Nothing said about this in the news- all we hear is that it’s “beautiful weather.” ITS NOT. Plants and grasses are dying across the state. Don’t wait to water- sometimes it’s too late to save plants by the time you notice .
No rain of significance in the past few weeks. Nothing coming for the foreseeable future. Full sun and hot wind dry everything out and starts killing little by little.
Thin soil under turf shows stress first. Grass turns dark green then yellowish then broomstick brown. As it nears death, it becomes apparent that there’s absolutely nada that one can do about it.
Planting trees to shade the lawn isn’t a bad idea for so many reasons.
Lawns that are less than a year old do this during droughts- you gotta do it all over again.
Hummingbird magnet “black and blue salvia” shining yesterday in the afternoon light.
Look around your yard. Sleep with the windows open. Get up early. Take pictures. Start a blog. Listen to the birds. Get a plant and bird identification app on your phone. Feel the sun on your face. Plant tomatoes.
This year, being alive has taken on new meaning for many people. It’s no longer just going through the motions. This year, more time spent at home makes many want to continue to spend more time at home, myself included.
Asclepias incarnata, Mother lode of monarch butterfly incubation. My fictitious story goes like this:
Monarch butterflies fly along in complete darkness until they see any member of the Asclepias family (milkweed). When they see these plants, they see flashing neon signs advertising “HOME.”
They land on this plant, lay their eggs on them, then suck on the nectar within the flowers.
The zebra-like caterpillars chomp on the foliage, get huge, then pupate into nature’s most popular butterflies.
The life cycle of this insect is only partially known. The pupating structure has parts whose function is unknown. Their navigation system is wholly unknown.
Plant this plant in your yard, and you get to see the entire life cycle in your yard every year, forever. Forever or until American demand for avocados totally eradicates the Mexican overwintering forests. I’ll never buy avocados ever again.... won’t make any difference for this magnificent insect, I’m afraid.
Masses of penstemon blossoms clustered together on floriferous stalks about three feet tall on deep-maroon foliage. Deer-proof
Black stemmed lace cap hydrangeas brightening up a dark corner of our perennial section yesterday.
This year we almost doubled our native pollinator plant/perennial section to accommodate our desire to beautify peoples yards with plants that serve many purposes- lift people’s spirits, decorate landscapes, and above all, help out the thousands of insect and bird species endangered by our human-only lifestyles. Maybe we can turn environmental degradation around after all? Little by little, one native flower at a time.
Look closely. See the honey bee? This is a HUGE SUCCESS STORY. This tiny insect is what it’s all about, folks. Killed off by us humans, native honey bees are no more. EXTINCT. Now, because of (again) we humans, even the man-made honey bee population is endangered... troubled mainly by imidicloprid- made by BAYER, the satanic German chemical company. Neo-nicatanoids that poison all insects non-selectively. Do not trust any chemical that you put on your property. It might be “ok” to use today, and taken off the market next year because it causes cancer, or kills unintended animals, plants, and/or insects.
Spring during coronavirus means clear blue skies, quiet, and birds singing loudly- not to mention flowers. Lots of flowers!
Shasta daisies just beginning an obscene display of happiness
Luscious lupine glowing in the late day sun
Pink flax (silene) seems to flower almost forever
Appalachian red redbud going to someone’s house yesterday
It’s still so so so cold, my wood burning stove is on as I write this, most of our new landscaping plants are crammed inside the store, and gardening is limited to rough and durable plants. Some of our perennials have really suffered, but when it warms, they will come back to good health and good looks.
When I was leaving work last night, I looked before I pulled out onto route 25, and the coronavirus coast is clear. At a time when commuting rush hour might stall my departure from work for three to four minutes due to bumper to bumper traffic, there’s not a car in sight.
When this first started, the road looked like this much of the day, but now things are starting up again, an unfortunate sign that people are relaxing their guard against our little single-celled enemy. A bigger enemy are the people who do not wear masks for some inexplicable reason, getting the virus and spreading it all over the place in an absolutely pathetic display of some sort of politics.
The driver of this truck offered me an opinion of his- that the coronavirus was a democratic hoax and blown way out of proportion. He then irresponsibly got into the truck and helped us unload without a face mask with two of my employees.
I shouted into the truck-
”Guys, put your masks on!!! You don’t know where the driver has been, and I saw him sneezing!!!”
They put on their coverings. We all need to protect ourselves, and if a little peer pressure is needed to save lives, so be it. The driver disregards protocol everywhere he goes, gets infected, infects the guys in the truck, who then go into the store by opening the door using the handle. EVERYONE ELSE who pulls on the handle then gets infected. That’s how people die- from the initial maskless irresponsible truck driver.
Clematis shining yesterday as I locked up the store.
Yucca “bright sword” shining yesterday.
Silene ‘catch fly’ from last year’s inventory exploding with happiness on a chilly May afternoon.
There are few plants that look as good as lavender in the light of the setting sun. This one isn’t even flowering yet but one can see when it does, it’s gonna be incredibly beautiful.
A redbud tree I planted about twenty years or more displaying happiness yesterday. Redbuds and dogwoods- native showoffs during the spring expression of happiness.
Zelkova tree in our parking lot absolutely glowing in the setting sun. I’ve had this tree for two decades, and want it at home. It would cost me $10,000 to plant it, though. Machines would need to be rented to man-handle it onto my property and into the hole.
‘Seiryu’ Japanese maple with its cloud layering canopy. Japanese maples are sophisticated statements of finesse.
Pink buckeye foliage is one of the most interesting.
I have not fed this lawn for three years, and it looks good. All lawns look good now, but the hundreds of yards of soil I trucked in and the high quality grass seed equates to a lawn that is mostly self-sufficient. The clover that I have added in addition to what has taken over assists with weed control and fertility.
This is my 100% organic clover lawn. Self-feeding, self-insect control, repressed lawn growth resulting in less mowing. Flowers support dwindling insect populations. More drought durable than turf for a better summer lawn. Out competes weeds so no more disgusting weed killers. Ever.
I killed a portion of my lawn and reseeded it with clover/fescue. The clover popped up immediately and the grass seed is slower. Pretty soon, this section will be fluffy and green, a nice chemical-free biodiverse lawn, a nice trend to be able to promote.