Thursday, July 8

No-Buffalo Consolation: A Lovely Visit & Garden Surprises

Count me among the garden bloggers who are NOT going to Buffalo, and wish they were... :(  My younger brother and sister-in-law (the middle child and his wife, known in previous posts as "The Apartment Dwellers") are making a big move:  In August, they are relocating to New Mexico!  In trying to arrange a "Sibs' Weekend" for all of us to enjoy before they leave, it turned out that this weekend was the best option for everyone... well, for everyone but me, who wanted to go to Buffalo instead.

So instead of a trip east, I'll be heading west to spend a weekend at "The River" with the fam--and I'm not really complaining, because I know that we'll have a great time, and I'll have numerous Buffalo posts to enjoy on other blogs when I return.  And as consolation, my garden has offered up a few special surprises for me to enjoy this week:

Yes, that's a future bloom hidden way down in the depths of my pineapple lily!  As I mentioned, I would grow this for the foliage alone... but I'm super-excited about seeing it in flower, too.  I'm not sure whether it will emerge at all before I head west on my trip, but it should be in bloom shortly after I return.

Second, the "Mexican thyme" (coleus amboinicus, syn. plectranthus amboinicus) that I purchased on clearance at the garden center as much for its felty, fleshy green leaves as for the fact that you can use it in cooking, has settled in and rebounded nicely.  It looked like crap, frankly, when I put it into the ground, but after some cutting back and some judicious watering, new growth is emerging:

Lastly, but most importantly, I got to have a wonderful (if brief) visit with Leslie, of Growing a Garden in Davis!  Leslie was visiting family in Cleveland before heading over to Buffalo, and we arranged for her to stop by and see my garden while she was here.

I admit that I was very a little nervous about the visit.  Working 70+ hours between two jobs from mid-April through the Fourth of July weekend does NOT reflect well in one's garden!  And I knew that another gardener couldn't help but notice all of the neglect, weeds, unfinished projects, etc.  But meeting Leslie was like meeting an old friend, and I felt like she understood what I was planning to accomplish with the space--and that her "Gardeners' Glasses" were keeping her from noticing and commenting on all of the weeds and mess that abounded, too!  :)

All in all, I had a lovely time showing Leslie and her Aunt Elaine around the garden.  (And although I was a little distracted at times while trying to keep an eye on my Gardening Assistant, who has been ornery all week due to the heat wave we're enduring, I need not have worried about Coco.  She was putty--yes, putty!--in Aunt Elaine's hands, and even looked a little disappointed when I returned to the house by myself later.)  Maybe some day I'll make it to California and get a great garden tour in return.  Now there's a lovely thought.

I hope that Leslie and all of the other garden bloggers who are making the trek to Buffalo enjoy themselves immensely, and have safe travels.  I wish I could join you... but since I can't, I look forward to reading all of your recaps next week--please post early and often!


Annie in Austin said...

Very cool, Blackswamp Kim - glad you had a wonderful visit and love the lily.

I have a few pieces of Plectranthus amboinicus, too...but instead of Mexican Thyme, they were bearing one of the other synonyms... Cuban Oregano!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Garden Lily said...

Wow, that pineapple lily looks great. I bought 2 last year, but I don't think there's any blooms hiding down there yet. But I'll peek tomorrow!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It doesn't seem to matter what is going around here, this time of year the garden gets its own way because of the heat. I can't stand to get out in that heat and work. The ground is so hard from lack of rain I can't even pull weeds. They just snap off. I am sure your visitor didn't mind a weed here or there anyway. Unfinished projects just mean that a garden is loved and someone is working in it. Your pineapple lily is looking interesting. I can't wait to see the bloom. Have fun with your family. I will be with family up in Indy this weekend too.

Unknown said...

Annie in Austin, THANK YOU for clearing that up! We had a request at the garden center for Cuban Oregano, and I knew it was some kind of plectranthus but we just weren't sure it was the same thing we were selling as "Mexican thyme" (per the tag, a type of coleus) so we just told the person that was as close as we could probably get. Good to know that they are one in the same.

Garden Lily, this is technically its third summer for me. I don't know how big yours were when you got them, though, so you might have a bloom this year! (Mine was a tiny little thing... maybe a 3" square and 5" deep pot, from Plant Delights... and it didn't even think about blooming in year 2!) Hope your peeking finds a happy surprise like mine... :)

Greenbow Lisa, I LOVE that: "Unfinished projects just mean that a garden is loved and someone is working in it." You always have such a great way of saying things. :) I'm totally going to use that on my house, too, by the way. lol. Have a safe and fun trip to Indy this weekend, too!

Annie in Austin said...

I first read about Cuban Oregano via Weed Whackin' Wenches and then learned the Spanish Thyme name from Nicole of A Caribbean Garden.

So when one of my friends in the Divas of the Dirt gave me starts I knew what it was. But I still haven't cooked with it ;-]


Unknown said...

LOL, Annie... I was just thinking that I can't see myself cooking with it, either. The way the texture must feel in your mouth gives me the willies! It's just too... fuzzy, somehow. :-D

chuck b. said...

Oh of course you have the purple Eucomis! Want!!!

Heather's Garden said...

Ugh! I would have loved it if you had been here this weekend. I met some lovely people, but you're an old friend!

Unknown said...

chuck b, isn't it funny how sometimes you can look at a certain plant and think, "Oh, I bet so-and-so has this in their garden!"?! :-D

Unknown said...

Heather, I know--it KILLS me that it was so close, and yet I had to head in entirely the opposite direction! *sigh* Oh well... maybe next time? :-(

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