The Return of Agent Orange

Admittedly, it’s a little early in the growing season for me. Usually I’m not fully up to speed until late in the summer, when my powers seem to reach their zenith. For the most part, wilting the majority of the vegetation around me is a lengthy process. It’s normally well into August before the yard takes on that crispy look.

But if the last few weeks are any indication, this year promises to be record-setting. You may recall last summer’s reclining Russian Sage.sage

For reasons unknown, it adopted a horizontal stance instead of the more common vertical presentation. I figured, as a new planting, it may have been suffering some directional confusion or developed a fear of heights or perhaps became overwhelmed by the forces of gravity. Whatever the problem, I was hopeful for a strong comeback.

Sadly, though, it didn’t survive the winter. Actually, that’s not entirely true. It started to sprout about a month ago, if ever so slightly, and then simply quit growing – I have to assume it was some sort of work stoppage to protest living conditions in the backyard. So I attempted a transplant, moving a Bleeding Heart that was being crowded out by a Hosta in the front bed into the crater created by the recalcitrant sage’s untimely exit. It didn’t go well.doa bleeding heart

I think I’m gonna need more mulch.

So that’s two right out of the gate, for those of you keeping score, with a long, hot summer stretching out ahead of me. Just think how much I’ll save on the water bills alone.

A lesser sort might try to blame it on ‘bad soil’ or some such crap except for the fact that, right next door, the neighbors’ backyard is a veritable Garden of Eden. They even have a massive trumpet vine spilling over onto our side of the fence, just in case there was any doubt as to who’s my horticultural daddy. If you need a visual, think of their yard as Fangorn Forest, and mine as post-industrial Isengard.

Still, not everything here is smoldering ruin. I don’t like to brag, but after four years I think my Euonymus is starting to fill in nicely.yuge

I may have to break out the pruning shears in another decade or so.

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13 thoughts on “The Return of Agent Orange

  1. God love ya. I follow a few gardening blogs, must be a masochistic thing. I’m thinking I need more mulch and a trip to the dollar store floral area, just to fill in a few bare spots. Weeds they thrive! I’m blaming Michigan weather again.

  2. I learned my gardening technique years ago from a friend. Every year, when the impulse hits, she goes over to one of the box stores and buys one of everything that’s around. Then, she brings them home, puts them in the back yard in a haphazard way in a little plot, and waters them when she thinks about it. After a couple of weeks, if there’s something that’s looking perky, she goes and buys more of that, and throws the rest away. As she puts it, “It’s their decision, whether they want to grow or not. If they don’t, it’s no judgment on me.”

    Pure rationality.

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