Valley Gardening: Better to wilt than rot

Life is good in the neighborhood—kind of! I did something pretty stupid on the Fourth of July.  I worked all day, and had a guy doing some stucco work on this 100-year-old building. It was pretty hot. At the end of the day, being exhausted, I forgot to close one of the doors in my courtyard. 

And so….some lowlife decided that meant he/she could come on in and steal my computers, etc. We are pretty devastated, to say the least. I keep telling myself “it could have been worse,” but that doesn’t help much. I want to shoot someone! I always say “heaven help me if I catch someone stealing—I’ll end up in jail and they will be the victim.” If this happens please donate to my commissary fund so I can get pop and cigarettes—I forget… I don’t smoke and vary rarely drink a pop. At least if I go to jail, I might get to read a book.

Meanwhile, my neighbor (in town) had the padlocks on their shed cut Thursday night. They wished the creeps had taken some of the yard sale stuff and helped clean out the shed. AND, Atencio’s was also broken into, but the little thieves didn’t take anything—just looked around. Are they still thieves if they don’t take something? It’s depressing to know we have all this riffraff coming into town and stealing from everybody! Are these folks invited to Alamosa, are they here for jobs? Are they here for free breakfasts, and lunches and suppers? Where are they all living? Why do I even ask that question—they are breaking into my sheds and creating their own little cesspool Disgusting!

I’m pretty tired of it—aren’t you? A community meeting is being planned for July 25th  (tentative). Please keep reading this little column and I will get you more details. If we don’t take a stand, then who will?  You can turn the other cheek until it’s your shed, your house, your car being broken into.

Back to gardening! Wasn’t that rain Wednesday evening wonderful? I didn’t even have to water the area by First Southwest Bank—the area that has been requiring water EVERY day because it is so hot in that corner. After some initial wilting, most of the plants are starting to acclimate to their new home. I learn all over again how important the initial care is to any garden. 

I think it was Betty Bennington who first told me about the “marriage” of the plant to the existing soil and how extremely important it is. It’s kind of like folks asking me how much to water, how long, etc.  It’s a matter of knowing your soil—not just looking at it, but getting down and feeling it. How far has the moisture that you just applied gone down? When you water a little bit every day, and maybe even every night you are doing your plants such a disservice. 

As you learn to water your plants, understand that most will survive a little drought. You can bring them back from being dry, from being a little wilted. You don’t want to wait too long. Over watering, on the other end, for an extended period of time can be lethal. Recently I watched someone else (to remain anonymous) watering some flower planters in town. As I walked by I was saddened to see three inches of water in the planter. A slow death for sure. First the plants will begin to yellow and then they will just shut down. More than not, they will not recover. 

During the past month I have had yellow and orange roses blooming on the north side of my building.  Also pink Rugosa’s, and red Climbers. The great thing is that I have only watered these shrubs once this entire season. For a little clarification…I have watered very deeply once, and then once in a while, I wash off the dust from the semi traffic! I will be digging some of the yellow roses in the next few weeks, if you would like starts, for a donation to my charity fund. Be watching this area because the Echinops will be blooming SOON! Balls of blue color—one of my favorites, and otherwise known as  Blue Thistle. It looks somewhat like a thistle, but not as aggressive a root system. Grows readily from seed—as you will soon see. I think I started with 2-3 plants and now I have A LOT! But I love them.

There is going to be a fabulous concert at Society Hall on the 13th—next week. Check him out—Mike Blakely. If Don Richmond says he is good, you can bank on it. P.S. I have tickets for sale at the Green Spot.