Sunday, July 06, 2008

I Have a Theory

While rambling about the yard, I have frequently noticed that the local fauna seem to prefer weeds to our precious cultivars. Here is some evidence:

Notice the Japanese beetle damage on the weed. The tiger lily leaves remain unscathed. I've seen rabbits munching contentedly on the white clover and dandelion stems in the lawn. Today I tried (unsuccessfully) to snap a pic of a butterfly that was enjoying the nettles growing right next to the 3B garden where there are daisies, yarrow, bee balm, coneflower, etc.

My theory is that monoculture and weed-free gardens invite trouble and disappointment. If the Japanese beetles have no weeds, they will eat your roses. If the rabbits have no clover or dandelions, they will eat your lettuce. And the best way to attract butterflies is with native species. If I had more room and more time, I would conduct some quasi-scientific experiments to test my theory out. In the meantime, I'll not stress about weeding.

We are enjoying a third day (in a row!) of lovely weather. While poking around in the front yard, I spotted my neighbor. We exchanged the usual pleasantries about the weather, to which he addended, "We need to find something more fun to do besides yard work!" Huh? Oh. That's right. Most people don't like yard work. Oh, well.

At that moment, I was digging up the blueberry at the corner of the house. This is the third year for this little guy, and he continues to just sit there. Doesn't die. Doesn't grow. Just sits there. I planted some forget-me-nots nearby last year, and they just sat there, too. So today I moved the blueberry to a pot where I can give it more individual attention.

In its place went purple fountain grass, surrounded by marigolds. Maybe they will like this location better than the blueberry did.

Most plants from a nursery arrive with their Latin name. Not these marigolds. They are just plain old yellow marigolds. The purple fountain grass is Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'. I wonder how you pronounce that?

When it comes to fungi, the only mushrooms I can recognise with any confidence are morels. But I know these are not flowers.

This year a small cluster of these have periodically appeared near my back door. Blue-gray, about the size of an aster blossom. Easy to miss.

Not so easy to miss (but hard to see in this photo) are the dry leaf tips on my lace leaf Japanese maple.

These things need a lot of water. The more the leaves are cut, the more water. My dad leaves his hose trickling on his all the time. I'm not so willing to run water like that, but I have been trying to remember to soak it everyday.

Now, tell me my dog is not spoiled. She has graduated from Rimadyl to prednisone for her back. I live in a ranch, but getting outside requires a big step. Instead of trying to lift her up and down (which I think was making her back worse and mine questionable), I made an extra step to ease her way.

Say thank you, Betsy!

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