I stand corrected. I’ve never given much thought or credit to the Rose of Sharon. A few years ago, someone gave me a double pink. It is now 10 feet tall and covered with blossoms. Now I drive around appreciating them everywhere. There are not that many late summer blooming shrubs. They are great for the summer folks who never get to see their forsythia or lilacs. Now, because I have become enamored with the plant, I purchased a blue one at a half-price sale.
I tend to place shrubs within perennial beds rather than alone. Plus, I have a minimal lawn on purpose. I like it free of trees and/or lawn furniture. Mowing is such a pain that I like to keep it simple and straightforward. Any trees on a lawn should, at the very least, be pruned of all those branches of head banging height.
An enjoyable time was had on Saturday at the wedding of my former employee, Seniel. You may remember her as the illustrator of this column a few years ago. I helped a bit with the floral arrangements. One fun thing was the use of cardoon. As you probably know, it is a first cousin to the artichoke. The spiky choke opens into a beautiful, purple, thistle-like flower. Because of the hurricane and big rainstorms last week, they turned an unattractive brown. I spray painted them gold and was quite pleased with the results — so pleased, in fact, I went ahead and sprayed some sadly discolored P.G. hydrangea blooms. I can see them lasting in a dried arrangement for some time.
My friend Kitty Burke got it right. Immediately following the big wind event of Irene, when salt-laden wind had beaten most south shore trees, she hosed down all her favorites. They all look terrific, as opposed to everything else. So many trees were toasted and now have lost their leaves. It’s not like normal fall leaf drop as they were still green. Now the lawns are covered with rotting debris. It’s always something.
I’m crazy about sedum — all varieties. It has looked great all summer and is now blooming. It is absolutely alive with bumblebees. I have one near my front door. The bees sleep in it at night. I love that. At some of my customers’ houses I had to cut them to the quick since the bees gave them a bit of anxiety next to the pool. Guess I need to rethink the design plan near pools.
I have started eating my fall crops. The baby lettuce is pickable as well as the pea shoots. Both have been in the ground less than three weeks. I will have plenty of kale, collards and celeriac once I get around to serious cooking again. I’m just beginning to catch my breath from a very busy and productive summer.
My new little rescue dog is working out wonderfully. She is a sweet animal with apparent signs of abuse or neglect. She cost a mere $275 for everything — shots, spaying and flea treatment, the works. I couldn’t be happier with her. Plus, she is four or five years old, with none of those annoying puppy habits.
I don’t know where to begin with the Republican Presidential field. It’s not the fact-free comments from Texas governor Rick Perry concerning social security, but rather the debate audience responding to him. The previous debate’s topic of the death penalty really upset me. The crowd cheered when he was asked about his record 200-plus victims. Silly me. I thought all those conservative types were pro-life.
Eric Cantor had the quote of the week after President Obama’s job speech last week. This is apparently the best a Republican house member can do to compliment a Democratic President: “We have some good ideas and President Obama has some ideas he thinks are good.”