One bit of sad news was that during the last big wind that came through, my very favorite wind chimes -- the one I based the entire Cantina Garden color scheme on -- got smashed to smithereens.  Waaah!  I'm pretty sure though, that the Muses will come up with some creative way for me to utilize those shards in the garden.  Fortunately, I discovered a few good surprises at the same time as this bad one.

First of all, my purple coneflower has blooms on it!  I have had this plant for a couple of years already, and the deer have never allowed it to bloom before, but now, for some unknown reason, they are leaving it alone.  Glory be!   Here's an even bigger surprise.  If you recall, the deer chomped all my tomato plants in half at the beginning of summer.  Since tomatoes don't set fruit, as a rule, once we hit temps in the 90s, I was planning to yank them all out and try again come fall.  Only I didn't get around to it before we left on vacation.  Guess what I found when I got back?
Go figure!  Know what else is mind boggling?  This!

John planted a little pot of plumbago -- a tender perennial which prefers part shade and good beds -- in a very sad bed that gets full blazing sun, at the beginning of one of our coldest winters ever, and it's doing fine.  Then he planted several agaves, a bullet-proof plant if ever there was one, in just the conditions they should have adored.  Remember this guy?

He was a really big splurge for us -- one of the most expensive plants, other than big trees, that we had ever bought.  Wanna know what he looks like now?

He looks dead, that's what he looks like!  In no time at all he started going into a decline, from the bottom up.  We couldn't figure out what on earth we were doing wrong, and no one we asked could seem to help us.  Was it too much water?  Not enough?  When almost the entire plant was brown and shriveled up, John went out to inspect it, and the whole thing just toppled over on him, as if it had been severed from it's roots!  Well, as it turns out, that's exactly what happened.  He dug around in the roots, and found the culprit, a nasty weevil that is attacking agaves and yuccas all over central Texas.  If we were broken-hearted over this one relatively small one, imagine what it's like for those who are losing 10 and 20 year old specimens, or entire display gardens and nurseries full of them!  So sad.  There is no organic treatment for these fellows, and many experts suggest that this is the time to sit back, let nature take its course, then see who the survivors are.  Gardening.  It ain't for wussies!
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5