Sunday Summary: August 30th-September 5th

'Carolina Sapphire' Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica 'Carolina Sapphire')*
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday ... the end of another week, which also saw the end of my most hated month of the year.  So long, August, it's been awful and I am very happy to see you go! There have been some bright spots this week, though, most of them the winged visitors who flit and float and fleetly flee and fly about the garden.  There's been an explosion in the butterfly and hummingbird population.  The hummers rarely sit still long enough for me to identify which kind they are but the butterflies include Monarchs, Queens, Sulphurs, Fritillaries, Skippers and various Swallowtails.  

Not much got done in the garden that I can remember.  I did prune a couple of roses ... poor 'Glamis Castle', one of the two David Austins I bought early this year, lived up to those roses' reputation for being finicky.  I cleaned up the diseased foliage, did a little nipping and tucking, and will hope for a fall flush of blooms.  I've noticed that the Mutabilis Rose, which I insulted grievously by overpruning it last year, has more branch dieback.  I plan to take cuttings from it and get them started this fall, in the event of its demise.  

Mercy, the Purple Coneflowers in back are struggling.  I pulled a trugload of them this week and I expect more will need to go.  I think it may just be a case of too many plants in too little space, thanks to self-sowing and my tossing seeds at random.  While working on those, I discovered that my largest clump of Phlox pilosa 'Forest Frost' had a serious case of the dwindles.  When I did some cutting back, I found what I at first thought was pillbug damage, but now suspect may be cotton root rot.  I should have taken a picture to show the extension agents, dang it.

Although daytime temperatures have still been in the nineties, the evenings are dipping into the seventies and it's possible to sit outside as the day fades, watching the garden wind down for the night. One good thing about the lack of rain: fewer mosquitoes to torment me!  

The week to come will be a busy one as I get ready for the 2010 Garden Writers' Symposium in Dallas.  I'm looking forward to renewing friendships, learning more about new plants and products for gardeners, and seeing what the gardens in Dallas are like.  Lifelong Texas resident I may be, but I've spent very little time in Dallas over my (mumble, mutter) years.  Only one thing really stands out in my memory about Dallas: my sister and I were convinced that we saw Al Pacino in a coffee shop outside Six Flags Over Texas.   It was not Al, however, merely someone's brother.

*The Arizona Cypress pictured above is 3 years old now but has only been in that particular spot since last year.  It has really taken off there, though; even my arborist was impressed to see it doing so well.  It's beginning to spread out as well as grow up.  When the pine tree decides to shuffle off its mortal coil, the cypress will be the star of that area.


Commonweeder said…
I will think of you all at the GWA conference. I'll have to content myself with solitary emergency watering of shrubs.
Have a safe and enjoyable trip to Dallas! I'm happy to see your Arizona Cypress doing so well. Do you know if it's 'Blue Ice?' There are some mature specimens along FM 359 between Richmond and Fulshear that I've been watching to see how they do. I would LOVE to be able to recommend a silvery-blue tree like that.