Friday, July 4, 2008

The Mystery of the Morbid Melampodium

So the Head Gardener walked outside to water this morning and was met by this gruesome sight:This Blackfoot Daisy was not merely healthy, but vigorous and thriving in the post of 2 days ago. (In the picture of the bed surrounding Smithley Rock, a portion of this plant is just visible on the bottom left.) Were the Head Gardener a cursing woman, her reaction would have probably been something along the lines of "what the bleep?" Especially given that not 6 feet away a fellow Melampodium continues to bloom itself silly.

For that matter, returning to the first picture, the small plant growing in the gravel just under the misbegotten Melampodium? That's a Blackfoot Daisy as well, that reseeded from the plant above.

As the plant continues its downward spiral, the Head Gardener is left wondering why, why, WHY? Did running one of the sprinklers in the back 40 cause this sudden and rapid decline? Does that mean running the other sprinkler in the back 40 this morning will consign the currently healthy Melampodiums to a similar fate? Can This Melampodium Be Saved?

The Dirty Detective is on the case.


10 comments:

Carol said...

Yes, what in the name of chipping sodbury is going on with that plant? Please let us know when you have solved this mystery!

sjp8987 said...

Do you have any pets? In my experience, if a plant dies that fast - it's cat pee. or dog pee....

Cindy said...

Carol, I think the Dirt Detective is doomed to failure on this one!

SJP, I do have a small dog but she usually does her thing on bare dirt. I think I've had these plants do this before. Maybe they just like to go out in a burst of glory (appropriate for the 4th).

Annie in Austin said...

They won't grow for me at all, Cindy - I found this old forum thread that says they hate overhead sprinkling.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Gail said...

Cindy,

Looks like keen detective work by Annie has paid off.....

Sorry about your Melampodiums morbidity.

Gail

Cindy said...

Thanks for the condolences, Gail. I went out earlier, pruners in hand, and cut it back to nubs. If it takes exception to that, hey, it's an opportunity to put something else there!

Meadowview Thymes said...

If you find the problem, let me know! I did a post about the trouble I am having, but didn't get any answers. I email with author Susan Albert some, and after reading my post, she said they don't always do well in the black gumbo we have here.
I keep trying though...I love these flowers! Good luck with yours!
Linda

Cindy said...

Linda, I love them, too. They do seem to reseed so if our gumbo clay soil claims another victim, I feel fairly confident another will take its place.

Bob said...

I think Annie must be right as I cant think of anything else that would kill it. Heck, I didn't think you could kill one with a shovel.
I thought I would tell you that the Blue Bells are the greatest of cut flowers. I take them to the near by feed store, as the lady there loves flowers but is in ill health. They last two weeks in a vase of water, looking great the whole time. Bob

Cindy said...

Bob, I'm glad that the Blackfoot Daisies thrive SOMEwhere! I'm envious that you have access to the Prairie Bluebells for cutting and sharing purposes. Note to self: bring scissors and vase on next visit to Hill Country!

Thanks for stopping by!