Valley Gardening: Pizza and Portulaca

Everything is better in the neighborhood! I’m not feeling so stupid this week for leaving a door open and being robbed on the Fourth of July. Using my own detective skills, and the ongoing wondering about the how’s and whys, I figured out where the little criminals came in. It was kind of like a lightbulb going off, and everything made sense. I will give you more details, after I share my detective work with the police department. Not that anyone will ever be caught, but maybe you will understand how desperate some of these thieves are.

Did you hear about Domino’s Pizza and what they did this week? Pretty amazed at the outpouring from them, and the community, on Wednesday. One hundred percent of their profits for the day are being donated to the Jaiden Rogers family. Not 10 percent, not 25 percent but a whopping 100 percent!! I don’t know that I have ever seen such generosity from what I consider a chain restaurant business—EVER! I know they were absolutely swamped ALL day. I went down in the evening and took pictures and couldn’t believe the number of staff working their butts off—it was amazing. In talking to one of the managers (Jen) she said they are still recovering. How wonderful for everyone who supported this cause. I’m not sure exactly how much was raised because it is going to be revealed on Monday, but I do know how much the Rogers family appreciates everyone eating pizza and sandwiches for the day.  Thank you Alamosa Domino’s Pizza!

Dear, dear Peyton Sanchez is starting a new chemo treatment…and the waiting begins. When you have a child with a life-threatening disease, it is always a waiting game. What if…what if…there are no easy answers. Neurologically speaking there are concerns with his walking, as balance and dizziness are ongoing problems. When in town he has a new wheelchair (yahoo) to use, as the energy to even walk to a store is a challenge. He feels good most days and his spirit continues to soar. Peyton is an inspiration to everyone who has ever met him. This past week he and his brother took their Lemonade Stand donations out to Valley Humane League! The rain has been great this week, but I am wanting to get out to Splashland and float in the pool with the Sanchez familia! And then to the Hooper Pool! And then back.

I learned something new about Portulaca a/k/a Moss Ross this week. I have never bothered to pinch or deadhead the old blooms. I just didn’t think it was necessary, and the little seed pods are so-o-o tiny. Well…a customer brought in some pictures of her plants and I certainly learned something. She pinches back the blooms and goes back on every stem to where the new growth is. Her plants were amazing, draping to the bottom of her pots and crawling along her deck in a blaze of color. She did admit that it took 30 minutes or so on a regular basis, but is certainly worth it, if you can make that time. I decided to start on my Purslane hanging baskets and see what happens.

I’m pretty excited about having a few grape clusters on my vine out front! I love the vine for what it is, but now I can watch the grapes grow—I have found about 10 clusters so far. It’s the simple pleasures in life, huh? I have also received some advice on cloning, so I am going to give it a try on this vine. It’s such a beautiful plant. If I am successful, I might have some starts to share in a month or so. If you are in an area with no trees, build an arbor and get some of this vine started for shade. That’s my plan for my arbor at home.

I have often referred to the south side as LODA—standing for Lower Downtown Alamosa. We are kind of a business district all on our own, with two antique stores, a garden center, a gas station, a grocery store, a beauty parlor, a laundromat, a radio station, and even a restaurant and mechanic shop if you head west on Eighth St. 

I have planted flowers in recycled trash containers for almost 15 (I think) years on the corners of Eighth and State. For some reason, I got the crazy idea to plant more flowers in these really amazing little tire flower planters—they are so CUTE!

I (sometimes) get upset that this side of town is not included in the sculpture project, nor do we get banners, etc. And so…we are creating our own LODART area. It’s turning out great! The cool thing is, we are recycling, we are helping someone earn a little extra money to support their family and we are BRIGHTENING Lower Downtown Alamosa. Come on down and check us out!