Lazy Summer

It's summer in St. Louis, which means hot, humid (usually), and overall just lazy.


It's not just me -- it's the ungulates too!


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Just about dead

What might be the worst photo you see from me this summer...


...shows the sorry state of two plants that I thought were invincible.

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Rivers

If there's one thing we have in Missouri, it's rivers. Recently my wife and I have been visiting some of them. Well, a couple at least -- it's not always easy to motivate yourself on your one day off a week to brave the 95ºF (35ºC) temperatures (plus humidity!) and get out into "the country".


We did though, and the first of the rivers I want to share is the "big" river...

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Hibiscus 'Mahogony Splendor'

You already know that I'm back to buying new plants this year, and that I'm not adverse to paying for annuals or tropicals -- things that are not cold hardy in my climate. It seems like that's where all of the "best" plants are...



...so bring them on! Sure I'll have to let go once the killing cold comes, or figure out a way to overwinter at least a cutting, but it's so worth it. Here's a great example: Hibiscus 'Mahogony Splendor'.

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Emerald Jumper

Saw a cool little spider on the rose the other day...


...and I just had to snap some macro shots. Note that if you're not a spider fan, you might not want to continue reading because the remaining images are a bit closer.


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Petroglyphs

We're not doing any extended road trip like we did last summer and a few years earlier, but that doesn't mean that we're not getting out and seeing cool things. Just this past Sunday we drove down to Washington State Park (in Missouri), about an hour from home. What's there of interest? That's actually what we wanted to find out, knowing only that it's a heavily forested and hilly region that we've driven past several times on the way to our favorite winery.


The first thing we discovered there were the petroglyphs.


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Pond update?

Yesterday we looked at the non-pond water features in my garden. Today we'll look at some deer -- no, of course we'll look at the pond. Well, sort of.


Something strange here. I don't remember planting a tree in front of the pond...


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Water features that aren't the pond

I have two non-pond water features in my garden. The most prominent is the water barrel in the front garden, found at the intersection between the two front walkways.


I'm trying something a little different in it this year, as the deer visit it every night (and sometimes during the day) so it's difficult to find plants that they won't snack on.


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Some Before and Afters

In general I'd say that I've been making decent progress on the garden projects this year. I've been out there at least a few times a week getting things done, and it feels good to make some progress! These projects are not always great stories though, so trying to craft a post out of them individually is not productive. As a series of before and after shots though, that might work!



So I start with some shots I took a month ago, when the unwanted volunteers (aka weeds) seemed like they would take over.

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Ficus Update

A couple of years ago (or three) I got a clearance NOID fig for $10. The little thing was alive but not very impressive.


I've been growing it in a large pot and overwintering in the garage, and it's starting to become something to see.


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New Plants!

It's been a couple of years since I've been able to do a "new plant" post since last year I made a point not to buy any plants. It probably goes without saying that a summer of no plant shopping is quite a bit less fun than a summer with!


I showed you the annuals I bought earlier, where I just needed to fill out several different beds and didn't have specific ideas of where things were going. This trip was different, in that I had some ideas about what plants and where.

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Summer Surprise number 1

The first happy surprise I got this summer was actually discovered in the spring:


It's my Manfreda virginica, and for some reason the deer did not prune this one for me this year!

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Summer Surprise number 2

I've had some surprises this summer -- good ones for the most part so far -- and today I'll show you the second of them. (Wait, what about the first? Well, I'm numbering them in the order I discovered them, not in the order in which I'm sharing.)



Those of you who grow roses probably recognized this: new growth. Maybe I should say that another way...

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Monday Miscellany

Time for another catchup post of randomness from the past couple of months. Maybe I'll go in chronological order, at least roughly.


That lets me start with the clematis, which are so great for a couple of weeks and then turn icky.


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