Monday, August 22, 2011

Goodbye, Aaron

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Don’t know why, but Aaron the caladium became very tall and floppy this year. Two weekends ago I removed all ten pounds of the laying down leaves, and though they were more presentable then, there weren’t many left. Last weekend I figured bare ground had to be better than Aaron in his present condition. Well, I can’t always be right.

So today after work and taking Ellie to the vet, it was still early and since I had to go to Lowe’s anyway (cracked backflow valve needed replacing due to gusher), I figured I’d bip right in, grab a few ‘Red Ruffle’ azaleas (hopefully, cheap on sale) and renovate this skinny bed next to the garage easy as pie. Yeah, right. No ‘Red Ruffles’ at all. Sheesh, they run out for the first time in history just because I need some.

Admittedly, it wasn’t much of a plan, but the plan was to plant maybe 4 azaleas with daylilies in between. I figured they’d leave each other plenty of room to do their thing without spilling across the sidewalk a la Aaron. You can’t see, but just out of frame of the above photo still sits the bucket of daylilies unplanted after...what? a couple, three months? They do well in water, BTW.

And of course, the caladium bulbs need to be dug up, removed and given away. (Piece of cake. The bed is builder’s sand, slightly amended.) The Aarons need to be removed because once sprouted those huge leaves don’t share the space well. A regular bunch of beautiful green hogs. They’re lovely during June and July, but this year they started to deteriorate really early – like two months early. And then all winter there’s either nothing to look at or annuals must be planted. So I’m making a change, just not the change I figured I would make, and one impulse, albeit foiled, deserves another. Hopefully, this impulse will be a true stroke of genius. ‘Victoria Blue’ salvia! In 99-cent 4-inch pots!! They’re perennials!!! And blue!!!! They will glisten all the way to the front door!!!!! Well, that's enough exclamation points to last a blog-month.

The thought of the front door reminded me of the large pot I have at the edge of the porch. You can see it in the photo. For some unknown reason the grassy NOID plant and dianthus that was in that pot died about a month ago. Just flat dead overnight. I didn’t know alfalfa would do that. (Just joking, but I’m without any other explanation.) So the pot needed refilling, and with no irrigation it needed a drought loving plant. Ah ha! Periwinkle! In the back garden it grows to monumental proportions in one inch of granite gravel with only nature’s water. And with any luck it will reseed after the winter freezes. With a bit more luck I’ll protect them from the freezes and they’ll bloom all winter. (I know; I’m pushing my luck with that one.) Chose a nice medium pink since there was no baby pink. Then I remembered my basic container-planting lessons that I never took. Something with height was needed. Fell back on that grassy NOID by default. Move on. “Oh, wow, those are lovely big glazed pots and a sale sign – $7.48!!” Sage-y green, nice with the house color. Good size – not quite as big as the sun-faded, squirrel-chewed, plastic terra cotta one but that’s OK. Oh, switch the grassy NOID for that reddish cordyline – good to 0 to 10 degrees. Yippee! Check-out time. Load vehicle. Stick key is door lock.

Oops! Forgot the backflow valve! Use the front door this time. I guess I missed Lowe’s more than I realized. Subconsciously, I must have wanted more quality time to make up for the weeks of staying away. About another hour did the trick…the bathroom fixtures department was quite alluring.


  1. I see you got sidetracked in the nursery department...LOL. A narrow space like that is not always easy, but it's fun to have a clean area to landscape, and it sounds like you've got it all planned out. Can't wait to see future pics.

  2. It's fun starting over in a bed. I've had the same thing happen with going for a specific plant I've seen every time I go, then having it out of stock the day I finally want to buy it. Looking forward to seeing how the new bed turns out.

  3. This post had me cracking up! You are too funny! I go to Lowe's and get side tracked, too. The plants have that effect on some of us. Glad you got some exciting plants for your bed and new pots! How exciting! Maybe I need to go to Lowe's! Oh, wait - I was there recently and all they had were dead plants. :( Well, I agree - the bathroom fixtures department can have its own allure.

  4. Poor Aaron. He sure was a pretty thing but I guess he just got over enthusiastic for his space. Your plans sound great and your Lowe's trip sounds very familiar.