A Virtual Tour of My Sister’s Garden

Today I spent the day with my sister.  She is recovering from surgery and I took
some time off to be with her.  Since my goal is to blog every day, I thought that I would take my camera along and take some photos of her yard for my gardening discussion today.

I was shocked and appalled. How could a relative of mine have a yard so dead?  I know I described her as having black thumbs but really? Really Gayle?

So as I have always told my nephews, who Gayle and her husband have raised far more successfully than their plants, if you cannot be a good example, at least be a cautionary tale. In that light, let me share a few observations from the land of the
dead:

  1. If you have grass, you have to water.  This is especially true when you are trying
    to survive a record-breaking summer of hell-weather heat.  As you can see from this example, not only has the grass gone to that big nursery in the sky, so have the weeds.  The weeds! They actually crunched under my feet. Really Gayle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. See these shrubs?  They are Red-Tip Photinias.  They are a very popular selection for landscaping.  And no wonder.  They are tough, drought tolerant, and in the spring, new foliage is a bright crimson red.  Some cultivars even flower.
Photinias can grow up to 30-40 feet tall and almost as wide.  They are fairly pest and disease resistant except for a type of rust which is a fungal infection that once your Photinias have it, cannot readily be eradicated. However, with proper care and allowed to grow to near its ideal height, and with adequate WATERING, Photinias can beat the death sentence and resume healthy growth.  One tip, do not plant these shrubs too near your foundation as they are naturally robust and their roots can be invasive damaging both plumbing and cracking the foundation itself.   These shrubs have been infected with rust for several years.  Even though they have been treated at one time, as you can see they are very stressed due to
excessive pruning and lack of water and are succumbing to their environmental
and biological stressors. BTW, the foundation on this home has recently been repaired.

 

 

3. This is the Knock-Out Rose I got for Gayle for Mother’s Day several years ago.  It once stood proudly outside her kitchen window well over 6 feet tall and covered with blooms.  I planted it with plenty of fertilizer near a neighbor’s sprinkler head to ensure its survival.
Gayle and I moved the rose temporarily early this spring so that the wood siding on their home could be repaired.  We pruned it gently and disturbed as few  roots as possible during the move. All she had to do was water it.  Just a little.  Now that the siding is repaired,I guess I know what she is getting for Mother’s
Day 2012. Really Gayle, you killed a Knock Out Rose?

4. And finally, this is the herb garden.  I think it speaks for itself.

Well, I think we can draw some conclusions from this virtual
garden tour:

  1. 1. The gardening gene is not hereditary.  It must be cultivated. – See what I did
    there, cultivated?
  2. 2. Barring succulents and cacti, all plants need a little love
  3. 3. We must all play to our strengths.  That’s why God gave me the gardens and Gayle the kids whom she has raised with love and strength and patience.  Much like I do my Hydrangeas.

 

Happy Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

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5 thoughts on “A Virtual Tour of My Sister’s Garden

  1. Pingback: Aqua Globes » Blog Archive » A Virtual Tour of My Sister's Garden | Garden Life Designs

  2. After reading this, I am grateful for three things: 1. Gayle made it out of surgery ok. 2. My apartment building is surrounded by cement, and 3. I’m feeling especially healthy right now. Oh, wait, there is a 4. Gayle clearly shares your sense of humor and this will brighten her day. Right??

  3. Why Yes, it is all such a sad but true tale of woe. I CLEARLY do not share the same heavenly gift or love of gardening as my beloved sister. I love your passion for plants and flowers. It is amazing to see you lovingly nurture a seemingly dead stick in the ground into a blooming something, (the names of your plants always escape me as does Latin in general). Anyways, to my defense, We decided that since we were going to install an underground sprinkler system this Fall, and in light of strenuous drought and water restrictions we would make the “ultimate sacrifice” and give up our water rations this summer, except for the light and occasional foundation watering as it is true, we did just get our foundation repaired. Clearly, unlike my sister or Susan Polis Shutz, the poet I will not be “dancing in the sun wearing wild flowers in my hair” but rather staying indoors with my air conditioner (we have developed an intimate relationship lately) watching squirrels pour Gatorade on their nuts!!!
    Love you Sis, and as you always say, Bee Positive.

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