- for me, or for Mother Nature to kill.
That wraps up our 2010 Dead Garden Walk, gardeners! Thanks for joining us. If any of you need tips on how to coax your garden to the vibrant death that mine enjoys, don't hesitate to contact me! And follow me on Twitter: @2010DeadGardenWalk.

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