The recent heat wave may have been a bit extreme, but at this moment I’m sitting inside with a blanket pulled up to my chin. It’s not that I’m feeling under the weather. Instead, I’m feeling the weather. I think when the heat wave broke, it also broke summer. Clouds, rain, and cool temperatures have been the order of the day. The last few days, actually.
What’s a cold gardener to do?
Hi, August. It’s me.
Listen, I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one. I’m just going to dive in and let you know . . .
It’s over between us. I know I waited until the end of your days to tell you this, but I was really hoping you and I could have worked things out – maybe come to some sort of agreement on the nature of our relationship. That seems to be out of the question now.
Each year, I hope to look forward to your arrival, but you are very skilled at trying my patience – and as quickly as my expectations rise, you find every opportunity to walk all over them.
Take my impatiens. Please. When I first saw that they weren’t thriving, that their stems were barren of leaves, I blamed myself (not enough water). Then I blamed the slugs (they had to be munching all night). And then I learned about the fungus. Maybe you didn’t create the fungus, but your heat, humidity, and rain games certainly didn’t help.
- Unplanned Portulaca crowds out the planned Geranium.
A few posts ago, I wrote about gardening as a natural surprise party and my belief that my plants actually get together and come up with creative ways to entertain me and, well, surprise me — popping up in places where they had not been planted, blooming in different colors than were purchased or planned. But if I had to pick one plant as the organizer of all this guerilla gardening, it would have to be Moss Rose, or as I love to say, Portulaca.
It’s actually a fun name to say, like Dahlia or Liriope. Pour-tchew-lack-uh. Sometimes I think it could be the name of a Native American guide leading early explorers westward or a wife of Caesar. Maybe it’s a resort, kind of like, “We’re taking a ride up to Lake Portulaca for the weekend.” Or maybe it’s the closest I come to referring to any of my plants by its proper Latin name.
No matter what it’s called, though, Portulaca has been very, very good to me.