I woke up in the middle of the night to a strange rattling noise. It was over before I realized it was rain. A bit later I heard it again. A remnant band of showers managed to drop some water on the garden. A look at the bird baths in the morning indicated it wasn't much.
I'll take it. Some water is better than nothing. The asters are making a valiant effort to work with the water they have.
I ID'd this aster once. Now I have no clue who it is.
I think this aster is a hybrid between the Blue Wood and the New England. The flowers are too big to be one and too small to be the other. Even the leaves are halfway in between.
This is the New England Aster. At five to six feet tall they always manage to bloom on the ground. That is why I do not hesitate to pull them ruthlessly.
This appears to be a near white variations of the Blue Wood Aster. I have a lot of oddball asters.
And I have either one monarch butterfly who has been hanging out for days feeding a lot on the Blue Wood Aster or I am getting one monarch per day passing through. I always see one, never more.
Would you believe a species of Opuntia cactus most likely will grow in North Carolina? I was asked to get rid of it during the plant removal/rescue for the remodel job.
You know I considered it. It only takes one pad to make more.
Last Saturday I quite delicately pulled the long grass out with my Cobrahead weeder prior to removal and it managed to sink some of the invisible hair like spines right through my glove into my flesh. It was quite irritating.
Rule #1 - Gardey don't like being poked and stabbed, particularly in his own garden. None of this opuntia cactus will be following me home.
I removed it all with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow and tossed it into a roll off dumpster. I did not touch one piece of that cactus a single time. It still managed to sink plenty of those invisible hair like spines into the flesh of my hands. It is quite irritating. I have been picking them out all evening. I suppose I should toss my trousers into the washer like four hours ago.
It definitely did not follow me home. I'd better double check to be sure.
I salvaged hosta, daylily, peony, azalea and some Knockout roses. None of them are the least bit exciting I know. I had to dig them up. It was only a little more effort to heel them in and will save plenty money for re-landscaping.
Now they just have to survive a drought while heeled in for an indeterminate period of construction and a winter cut off date approaching. Good luck with that.
Now I am getting all itchy and creepy crawly. There have been an unusual number of bugs inside my shirt this week. I think the stinkbug bit me. Now I have been assaulted by a cactus while keeping a safe distance. Excuse me for a bit.
Enjoy this lovely Tatarian Aster while I'm gone.
Ah, much better.
This is one of my driest slopes. I looked at the ground this afternoon and it still looked completely parched. The blue asters are actually doing a whole lot better than nothing considering.
After the cactus stabbing I headed to another house in the neighborhood and came upon a car stopped in the road because a huge birch tree had fallen across the road and completely blocked it. The tree fell out of the garden I was headed to.
How should I interpret that sign? Has the swirling mess ended? I think not.
The perplexed man in the middle of the road looked at me as I pulled closer and says, "I can back up if you want me to," like I was going to plow on ahead.
"I have a saw. Just let me park." "It's not a chainsaw. but I can open up the road."
"Do people around her carry saws with them everywhere they go?"
"No. you just got lucky. I am a gardener and I carry sharp cutting instruments and this is a garden I tend."
In less than five minutes he was on his way. I stayed to clean up more. Fortunately I was cutting the small branches of the top of a sixty foot tall tree. The real work will have to be done by someone else.
I have growing waves of blue asters in a drought.
Even bone dry is way better than nothing.