Valley Gardening: Tough plants — and people — always come back

Wow! How did we ever even live without the Internet? And no phone service? It has been so quiet at the store! At least no one can call and yell at me—that’s always nice!

Last week I told you about some really tough plants and I forgot a couple. When Society Hall was purchased, a number of trees were cut down at the back of the building. One of those trees was a NM Locust. Here we are, 2 1/2 years later and the roots have traveled under the concrete patio, under the sidewalk, under the rock boulevard and are now trying to come up at the edge of the curb—60-75’ away. That’s how tough plants are.

And then…I told you about removing rocks and pebbles from the back gardens at First Southwest Bank—those gardens are really starting to take shape! Meanwhile, a little seedling started growing. I recognized the plant, but couldn’t remember the name. I haven’t seen this plant in over 20 years. The name finally came to me—Swedish Lantern, if my memory serves me right. It amazes me that a seed can stay in the ground for years, under rocks and more rocks and yet, when given a chance begin to grow.  It’s a nice little plant with a pretty blue flower.

As I work at the bank, it reminds me that three years is a good time period for a fully developed flower garden. The first year was preparing the soil and making sure no one put down a soil sterilant. The second year is planting perennials and some annuals for color. It often takes a full season for a perennial to take hold and start growing. The end of this season I will plant more perennials and probably do some top dressing with worm castings or Fox Farm Soil Conditioner. Next year, I am predicting these two little gardens will be fabulous—keep your eye on them. If you take a look right now, you will get an idea of what a wave petunia is supposed to do. Thank you First Southwest Bank for giving live, living flowers another chance. No one will ever be able to tell me pebbles and crusher fines are better! EVER.

Before the frost comes, go by TSJC on the west side and take a look at the Jumbo Zinnias that are growing. It’s on the northwest corner, across from the parking lot. I stopped on Sunday just to take a look and I am, quite frankly, jealous! I have never been able to grow zinnias—til this year. I have ONE Button Zinnia growing in the Bistro Rialto flower planter. Talked to the gardeners involved, and found out that the Zinnias were planted from seed. They started blooming the beginning of August. I know exactly what I am going to plant in Mom’s Garden next year! I don’t know of any other flower that is quite so vibrant with so many colors.

If you go by Mom’s Garden on Highway 285 in the next few days, you will see a few piles. I am getting some help from Rudy with thinning the grass clumps at the back of the garden. If you would like some starts, let me know. It’s a great grass for larger areas, a beautiful steel blue color and takes no care, unless you let it get too big. I think it is best grown with no water—how nice is that? Once Rudy and I get this grass thinned back, we will begin planting the shrubs I told you about last week. It’s getting better and better and better!

A HUGE thank you to Garrison Fence for helping Society Hall with panels for our Raise the Roof Fund Raiser next Saturday (16th). The plan is that folks can get in for free, or a small donation, but to get out is a whole ‘nuther story (just kidding, I think). So many folks are readily donating—like J & J Rental with tents! And Ernie Mondragon, with portajohns (a necessity)! And Coors, and SLV Brew Pub, and Square Peg Brewing! We are gonna have fun, fun, fun—hope you can be there. Starts at noon! Be watching the Courier for more details on what is going to be a great annual event at Society Hall