From the producer: August 9, 2008

August 7th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

Whenever I get disheartened about this heat and drought, I think of 1925 with its similar conditions. I can dive into kiddie pool in a skimpy swimsuit (by their standards), sleep in air conditioning, grab ice cubes from the refrigerator, and cook on a stove that doesn’t radiate that much heat. And when I water my plants, I can simply turn on a faucet. Sure, this means a bigger “carbon footprint” than our ancestors’, but I’m thankful for the comfort, which I’m sure they would have liked too. Still, remembering them, it’s hard to whine too much.

I also like to remember when Jill Nokes was on CTG one time and commented about August. I can’t remember her poetic words, but what stuck with me is her encouragement that “things don’t look great, so just accept it.” But since we’ve had two months of late summer heat so far, this month is already wearing thin!

It doesn’t seem to deter leaf-footed bugs (or some bug in the order Hemiptera). I didn’t kill this nymph, since it’s encouraging to see any birth right now, and I figure someone out there needs the food.

The wedelia, as always, has no problem with any of this. I thank the gardener long ago who turned me onto this groundcover that accepts shade and its blasts of sun.

I also thank the person who told me about pigeonberry as a shade plant. Frankly, it’s not the most spectacular sight unless you plant lots, but mine have been through every drought and freeze for many years.

Long ago, I planted two butter and eggs (Linaria vulgaris) or common toadflax, along the back fence. I can see why some may call it vulgar, since it tends to take over. But I rather like its no-care froth of green, and its sweet little flowers against the lantana. And it’s easy to pull up when it threatens its neighbors. That’s the milk can I found in the metal recycling pile at my car mechanic’s!

On sulfur (sulphur), Greg tells me that when his parents built a house in the 70s, his dad spread it to eradicate the ticks. It seems like it’s doing a good job on the chiggers. Trisha Shirey recommends soil sulphur as opposed to the dusting type, which sticks to the ground better (which I can attest) and lasts longer.

To show what the heat has done to our brains, we got Harvey a little bunny harness with springy leash for hops around the yard. He loves it!

I’m getting some free pruning and free treats for him. He’s very discriminating about what he eats, but he loves the toadflax!

He’s also a new critic. If Harvey doesn’t like something, he chomps it down and tosses it out of the way. I suspect he reads garden design magazines while I’m at work.

That’s the end of the tale for now, so I’ll see you next week! Linda

  1. 10 Responses to “From the producer: August 9, 2008”

  2. By Lori on Aug 8, 2008

    Wow, I’ve never seen toadflax get so big! And I had no idea that it grew in Texas. When I grew up in Wisconsin, toadflax would straggle along on the side of country roads, and it would stay under 12 inches. It was always a favorite of mine, reminding me of snapdragons. I’ll have to check whether any of the local nurseries carry it.

    P.S. Harvey makes me grin.


    Linda reply on August 8th, 2008 10:21 am:

    Hi, Lori! It did get rather large this year. Wish I were in Wisconsin right now to see it there. We spent every summer in Wisconsin visiting my grandparents and I loved it.

    I’m glad Harvey makes you grin, too. Greg and I spend an incredible amount of time these days watching him breathe, blink, move, rearrange his cage. Everything he does totally fascinates us.


  3. By Kevin on Aug 8, 2008

    I love your blog! I moved to San Antonio from Arizona about 2 years ago, and I like to read up on plants and gardening in the region. It helps me in my job (Landscape Architect) and at home in my garden.

    Thanks for all the great posts.

    God bless,


    Linda reply on August 8th, 2008 10:16 am:

    Hi, Kevin! Welcome to Texas! You’ve run into a tight-knit network who loves to get garden ideas from each other, so welcome aboard. Keep your eye for good CTG finds in SA. By the way, in October we’ll be featuring the SA Open Days tour so stay tuned. Linda


  4. By mss @ Zanthan Gardens on Aug 8, 2008

    I love that toadflax (the pale yellow flower, right?). I love creamy yellows (butter and eggs indeed). What was your source? I don’t remember seeing toadflax at the local nurseries but maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough.


    Linda reply on August 8th, 2008 10:14 am:

    Hi, MSS! Yes, that’s what I love–that sweetie-pie yellow. It hasn’t bloomed like this in a long time so it obviously cherishes the heat. I probably got it at BSN or The Natural Gardener, but it’s been years. There’s a native one that’s pale blue and I’m going to see if I can find that one! Linda


  5. By Jenny on Aug 8, 2008

    I’m starting to think Beatrix Potter. What tales will of Harvey will next week bring?


    Linda reply on August 9th, 2008 3:04 pm:

    Hi, Jenny! That’s hilarious. Let’s just hope he can’t figure out how to email his buddies to come over.


  6. By Pam/Digging on Aug 11, 2008

    Lacking Jill’s poetic acceptance of the heat, I’ve just been sulking in it. But seeing your cute bunny all vested like Peter Rabbit brought a smile back to my face. Like MSS, I’m admiring your butter-and-eggs (I like that name better than toadflax). Vulgar? I think not! Not if it grows so beautifully in this weather.


    Linda reply on August 11th, 2008 6:12 pm:

    Hi, Pam! You make me feel good. Right now, I consider that my design is anti-garden design. smile. And on bunnies, the heat has definitely gotten to me because I’m thinking of getting Watership Down from the library! And I’m sulking about the heat too. And whining.


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