Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Observations from the Sidelines

Weather: More nice weather with no water; last rain 10/9.

What’s blooming: Hybrid roses, chocolate flowers, blanket flower, chrysanthemums.

What’s turning/turned red: Leaves on pink evening primroses, lead plants, toothed spurge.

What’s turning/turned yellow: Leaves on cottonwoods are yellow, but those on lilacs are lime green and are brownish-yellow on tamarix.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, moss roses, aptenia.

Animal sightings: Rabbit, small birds. Something, presumably the rabbit is eating the still green leaves on the gazanias and the oriental poppies.

Weekly update: Before I whacked by thumb, I was removing heath asters and cleaning grasses that had died under my globe willow. It was my last chance of the season, and now I can’t continue until next spring. Leaves then hadn’t started falling, but now the blankets are being laid.

Some trees and shrubs are bare: the young peaches, roses of Sharon, Siberian peas, and my neighbor’s ashes. Thick coats have accumulated under the catalpa, black locust, peach, and apricots.

There was a good reason to attack the Aster ericoides. As I mentioned in the post for 23 May 2010, their roots turn into woody masses. I found one that was lying right along the top of a tree root, so it was impossible to remove it without nicking what lay below. It was necessary, of course, because as long as it was there, no water would seep down. Most weren’t so bad, but the runners did have to be turfed out.

Flowers on the yellow Mary Stoker chrysanthemums have all died. I don’t know if this is because they are taller than the others still blooming two feet closer to the house, or if it’s the genetics. They are a rubellum hybrid, while the others are various forms of the cushion mum, morifolium. The florist mums in a much lower place are still hoping to get their flowers open before they’re cold killed. Every year there’s the same conundrum, will they make get to bloom, or will they be pinched at the last moment.

Thursday morning, after the temperature flirted with freezing, the garlic chives gave off a strong smell of onion.

I don’t know why the piñon nuts didn’t mature this year. If they’re anything like my late season raspberries, they stop developing when temperatures rise without additional water. In the past, my early season raspberries always produced, but the others always shriveled in July. My good Willamette canes didn’t survive the past winter, and I’ve been cutting down the Heritages as wasted effort, so I don’t know how they would have reacted to this odd summer.

Photographs: I can take pictures and download them, but sorting through them requires too many strokes of the space bar.

No comments: