Friday, August 8

... and Play

Speaking of jungle areas, I was pretty tired by the time I made it back home to mine. It is not nearly as lush as the Costa Rican rainforest, nor as elegantly arid as the Madagascar desert biome. But there are some areas of lush dryness... so to speak.

When I put this pot of overwintered plectranthus argentatus out onto the driveway this spring, I had recently cut back the silver artemisia in the bed nearby. I realized that the two were getting cozy as the artemisia filled back in, but I also I couldn't help but notice how nice the whole composition looked, green pot and all. So here it remains:

This next picture of "lush dryness" really threw me for a loop:

That's hardy blue plumbago, ceratostigma plumbaginoides, mingling with the browning leaves of 'Frosted Curls' carex. Yikes! It's too early in the summer for me to see these two plants in this state already... isn't it?!

One good thing about the quick advance of the dog days of summer has been this:

Blackberries! While the fruit above and below the bird netting is picked clean every day, the netting allows me to enjoy handfuls of juicy, sweet, sun-warmed blackberry goodness every evening.

My garden assistant--also known as the thief of tomatoes and strawberries, and crusher of dianthus and sedum--somehow has decided that it's beneath her to work over the blackberries. I'm very happy about that, as she'll take a quick nap on the cool cement in the shade while I pick and eat the day's treasures:

Of course, when I tried to take her picture as she snoozed, she picked her head up and turned to look at me! I might have had a treat for her, you see--I usually keep one in my pocket to reward her for scaring off the squirrel, or keep her from barking at the neighbors.

And I may have been known to share a strawberry or two with her as well... I know, I know. I'm just teaching her which parts of which plants are tasty, and it's no wonder she quickly learns how to snuff out and bite off ripe strawberries. But really, could you resist a face like that?! :)


Anonymous said...

Wow, Kim, you kept us waiting a while for a new post, but it was worth it -- a double-shot! I'm jealous that you have a wonderful botanical garden so near to your home. You're a good person for volunteering there even if it does come with perks. Thanks for taking us on a tour and if I ever make it to Cleveland again I will certainly visit. Maybe I could be your freebie friend for the day?

Katarina said...

Good for you to have a garden assistant - don't teach her to like Black berries, I think you should have tehm all!

Annie in Austin said...

The format of your two-place post is striking, Kim - don't know how you did it but it works!
Who knew the Cleveland Botanical garden was so beautiful and so big that a tree can have its own observation deck?

A while back I paid a dollar for a couple of plants on the distress table at the big box store. The label just said Plectanthrus - no culture or specific name so I poked them into big container inhabited by a Southern Wax Myrtle. They sure look like the Plectranthus argentatus on your blog. Your plectranthus is in a dry area with artemesia - hope I haven't doomed mine by overwatering!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

PS Have you heard Tom Waits concert Glitter and Doom on NPR?

Stratoz said...

I call what appears to be mingling with your blue plumbago-- leadwort. I am a sucker for anything with wort as a last name... it mingles here too, but has been manageable.

congrats on your greenhouse gig.

Unknown said...

Heather, I'm so wordy anyway that I really shouldn't store up information for a whole week, should I?! lol. It makes my posts even longer, I'm afraid--especially when I had so many little things in each of the pictures to show. By the way, if you ever make it to Cleveland you could definitely be my freebie friend of the day! I would love to go through it with a fellow gardener.

Katarina, I am keeping the blackberries away from her! Maybe I should use this netting on certain things that I don't want to share with the dog, too, now that you mention it... *grin*

Annie, I know--and this is just the glasshouse part of the CBG, too! What amazes me is that they have so much space right in the heart of the city: The glasshouse is 18,000 square feet, and the outside gardens reside on 10 acres of land.

About the plectranthus, I do water this container quite often outdoors in the summertime... but when I overwintered it, I probably didn't water it quite as much as it would have liked. I think it would tell you if it wasn't happy--and you can root cuttings of it in water like you do coleus if you find that the stem starts rotting out or something.

And I have that Tom Waits concert bookmarked, but haven't gotten a chance to listen just yet. My speakers here at home aren't so good, and I've not had an uninterrupted hour at work for a while. Too many meetings!

Wayne, those plants are one in the same... leadwort, hardy blue plumbago, ceratostigma. I tend to like the name "wort," too, so sometimes I call it leadwort. Seems like more people know it as plumbago, though, so I used that in my post instead.

In contrast, I tend to not like the common names that end in "-bane." (Wolf's bane, dogbane, etc.) I wonder why that is?

Stratoz said...

hmmmm.... I seem to lack "banes" myself. I am sure our syndrome is in the DSM somewhere... maybe we can be poster children for the foundation trying to find a cure for those who love worts and hate banes.

glad I found my way back to your blog, not sure why I had removed it from my bloglines????

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

My Ceratostigma plumbaginoides has started blooming too. I don't think it's too early for them. I love the look on Coco's face - she seems to be hoping that you're not going to make her move, but she's willing to get up for a blackberry.

Unknown said...

Stratoz, lol! I don't know that I really want a cure, to be honest. *grin* But I'm glad that you found me back, too, as I had somehow "lost" your blog as well. I added you into my links again, though, so we won't have that problem anymore.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, you pretty much nailed it there. "You know, I was just trying to snooze... so what did you come over here for? Just to take a picture, or maybe you have some kind of tasty treat in that other hand that I need to know about... ?" *grin*

Glad to know that the plumbago isn't as early as I was imagining it to be. I bought them at the end of the season last year, so I didn't have much of a reference... but somehow it just feels too early. I guess because I consider them to be a fall bloomer!

gintoino said...

I also have Ceratostigma plumbaginoides and it's been blooming since beguining of August. I think they are summer bloomers and not fall. Isn't it funny how dogs love fruit and will only eat the best, the perfectly ripe one? My dog does that with figs or any other fruit he can reach. Well, now that I think about it...maybe its not that funny. He eats most of figs!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That Coco is a darling. I couldn't refuse much of anything to those eyes.

I too drool over the Madagascar dessert plants. YOu have a good representation of plants that like dry but live in your climate.

lisa said...

I definately could not resist a face like Coco's! I had a Siberian Husky/Malamute/wolf mix who used to eat lots of fruits and veggies stuff! Must be a "cold-weather dog" thing-guess they eat when they can, whatever they can!

Bethany said...

What a pretty dog. Great blog. Lovely pics.

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