Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Oxblood Mystery

The Oxblood Lilies that I grow have been in my family longer than I have. Oxbloods are the perfect pass-a-long and have been passed to every family member that is interested in plants. They have looked the same as long as my memory goes back. Red. Always red. Oxblood Lilies are red. Every one knows that.

I was walking to my back shop one morning and noticed a new crop of Oxbloods had popped up after the big rain. Nothing unusual in that. However I was shocked to see that some of them were pink. Not light red but pink, even light pink. I was wondering if it was because of all the rain, [that would be 14.7" of it] and it just washed all the color out as the plant took in too much water.

You can see some coming up in this picture that are almost white.
If any one has any ideas why then I would like to know. Has any one seen this before? Also does any one think they will come up this way next year? Is this natural hybridization?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


In the last 24 hours, here at Draco, we have had 14.7 inches of rain fall. It actually fell in about 18 hours as it has not been raining for a few hours now. I thought I had better walk around the gardens and check out the damage if any. I didn't expect much but better check any way.

It was obvious the 4 O'clocks in the front yard/new bed, didn't fare so well. They had been beat down badly but their neighbors, the big Petunias, looked perky. Lyn and I had decided to take out the yard and make a big flower bed in the hottest part of the summer so I decided to put something in that I knew would fill in quickly. They didn't disappoint but they sure look bad right now.

I walked around the house, noting all the places I would have to move gravel around in the pathways to cover the ground up. Bonnie was leading the way as she always does. She thinks I am incapable of going anywhere on my own. Good dog, Bonnie. You might note that she is looking back to see what is taking me so long. I'm coming, I'm coming!

Looking down the pond, every thing looks OK. In the back ground I can see the dead leaves on the roses by the fence. This rain has saved them.

The front ponds and the plants around them look good. I was worried about the shrimp plants getting crushed by the heavy rain fall as they are so thick leafed, but they look great.

Coming to the Red Bud that I grew from seed, I can see that the big perrenials that grow along the fence for a visual boundary are not too bad. The Skeleton Leaf Daisy and the Snow Cloud Artemisia are laying over a little but the big native Lantana and the two different Flame Acanthus are just fine. I really need to cut that one limb on the Red Bud so people don't have to duck to get by it, but I ain't gonna. Have I mentioned how much of a wuss I am about pruning?

Taking a left I looked back up the big pond and things appeared OK. I looked down and noticed only a sprig of Silver Ponyfoot left out of the mass that had been there. This is where the pond over flows and I never thought about the shallow rooted Ponyfoot getting washed away. The Chile Pequin Peppers were fine and the Duelbergs, Henry and Anna, were good. Looking at the pond again I could see that the water was up to the big stone slab bridge that crosses in the middle of the pond.
Got to stop and ogle the beauty Berries. They just look so good right now.

I come upon the raised beds and notice the Cosmos has been pushed down by the rain. Even though I know you shouldn't, I plant my sweet peppers in this same bed every year. It's shallow dirt in this bed and the peppers are really the only thing that does well in it. I mean, except for the Cosmos. It comes up in this bed every year and in the walk ways as well. It is some kind of strange Cosmos that I originally got the seed for from some old lady I met in a nursery. It gets over five foot tall in a good year and doesn't bloom until the last of September or in early October. It really puts out the seed too.
Things in the back seemed fine.
The two little ponds under the gutter spouts were OK. A couple of the little gold fish did wash out but Lyn was able to scoop them up and get them back in .
Another new bed that we have been working on lost some dirt from all the water running across it. The Potato Vine looks good. It has certainly faired better than the the two chartruese green ones that a rabbit ate. The Hoja Santa and the Mountain Sage look quite perky, better than they have all summer.

The pear tree lost some fruit but there is still plenty left. It's almost pear eating time.
The Ocatillo only had about five leaves on it a few days ago. Now look at it. I've had this little guy for about five years now and it has hardly grown an inch and has never bloomed but I like it any way. You can bet those rain water tanks in the back ground are full, 24,000 gallons worth.

Going back around the raised beds I notice the Indian Mallow is squashed pretty badly. I don't think it is too bad though. It will come..............what is that? Right there, across the walk from the Powis Castle. What is that shiny thing? Oh no, it can't be. It is, it is, it's Ol' Charley, my catfish. He must have washed out of the pond during the night and lay there until he died.
I put him in the big pond when he was only four inches long. I wanted him to eat the baby gold fish so we wouldn't have to give them away every year. He did too but he has been getting lazy this last year and we have a lot to give away again. He would eat out of my hand, he really liked me and Lyn. He was more affectionate than a cat. I really liked that catfish and it was almost time to eat him, dammit. I guess the rain did strike us a severe blow. Say good bye to Charley, Lyn. He was a really good catfish and I just know he would have been excellent dipped in a mustard sauce and rolled in corn meal.