Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Good Times, Bad Times in the Garden

This was a good time, seeing Kathy serenely trimming the foliage on potted daylilies that I'm about to get into the ground.  Here's Kathy's photo of her work-in-progress as she finished off a batch of about two hundred plants, the last of them!

While she was doing this, I was using the earth auger to open up holes about three or four inches deep and eight inches wide in my evaluation bed.  I had the bagged plants from our Sunday dig in the shade of the house to reduce heat stress, and I dug only six holes at a time to prevent the dirt from becoming thoroughly dry.  Kathy grabbed her camera and took a lot of pictures of "man on the landscape!"

She took a position on the outside of the two display gardens on the right corner of our property.  The strange little off-white columns in the lower right corner are not white aparagus; no, they are the daylilies that languished in a moist box for two weeks at the wrong address.  I'm getting replacement plants except for the one that is no longer available at my seller's garden.  He's refunding my money for that one.

This is not as easy at it looks.  The top inch of soil has baked for several days, so it takes work to resist the auger's circular motion until it gets down into soil that has a bit of moisture.  My hands would tire if I attempted more than six holes at a time in this soil.  Down in the back yard, where the moisture never seems to leave, I could dig more than a dozen holes before needing a break, but I'd still have to consider the drying effect of the sun if I can't plant into those holes pretty quickly.

Done!  Well, done for the time being, anyway.  I love this part of the work.  I love setting the plants I've bred and cared-for, photographed, described, and dreamed about.  So, when I goof up in transplanting them, I feel sad, not because I lost property, but because some living thing in my stewardship came to an untimely end.

Here is an untimely end.  I have never done this to a plant before, and this time I've done it to maybe a dozen of them. 

This plant was healthy when I dug it and put it into a plastic grocery sack and laid it on the ground while I dug others.  Then it was on the ground in the sun again as I planted twenty or more sacks of them.  I suppose that the plastic sack magnified the heat.  The plant was firm when I set it into the ground, but that fan bent over (it didn't break) soon after. 

After I took this picture this morning I pulled the fan out of the ground.  No roots came with it; the plant tissue at that bend was just white mush.  It had cooked.  I suspect the other fan will also succumb, but I'll leave it in place and see what develops.

I screwed up, though not Big-time.  I hope I never see the likes of this again.

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