Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Return of the King

The weather has been making up for a couple of dry weeks with rain, the past few days.  Of course, that also means that heavy humidity has settled in, too.

I forget the powerful effects of humidity, after a few months away from summer, but it has a way of forcefully reminding you, about this time of year.  Humid air magnifies the effort it takes to do anything outdoors-- even just sitting or standing there.  Thank goodness for the air conditioning, cool water, and fresh, dry clothes waiting inside!


'Victoria Blue' Salvia


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We're eventually going to cut the yard in two-- into a front yard and a back yard-- so we'll be able to let the dogs out without giving them the run of the entire yard.  It will be handy for times when we have company or need to do something outside without canine interference.  (Right now, our only options are keeping them inside or walking them on leashes.)

Today, I dug up a crepe myrtle that stands in the way of a section of the projected new fence.  It wasn't an easy job, but at least it's done.  Because I didn't intend to try to transplant it-- just wanted it dug up and gone-- I used a hand-held tree limb saw to cut through a couple of roots, which reduced the task's difficulty significantly.

I left some of the chopped-off roots in the ground, and now I'm wondering if they're likely to send up new shoots.  Maybe I'll go out there and dig up the roots tomorrow, while the soil is still loosened, with no new plantings to disturb.  (*sigh*  Wish I had taken the time to do it this morning...)   

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Another plant in that same area of the yard is a sago palm.  It's probably my second-best sago palm, but I just didn't want it in that spot.  It's prime real estate-- a slightly shadier spot near the house.  I want to fill that area with plants that I love that need some shade, not sago palms, which can grow in sun.

Why don't I love sago palms?  Well, they're ok.  They're interesting plants-- especially if you like a tropical vibe in your garden.  But they're prickly, they're prone to damage from cold winters, and they make too many pups (baby sago palms that grow tightly clustered around the parent plant).

If you leave the pups, they eventually grow up to form a sago cluster of monstrous proportions.  For some, a sago jungle might be fine.  It's not my style, though, so I remove them.  For some gardeners, pup removal seems to be relatively easy-- just pop 'em off!-- but for me, it's always been time-consuming and exhausting.  I don't want to further complicate the task by having to maneuver around the shade-loving plants that will eventually be growing there. 

Anyway, now that I've aired my sago palm grievances... ;o) 

I dug it up and planted it down near the other most successful sago palm-- at the northern side of the front yard, beside an ash tree.  After settling it into place, I went to fetch a bucket of mulch-dirt to spread around it, and when I came back, there was a king snake (probably the same one I saw earlier in the season) snuggled up right beside that selfsame sago palm!  He moseyed a little further on his way, so I was able to finish up with the planting/watering.  I'm glad to see that he's still in the area, but maybe next time he could wait until I've completely finished planting something before conducting his inspection.