Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 2014: Second Edition

It's the middle of July … and the middle of the growing season. 
Where do I go form here, maybe a good story might be in order?

The rain has eased up and that means I have to manually water a bit more, but there's nothing new about that.  The seasons go round and round.  The temperatures continues to try to stay in the upper 70º(F)/21º(C) and lower 80º(F)/26º(C); our hot weather comes in September and October.  This to is also normal for this time of year here in Minnesota.  As far as I can tell every thing that will come up; has come up … which leaves Itsy Bitsy Spider and Little Devil to be dealt with.

In my last journal entry I noted the additions of Baby Doll, Gemstone, Irish Mist, and Rainbow's End. They were given to ,me from my mother.  My garden is utterly filled with no space left.

I could certainly re-stage my garden to omit the above two; that's true.  But there is something to be said about having the smallest known hosta that is available on the retail market (Itsy Bitsy Spider).  To add to this the plant has blade like leaves reminiscent to grass leaves; not a common thing for hosta.  This hosta I think deserves a second chance in this garden because of its outward characteristics.

Little Devil has a particular drab, military green that I think deserves to be acknowledged.  Mind you my original opinion of this green was one I could easily do with out.  As winter wore on I began to take a serious look at the photos I had and began to realize that as 'ugly' as that green was by itself it did stand out against the other greens of the hosta around it.  That was not an easy reality for me to admit.  So this plant will be given another try.  7/15/14: The replacement plant looks darker green than last years sampling that was planted.

On the other end of the spectrum … I have decided that if Blue Mammoth or Popcorn do not survive the 2014 - 2015 winter that will be the end of those two plants in my garden; no excuses.  I have also begun to consider removing one of the Tiaras from my garden.  They are both lovely plants but my garden can exist with only one of them; even if I reconstruct the Chaos and Destruction theme.  Lemon Lime, while it is a marvelous hosta which grows briskly, I think competes for attention with 'venusta'   This would bring my garden back down to 20.  I still want to move towards broadening the diversification of my collection.  Maybe edit back during 2015 and 2016 and work on that diversification during 2016 — this all assumes no more unexpected hosta won't show up at my door step …

The Hosta Report
A single leaf on Xanadu Empress Wu has been shredded by a slug,  The rest of the leaves on the four plants look good at this point.  It is standing at about 4 1/2 inches/11.3 Centimeters tall.

Lemon Lime has begun to indicate new resolve with it being moved from the front to the back for the garden.

The two additional spikes of Emerald Tiara are finally rounding this plant out to look better this year.  It now looks about the same size as Golden Tiara on the other side.

Sum and Substance is standing between 15 to 17 inches/38.1 to 43.18 centimeters  tall,  No flower scapes yet … I do look forward to those each year.

Dixie Chickadee has LOT of new friends.  The two additional plants came.  The first went in without a problem.  The second was unwrapped and decided it was time to go to pieces - 3 of them of different sizes,  Those too are planted.  In a few days we;'ll see just how settled they can become.  I do not remember ever seeing any pictures of Dixie Chickadee with petioles this long or this spear like, BUT the coloration says this is the right plant.

Itsy Bitsy Spider was also replanted with two tiny divisions. These plants are much smaller than the ones that came last year, and they are also look much more spear like rather than 'grass blade like'.  Will see what happens.  Even as small as they are I very carefully tried to get them the right depth this for success.  They are ready to grow when they become settled.  Last planting of this collapsed because of the stress of TWO waves of 90º(F)/32º(C) and a 50ª(F)/10º(C) day between last year.  I hope these do better.

Little Devil's replacements were also planted against each other.  Two very good sized divisions with good rhizomes.  These I hope will be at home in this garden.  I checked the ground before they were planted and I saw no sign of last years rhizomes,  This might suggest that crown rot might have been the culprit.  For the life of me I not point to the date where the conditions of crown rot occurred …. but there it is.

Hosta June was moved about 8 inches to the west.  Looking a little stressed due to the move but it will perk up after the watering (7/10) and rain over the next few days,

There are three new hosta coming.  No I'm not kidding.  I have a friend who insisted on giving even MORE hosta.  At least I had a choice of which ones they were to bring to control the direction of the garden's future theme evolution.  The three that are coming my way are: Atlantis, Stiletto, and The Razor's Edge. While many person;s may understand the connection to the theme Chaos and Destruction I will take a moment to explain to others who may not understand them.

The Razor's Edge.  Most of us know the danger that a edge of a razor has.  From a basic knick on the skin, to more devastating outcome of death.

Stiletto … in this case were not talking about high healed shoes, although I have been told that the stiletto shoe could be destructive to those person's feet who wear them.  In this case a Stiletto is one of the smallest knifes carried, and some might know it as the 'rouges knife'.  Keep in mind that the knife is illegal in some parts of the world; but the Hosta is quite legal in any garden!

Atlantis, the mythical continent that was said to have been in the Atlantic.   It was said to have sunken by either natural cataclysm (earthquakes and volcanos), or by divine decree of its 'Protectors'.  Who were said to be the Protectors of Atlantis?  To get this story one must search the stories of the Roman God of Aries.  The story goes seething like this:

Aries was far from celibate.  According to annals of mythology there are probably a good two dozen children by his fathering.  It is told that his favored son's were Deimos and Phobos.  Mythology suggests that these son's came to him when they had grown to be young men and asked of him, "How can we understand good leadership among mortal men?"

Aries, in his wisdom, knew these sons meant more than just leading wars, and military campaigns, so he went to his brother Zeus and told him of the conversation.  Zeus was deeply interested in what these son's of Aries were asking.  He said, "I will have Poseidon  open the ocean floor and he and i shall make new land.  Your son's may rule it without interference of others."

Aries knew what his brother meant.  Not even he could tamper with this order of power given to his sons.  But Aries agreed, and went back to tell his sons of Zeus' great benevolence. The land came forth and men came to the land.  For one-thousand years the brothers ruled in harmony with the people who populated the land.  Atlantis was said to be as a near utopia.  And then discord began to occur between its citizens.  The bothers could not contain the cause effect of the discord.  They pleaded with citizens to rethink their path.  But the citizens refused to listen to the divine brothers; and the chaos of the civilization grew to something disliked by either of the brothers.  They turned to their father Aries and asked if this was his doing.

"No." he replied calmly, "by divine promise I, nor another force, was to guide Atlantis or its people.  They were given to you by Zeus, himself, when you asked about leadership. The problem is totally and fully yours."

The brothers pleaded for guidance.  Aries quietly but firmly held the line.  He refused to offer any type of advice.

The two left to re-access the problem.  The brothers believed in the people who were there, but neither could find a solution to restore the utopian civilization they once had.  The brothers called the wisest of the citizens together, and they met with them on divine terms,  'If the behavior of the people does not change in 'two weeks' time we will put an end to this ourselves. We have been benevolent and patient Protectors of this land.  Our patience has come to an end.  For nearly 1,000 years you've had a civilization that no-one else has had!"

The gathered asked, "What retribution should we expect?"

The brothers seeing where this could lead responded, "The retribution is ours to chose by Zeus' word.  We shall not tell what our choice is, but we remind you our father is Aries.  His blood is our blood.  That ought to be warning enough."  and they left.

They went to Poseidon and asked him to sink Atlantis. And he agreed.  The more famous second half of the story/myth you probably know … depending on the version of the story you've heard.

Ok folks story time is over - go back to what ever you were doing!  We'll catch each other in two weeks when there will be more to tell about hosta.

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