Some recent small changes at home. This stock tank held that incredibly generous friend to bees, Anisodontea ‘Strybing Beauty,’ that I brought up from the zone 10 garden. In its second season here, the unexpected girth and height now completely blocked my view of the garden when sitting under the pergola. And in a small garden, every viewing vantage point matters, and most particularly in July.
The anisodontea lives on in the garden via a couple more cuttings now of blooming size. Immediate replacements for the stock tank were found of a less obstructive nature. Tall and slim Aristea major and low-growing rosette Beschorneria septentrionalis were in pots plunged in the garden, and I think their chances for surviving winter are possibly improved now that they’re planted in the stock tank, slightly sheltered under the overhang, than in the unheated garden shed. The zone 9 anisodontea flourished in this spot, so hopefully these zone 8 plants will find it to their liking as well. Fingers crossed they make it through winter without becoming too hideous.
And a few more new things on view recently.
And then after all the work was done and plants settled in, we had some light but steady rainfall, the first real rain since May. I sat under the pergola to enjoy the show of unexpected rainfall through my new, unobstructed view of the garden.
I’ll close with a couple recent newspaper articles, one about the town-shaking experience of a blooming agave in Georgia. A reminder that many plants familiar to me are a rare and wondrous sight elsewhere.
“Jackie Flournoy was leaving her home in Luthersville, Ga., one morning, when she spotted a strange-looking stalk poking out of one of her plants on her front lawn. She had never seen anything like it before.” This recent article in the Washington Post “After 36 years, her plant suddenly grew a towering 25-foot stalk” initially had me shaking my head at such persistent naivete about plants in the era of search engines. And then I came around after reading the comments to a new appreciation of the power of plants to inspire and renew wonder. (If the link is paywell-protected, you can search with the title of the article. Luthersville, Georgia is USDA zone 8a, but nevertheless agaves apparently are a rare sight there.)
Another article, this one from the Los Angeles Times, “‘All the neighbors know who she is’: How one woman built a flower farm across eight yards” brought me back decades ago to when I tried the same thing — in a community garden, a nearby neighbor’s backyard, and at my mother-in-law’s front yard. When I brought fresh horse manure in at my MIL’s to amend the soil for cut flowers, the arrangement turned somewhat dicey…So much fun for very little money providing cut flowers to restaurants. I love reading stories like this of how people somehow make it work.