The nice lady at the nursery assured me, “it’s impossible to kill an oleander.” I almost said, “wanna bet? Come by my house.” Instead, I just said “Maybe I can’t, but something sure is.” When we moved into this house over 30 years ago, the oleander hedge between us and the neighbor was well-established and thriving. In summer it was covered with bright pink flowers; the rest of the year the leaves were dark green and glossy. It formed a pleasant demarcation. It seemed independent and content, and I was perfectly content to let it be. In fact, I never gave it a second thought and only occasionally dragged the hose across the driveway to water it. Then a couple of years ago I noticed withering leaves and bare, dead branches. Oops. “So,” I said as I plopped a couple of smallish oleander bushes on the wagon, “how long do you… Read More »
How is it that I get seduced by plants? I know I should stay away fro nurseries — I’m worse than a kid in a candy store. But here I am again, buying something that I’ve never even heard of and hoping it’ll actually grow and thrive in my garden. I’m batting about 200, but just can’t seem to let it go. Maybe this time it’ll be a home run.
Do you know how to use a hose? I bought a new hose — a Swan Weatherflex Hose — and it came with instructions. Now I may not be the smartest person on the block — I know for darn sure that I am not the smartest person in my family, but then the people in my family are pretty darn smart — but by George, I’m quite certain I know how to use a hose! Somebody suggested — and it wasn’t me — that to eliminate truly dumb people, we should simply remove all the warning labels from products and let nature take its course. When it comes to instructions on a hose, I have to agree. I wondered if somehow there might be some hidden surprise in that length of plastic, so I read the directions. And here’s what it told me: “Remove the plastic ties and uncoil… Read More »
Don’t you just love when you find a great bargain? A couple of weeks ago I got that Rosenblum zinfandel at about 1/3 the price it was going for elsewhere and yesterday I found some more bargains — and I wasn’t even looking. Not wine, though, other stuff. Let’s start with the plants! First of all, I finally grabbed the trowel and clippers, pulled on my gardening gloves and removed the dead snapdragons from the little space under the kitchen window. I love to have flowers there because it makes the entrance festive — but not when it’s a bunch of dead stalks. So now, what to replace them with? It’s a bit of a problem because the area is small and right up against the stucco wall so it gets plenty of heat, but it is also north-facing so only gets direct sunshine for a few hours in mid-summer. Flowers need sunshine… Read More »
… Well, it’s not quite spring, but it will be soon. My cousins in Framingham, MA, and New York City and my friend in Pennsylvania may doubt that, but my apricot tree is saying “yes!” And here’s proof: The nurseries are stocking spring flowers. Right now! At noon I was sitting on the patio reading the paper and looked at my garden wondering when things were going to start blooming. The apricot tree started two days ago and the pomegranate tree has some miniscule leaves showing, too. But I was thinking of the flower bed and then it hit me: Hey, I could go and BUY some flowers and jump start this whole spring thing! So, jamming a baseball cap on my unkempt hair and donning my sunglasses for disguise, I headed down to Lowe’s. Just walking into the nursery made me smile. My breathing slowed and my pulse dropped to somewhere near… Read More »