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planting stuff...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
...on city property across the street from my house, at the golf course. I started at least a month ago, and stalled out, hesitant to put anything else in the ground that would surely die, due to lack of water. I discovered that the irrigation system was not watering the stuff I spent an entire morning putting in the ground. And it all looked deader than dead.

Then we had a ridiculous unnecessary cold snap that killed everything it possibly could, including taking a whack at the crape myrtles I planted over there. I thought they were completely deceased, but the grounds guy, Steve, said that the below freezing temp. had gotten all the new, tender foliage on dozens of crape myrtles in the landscaping. He said: be patient.

They've come back, at least two of the three. One was almost tree sized, and it was damaged so badly it looks like it decided to start over, sending new growth out from the base, instead of more wee little leaves from branches on trunk. At least it has recovered, instead of turning up toes.

I walked over about a week after planting and saw everything looking dehydrated, thinking about dying. Steve got a call, with me anxious about the irrigation - apparently it was either not working, or not spraying water where the newly transplanted needed to be watered. He's put in another sprinkler head, so hopefully the water crisis has been solved. I do not want to be putting my time, effort and plants into something that will not be a success.

When I strolled over late on Monday to look around, I was amazed to discover some of the roses we planted on that one day of busy-work actually blooming. I saw them with withered, dried up leaves, and thought they were surely goners - and now they all have new leaves, buds and some are actually flowering: a yellow and a couple of reds. I was astounded. I'd already given them up for dead and gone, and here they are happily blooming away!

Also in that flurry of digging things up here, to replant there: some of the ever expanding 'yellow rose of Texas' that came from south GA. years ago, some snowflake that are the very early spring bloomers (bulbs) and agapanthus, that will send up tall stalks with big blue blooms in early summer. A friend donated some stokes' aster, that seems to have mostly survived the unexpected drought early-on and is growing, making an effort to get established.

I pulled up a bunch of weeds that have come up in the wood chips/mulch the trustees spread over the area where the flowering bed will slowly take shape. They had dug up an assortment of shabby, neglected plants, before we started putting new stuff from my yard in. Ratty variegated liriope, lots of volunteered Chinese privet, and assorted weeds: crabgrass, briers, smilax (that is so gratifying to dig up and throw away), vetch that goes to seed like crazy the minute you  turn your back on it. Slowly beginning to take shape.

It will be interesting to discover which of the things I've planted there will turn into ice-cream sundaes for the deer. Steve says they even eat azaleas on the golf course. Which I find baffling, as I have had azaleas growing for years, that they have not even glanced at, much less consumed. They do like native azaleas: I have two small ones in my back yard, inside the fence, that they periodically find quite tasty.

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