Saturday, June 18, 2011

Drought Tolerant: 20 Days of Hell

I have a confession. Yes, another, and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with that missing bag of Oreos….

I like to torture plants. I moonlight as a executioner of little perennials who have done bad things against society. I like to watch them wilt in the hot sun, begging for drops of water to quench their bone dry roots. I’ve had much pleasure lately. Much pleasure.

It’s been three weeks since the last rain event where we received just .3” of rain on May 24th. To top that, our average high in that three week period is a blistering 95.1, with two days topping out at 100. I can hear hydrangeas gulping water by the gallon. I can see the grass drying out faster than a steak on my brother’s grill. I’m in utter glee… until I come home. Uh, wait… that didn’t come out like I wanted it to.

My landscape was designed and planted with two words in mind. Water Conservation! Two days ago, 5/15/11, was the first time I saw any sort of sign of serious distress from my garden and that was coming from the Mealy Blue Sage I installed earlier this year. The Loropetalums were looking a little parched, but could have gone another week or so before meeting their demise. All in all, not bad.

For those who are wondering, here’s a list of what I have in my garden and a few pictures to show how they look before I watered them. Please excuse the exposure levels. I had to wait until the sun went down somewhat so I wouldn’t wilt!- Jason

Plant List
Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' (Zebra Grass)
Aquilegia chrysantha 'Hinkleyana' (Texas Gold Columbine)
Heuchera micrantha Bressingham Hybrids (Coral Bells)
Liriope Muscari (Lily Turf)
Iris brevicaulis (Louisiana Iris)
Loropetalum chinese 'Plum Delight' (Chinese Fringe Flower)
Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon Holly)
Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage/Red Salvia)
Salvia guarinitica (Blue Anise Sage)
Lavandula stoechaspedunculata (Spanish Lavender)
Agave sp. (Century Plant (Agave))
Wedelia hispida (Zexmenia)
Stachys bizantina (Lamb's Ear)
Lagerstormia indica x fauriei 'Natchez' (Crape Myrtle 'Nachez')
Rosemarinus officinalis 'Arp' (Upright Rosemary)
Hesperaloe parvifolia (Red Yucca)
Tulbaghia violacea (Society Garlic)
Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)
Nassella tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass)

Showing the plants is a matter of documentation and sharing knowledge.

Zebra Grass

Autumn Sage


Yaupon Holly



Blue Anise Sage

Russian Sage

Blue Glow Agave


Crepe Myrtle

Lamb's Ear

Red Yucca

Society Garlic

Mexican Feather Grass

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Blonde Snuggler

I have a loving wife who wants nothing but the best for her man. So when she told me that seven more chicks were coming to live with us, I was all on board (I heard one was a good snuggler). I objected at first! No, absolutely not! No way could you get me to even think about... One's a snuggler? What's that? The blonde is the snuggler? Well, let's not be too hasty...

Yes that's right, I came home from my maymester trip to Seattle to a new batch of chicks living in my garage. (3 Araucanas, 3 Marans, and a little blonde one we think is another Araucana). This in addition to the 18 we already have out in the coup... Why? Two reasons: 1. They were on special, take as many as you want for free so she paid him $5!... 2. Because if it's living she was made to love it, if it's not, she'll dust it off and sell it. She's crazy about those chickens!

Baby chicks at four weeks old

While we originally wanted our flock to be comprised solely of black sex links, we've now decided we'd like a bit more variety. The plan is to sell up to 5 of the black sex links, keep 3 or 4 of these babies (at least 1 Maran, 1 Araucana, and definitely blondy - she seriously is a snuggler) and give the other 3 or 4 to some good friends who plan on starting a flock in about 3 months. -Jason