Potluck Post with Something for Everyone

Even with today’s eclipse, the sun has been stepping on Texas like a foot grinding out a cigarette.  That is to say, the ground is hot!  I’m looking forward to the end of August and the start of autumn.

I think if you read other Texas gardening blogs, you would find a post or two in each covering our summer heat and the ever present need to water.  It’s this way almost every August, but we gardeners still like to complain about it.—It’s a rite of summer passage.

So, I’ve been watering and watering and watering!  Nothing new, right?

Lately, I’ve not been having a lot of good luck.  I realize, of course, I’m not the only one who has an occasional rough spot.  We all do, but it’s important for me not to give a false impression of the perfect life and/or garden.  Far from it.

My red hot torch lilies (I have 3), Kniphofia uvaria, aren’t looking too hot at all, and I don’t know why.  They receive full sun in well-drained soil.  If you have answers as to why these plants are in decline, please chime in.IMG_1663

Red Hot Torch Lily above.

Then there is my Karl Foerster grass, Calamagrostis acutiflora Karl Foerster, that seems to be browning.  Again, I have no idea why.  That’s not to say I’m giving up on Karl or the torch lilies because I’m not.  I’m just disappointed.



Karl Foerster grass above.  Is the brown normal for this grass?

My hellebores appear to be puny, and I thought they were bulletproof.  Phooey!  It could be that it’s the August heat.  This is my first experience growing hellebores so my knowledge about them is scant.


Above: Hellebore with brown-ish leaves.  Sun scald???

If you’ve gardened for any length of time, you know there will be plants with issues and/or plants that die, and you take it on the chin and keep on “keeping on”. If any of these plants don’t make it, I’ll replace them with something else, but of course I don’t want to.

Before I forget, I need to let you know that because of a significant increase in cost, I’m not renewing my contract with my Internet Service Provider, so I will be accessing my blog from a different computer, which may cause a delay in responding to your comments or for me to comment on your blog posts.

Finally, with all of this, plus a letter from my good friends at the Internal Revenue Service and the possibility of a torn retina, I’ve been slow to post.  I fully believe everything will have a happy ending, but I’m still slogging through these issues just as I’m slogging through August to get to September when the temperature will cool.  Hurry up and get here, September!!!

On a more positive note, I asked my neighbors at the Kolstad Inn if I could photograph their new flagstone path, the one that is replacing those stepping stones I was given (previous blog post).  They gave me permission to take photos but hinted they preferred I take photos when the path is finished and looking its best.

Having just received my copy of Fine Gardening Magazine, I read a reader’s complaint that no one ever takes photos while a project (a garden, a pathway, a wall, etc.) is in progress, so I took some in-progress photos of the pathway.


Above:  Flagstone paths don’t just magically appear.  They take a lot of effort. My neighbors have been working hard.

The flagstones will be cleaned off with muriatic acid once all of the stones are cemented into place.  Yes, I’ll take a finished photo, but these photos allow you to see the work-in- progress.  I think the readers of this blog are mature enough to know the path won’t look its best until it is completely finished.


Another photo of the flagstone path above.


Above:  I’ve used some of the stepping stones from the Kolstad Inn as edging for my new front bed.

Also in the progress of “becoming” (reminds me of Stephen King’s book, The Tommyknockers) is my new backyard garden area. I took a few photos this morning so you can see it’s still in its infancy and growing S-L-O-W-L-Y.




View from the back of the newly planted area, which is about 3-4 months old.

Finally, I rescued a pot from the curb and never removed the soil inside.  The pot belonged to a 95 y/o woman who was placed in an assisted living facility.  Now, I see this strange plant growing in that pot.  I wasn’t sure what it was, so I’m letting it grow for a while…


Above: Rescued pot.  Could the plant be a potato vine?  No, as it’s grown bigger I saw it was not a vine.  Could it be a weed?  That’s very possible.

It looks a tiny bit like a hibiscus. Any ideas?