August, 2008

August was Hot August Nights and hot all the way around.  If we didn't break any records for 90+ degree temperatures then we should have.
Not a drop of rain - again.  What was tough outside got tougher.  What was marginal joined the burn pile.

The Porch
The cactus and potted plants did quite well.  The sail did a good job of cutting UV and added some welcome shade to the day.
Day Lily Guard
Wild Flower Bed
Here is a job that would be nice to have - official guardian of the day lilies.  The wild flower bed had to be enhanced by annuals this year.
Otherwise, it would have looked verrry sparse.

Common Crab
This is another example of why it is better to plant small trees rather then the larger ones found in five gallon buckets at the local home
improvement centers if you want rapid growth. Malus Snowdrift on the left, was planted in late 2006 and was a close out special in a five gallon bucket.  It is about five feet tall.  The crab whip on the right is a sucker of the parent tree and is about two years old. It is closing in on six feet this year.  The smaller you get them, the faster they grow. 

Prairie Fire
Whriling Butterflies
My last Malus Prairie Fire succumbed to the August Heat and  these Whirling Butterflies are all that is left from the winter.  They never really recovered and perhaps we'll try something different next year.
Silverstrip Bamboo
Some of the Silver Stripe Bamboo went over ten feet in August.  The bamboo hedge plan is working.  It also serves as protection for sunflower seeds, a favorite of the jays and black birds.  There are enough seeds hidden from view that the sunflowers reseed themselves each year.
Lemon Cucumber
The veggies as a whole have done quite well.  I haven't figured out the Brussel Sprouts though.  The plants are getting larger and larger but the sprouts aren't growing much at all.  They are still marble-sized.

The object on the right is supposed to be a Lemon Cucumber.  The first batch of  Lemon Cucumbers came from Walmart and they all died so I decided to go for a bit more quality and got the next batch from Lowes.  I have no idea what this is, but it is certainly not a lemon cucumber.  I think someone was having fun switching labels.  This 'cucumber' is about 6" long and 2.5" wide.
The Three Musketeers
The Burn Pile
Moving out back, there is intense interest in the burn pile.  Seems something has taken up residence somewhere inside of it and the dogs are verrry interested in it.   I got my exercise this year moving up tree canopies, thinning Tamarisks and removing sage brush.  The yard was gradually looking smaller and smaller because everything is growing bigger and bigger.  This looks like about two days worth or burning.

As an aside, the Catahoulas don't particularly care for fire but it doesn't frighten them.  The Cairn on the other hand - let's just say there is not a lot of IQ involved and he would probably run into a burning pile if there was a bouncing ball headed in that direction. Sigh........ 

The Cottonwood was shading too much of the yard which I never envisioned being a problem so I cut off more of the lower branches and that has helped quite a bit. I also removed one Tamarisk and cut all the branches which were overhanging the back flower bed.  A  thing about Tamarisks is  they excrete salt and as the 'leaves' mound up they prevent other plants from growing near them.  I think that is why I have been having trouble keeping things growing directly in front of them.

I split the oldest (and most expensive) true pampas grass and used the cutting to replace part of my tamarisk wind break.
Guard Dog
Silverlace is in rare form this year.  It started out looking quite dead and this year has grown more than any other year.  The arbor is at times home to 30+ quail, who fly in to roost at dusk.  I really wish I had thermal imaging goggles so I could see how all those quail could fit into  the Silverlace. and be comfortable.  

The cairn is ensuring the day lilies are adequately guarded.
Wisteria Pods
If you have never seen Wisteria seed pods, these are them.                These are wild flower of unknown origin - they appeared this year.
Angel Face
Chicago Peace
Angel Face, a Walmart special is doing ok.  Year Two Chicago Peace, another Walmart special is hanging in there too.
Small Opuntia 1
Small Opuntia 2
These small cacti are from NotoLover last year.  They were so fragile the literally fell apart. I planted them in two spots to see how they would do, and they are making out ok.  Don't really know what I am going to do with them though.  They are quite small.
Opuntia Opuntia Basilaria Sp
On the other hand, the caucus on the left has a pad which is approaching 15".  O. Basilaria on the right started out with two pads this spring and now has seven. A very interesting specimen.
Iowa Cacti Cholla
All the Cactus pads I brought back from Iowa turned black and died, with the exception to the pad on the left.  I was doing some raking and out popped this.  Will it make it to year 2?  That is the question.  The cholla on the right from Haiwee apparently just loves Northern Nevada.
Rugosa Cholla
The rugosa hedge still looks terrible so......... These are the replacements.
Grass Dog
Sun Setting on the grasses. Sun setting on a hungry Catahoula.
Deck Deck
The deck looks nice this year - trouble with the petunias though.  Other than that, the pots did really well.
Miniatures Dinner Time
These miniatures are among my favorites. Ah well, time to feed the dogs......and the Cairn.