August 6, 2009


I've been busy with general yard chores that have been neglected for probably 2 months now. My old man and I mulched the hell strip with 22 bags of pea gravel - here's hoping it keeps the rest of the plants alive. I've mulched some of the garden with 24 bags of cedar mulch, and there's still more mulching to go. I'm hoping this will keep all the plants alive through the rest of the hottest-summer-on-record summer. Last year I was spreading cedar mulch without gloves, and as I was pushing it around, a piece shot up underneath one of my finger nails and was probably 1 cm long. It took me a week to finally pry it out, and that's why I ALWAYS wear gloves when spreading mulch now.

Yes, we're set to beat the hottest summer on record, and we've been consistently beating highest temps for 2-3 months now. I thought last summer was bad, but this is even worse. I'm now convinced that the rest of the turf has to go, and we have to xeriscape.

Today I repotted the American Pitcher Plants from exotic North Carolina. I have them potted in a galvanized steel tub submerged in another steel tub. I found out that to make the potting soil (1 part sand to 1 part peat), you have to rinse the sand, and oh lord, that about killed me. Sand is filthy and finicky and blah. The plants aren't looking all that hot, but I know close to nothing about carnivorous plants. I have a fascination with pitcher plants in addition to caudicoforms and euphorbias. I think I'm a sucker for all things euphorbic and caudicoformic and carnivorous. Right now I'm having the best luck with euphorbias, but that'll get tested this "winter"...

Also while mulching, I pulled out a tuberous looking thing from under a lantana and thought it was a bulb. Looking closer, I realized that it was a poor caudicoform that got knocked out of its pot. OH NOES! All the leaves are gone and the roots look sad and crunchy. The trunk is soft in places, but part of the trunk is still firm. I'm going to repot it tomorrow in a hanging basket to keep it from getting knocked over again. Hopefully it's still salvagable.

I'm beginning to worry about overwintering all my plants. My plant collection has tripled with regard to non-hardy plants this year. I'm going to put my old man in charge of caring for some at his cubicle since he'll have some room for tending to plants there. I asked him what he'd like to overwinter at work, and he wants a bonniwa arrangement of cacti and succulents. There are some plants that I might stick in the ground and take cuttings from as insurance. I also have a large metal shelving unit on caster rollers which will be tripping inside for the winter. I need to start researching appropriate light sources that aren't too spendy.

I have 3 bags of mulch set out for tomorrow morning and we'll need to get more. My love-hate relationship with mulch continues.


  1. You are working so hard! I like that you started to think about overwintering your plants!

  2. Mulching is awful stuff. Especially in August. I'm so stupid. BAH!


Every time you leave a comment, an angel gets his wings!