Friday, June 19, 2009

New menu, Sloat sale, and minor drama

Let's get straight to the minor drama - you know you want to hear about it more than some Latin plant names!

Yesterday while I was at work Matt called me. "There's someone in the garden, with a shovel" he said. *gasp* Apparently our neighbor Barbara spied some Caltrans workers in the garden, pointing and looking dangerous... She called her hubby Sage. He called Matt. Matt called me. Immediately I called Annelle (Didn't we used to play a game like this when I was a kid?) and she said she would go out and see what was up. Maybe next time we can cut out the four middle men and I can give Barbara a megaphone so she can yell at people right out of her window, like a booming voice from the sky. "Drop that shovel, mortal!" :P

Anywho, Annelle went out and gave them men a death stare. Apparently this worked, and they scampered away. She called me to fill me in the situation. I was jittery. Would Caltrans find some reason to punish me for gardening incorrectly?

After work I scurried home to inspect everything. Plant roll call. Is everyone OK? Did they hurt you? (tears, hugs) Looks like they dug out one of the water junction boxes which I had carefully not planted anything on top of just in case. They dumped the dirt on top of a scared Gaillardia, but I rescued it. Aside from that, they seem to have been very careful. H'mmm...

Then this morning Gary sent me a picture of the lot from before the garden, and pretended that Caltrans had scraped P. Garden off the face of the earth, as a joke. Waaah! Shortly after, he emailed to say "Ricky from Caltrans" dropped by, and apparently:

"He is working on getting the watering system in place. In the mean time he showed me how to turn on all the bubblers on the lot. I'll show you. He also gave me some fittings to set up a hose by the trees. He is very impressed with the garden. He was thinking of using sprinklers on timers. I mentioned drip hose. He said you should contact his boss to discuss what Caltrans should put in."

Stupendous! So I have ceased palpitating, and am now experiencing gardening joy again. *phew*

In other news, recently I had been wondering if I should buy and host a domain for the garden. Sadly www.pennsylvaniagarden.com is already taken (by some people in Pennsylvania! Who garden! Pshaw!) and to be honest, yet another website to design, build, maintain and pay for is not high on my wishlist. So, the blog stays - it's free and easy to use.

Yesterday I rearranged the info on this site so it performs a little more like a website, and somewhat less like a straight list of blog posts. I added a menu to the top of the right column, with sections that hopefully will answer questions people have about the garden. If you have suggestions, additions or corrections, let me know.

This morning I got up early again to head out to the Sloat Garden Center sale. We arrived at 7.55am and got in line. It was buy one, get one free 4" perennials and succulents, and we got eight additions to the garden:

- Artemisia x absinthum "Powis Castle" (Wormwood) (shouldn't that be "Powys"?)
- Sedum rupestre "Lemon Coral"
- Lantana montevidensis "New Gold"
- Crassula pellucida
- Adromischus cristatus (Crinkleleaf plant)
- Kalanchoe bracteata "Silvermint"
- Osteospermum "Margarita Yellow Improved" (we got two - one is cream, the other yellow - wonder how they'll turn out)

I managed to resist buying Cupheas, Pennisetums, Kniphofias, all manner of clever Salvias and of course could have come home with several dozen cute Aloes and so on... but I am trying to keep the spending down (honest!). 4" plants certainly take a while to grow big, and are more prone to damage from feet and paws, but they're in our price range. Note To Self: Stay strong!

Matt also got three big glazed ceramic pots for the three cactus tips we have rooting in the living room. Once they are rooted, I warned him, you will have to let them go into the garden. I think he thinks we can talk about that when the time comes... hah!

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