Right now we are stepping out into a bit of a mess in our garden. August/September are brutal here in Phoenix Arizona, even the nurseries are low on plants. Nothing really survives that well in our temps during the summer. By the time September rolls around, if we are lucky enough to have cooler temps early in the mornings, we can work on cleaning up all the sad and dead plants out there.
All my succulents died, except for the cacti and aloe. Wait, I did loose one of my larger cactus plants which was a little shocking to me. Think I may have over watered some. Maybe I am not totally to blame on the succulents. Sam-burger Hamburger did use one on my nursery succulent boxes inside as a kitty box, so there is that. I know, gross huh?
I am not giving up on succulents though. Next week I will buy some to start over again. Gardening is my go to place when I need a little break from the chaos of life. My peace place.
This is why I have a garden. It is my quiet place to escape too. I think it is nice to share some of that peace with all of you as well. So why not make this a monthly thing. I am always out there in my garden anyway. “It’s a post” as my family always jokes about.
This is what we have been up to so far, now that the heat doesn’t hit us like a hot blow dryer. I can even open the house up to air it out. Don’t you just love the Fall. Usually we have to close everything up and keep it dark with air conditioning on all the time.
Like I just wrote above, some of my cactus are in a sorry state. I had to bring a bunch in because there is some hooked beak bird out there digging them all up and either eating the roots or something else around them.
My husband saved one of the babies a couple months ago when it fell in the pool and now they are digging up all my baby cacti and throwing them everywhere around our pool. You can guess what happen one night when I was walking out there barefoot after a swim…OCH!
Here is a little tip from an Arizona native…anyone getting tons of tiny invisible baby cacti thorns in the bottom of your feet, just cover the whole foot with school glue and let it dry then peel those tiny bits of annoying splinter pain away. Or even better…DON’T plant cacti near a pool.
What is up with those birds anyway, why are they eating baby cacti roots. I also saved a dove early one morning that somehow got stuck in our filter. When I took this photo it was half dried but still a little bit in shock. An hour later when I checked on it, it had finally dried completely and flew away. I kept checking on it just in case it went back into the pool.
Some of my spider plants made it this summer as well. I had to clean a lot of dead off of them and transplant them to larger pots.
We started taking clippings of house plants and adding them to mason jars full of water. We wait until they have roots to transplant to new pots.This is a frugal way of growing your own houseplants since gardening and houseplants have gone way up in prices.
I love buying plants, but I know how frustrating it is when you first start gardening and your plants die from lack of knowledge. YouTube has a lot of good advice on gardening for that.
One of our plants that does great in all temps is a plant that our neighbor calls Elephant food. This plant just thrives where we live . It’s a strong little plant.
I want plants in my garden, but everything was dying because we weren’t here that much to take care of it. We were always up north during the summer months. That’s when I decided to plant that Elephant food all over our garden. It worked, my garden actually had some green in it after the summer was over. If this is really elephant food, well we are ready for some pet elephants if anyone has any to spare. We even have a giant pool for them to play in. Not enough space though. Anyway, elephant food or whatever this plant is called, it’s a great plant for beginners.
Another thing I like to do is layer pots. I will put smaller pots into larger pots then add plants in both.
I look for little gnomes, animals, and decor to add to pots for some added color to the garden. I am always picking them up at second hand shops for tiny transplants. If you have a garden and you rub out of things to do, then just head outside to your garden, there are all kinds of projects just waiting for you to finish and take care of.
A lot of my cacti are overgrown so I took clippings off them to transplant to new pots. This pot here was a tin popcorn container my daughter brought home from work. My husband drilled holes in it and I decorated it with colorful twine and yarn. Clipping and trimming your plants encourages new growth.
On the other side of our back yard we keep our edible garden, that’s where my husband was cleaning up. Moving pots around, getting rid of the dead plants and transplanting some plants to larger pots. Our chickens love days like this because of all the little critters crawling around. They start pecking away at tiny little bugs that we can’t see.Everyone has their part when it’s time to clean and organize the garden.
There were tons of plants that were too big for their pots and the roots were chocking them out. Had to find bigger pots.Or in the case of this Aloe plant I just separated the aloe and put them in smaller pots around the garden.
My gardenia has some new growth, thought I lost that over the summer.
I was so busy replanting and cleaning up that I didn’t notice a visitor had hitched a ride on my arm. Once I felt something crawl up my arm I yelled out about giant spiders again. My husband on the other side of the yard heard me scream and asked me what was going on. I laughed when I looked down and saw what it was.
I can tell you it wasn’t a spider, and even if it were, they are never giant, just in my head that is. It was a baby lizard I saved earlier in the week when Alley cat found it inside our home. I knew it was the same lizard because it’s itty bitty tail was gone.
I don’t know why it decided to hang out with me. Little lizard is lucky it was Alley cat that it ran into and not our ginger cat Sam burger Hamburger, that cat is full of fire. He never feels guilty about anything. He is probably laying in my son’s bed right now, thinking about the treat he left me in my succulent box weeks ago.
I can picture him now laying in that bed not knowing that earlier in the week we had a baby lizard in our home. Yeah, who’s laughing now Sammy. Sammy would have taken that baby and hidden it somewhere or given to my son early in the morning right when he wakes up. Sammy’s all cat and he gives my son and husband so much happiness…he is a fun one , that ginger cat of ours.
I looked down at the little lizard and said out loud “Yeah, your lucky it wasn’t Sammy that met up with you” then I told it to scat, go find somewhere safe to hang out. So sweet, just looking up at me. Might have scared it though because I did swipe it off my arm when I first saw it. I don’t smack thank God, that would have been terrible. This little guy is a baby. I moved him once again, this time to the grass and trees where he will be safer I hope. Wouldn’t you know it though, that lizard was back under my gazebo a couple hours later. I moved that tiny thing way, way, way to the other side of the yard. Maybe it has a twin, missing tail and all.
This early morning garden clean up took hours. It started heating up to 100 degree temps by 11 am. I headed inside once it became uncomfortable.We still have so much to do. Baby steps as they say, lots and lots of baby steps. Hope you are all out enjoying these Fall days too.
Next post for In the garden will be a DIY project. I have some fun little scarecrows to share with you all. We have lots of corn stalks and I thought how fun it would be to make some more Scarecrows.I already made a couple up north.
And then there is this, my aloe garden. The kids made this cinder block Aloe garden for me years ago for Mother’s day. I was thinking of stenciling something pretty to the blocks. Just something else to add to my list. Happy gardening everyone.
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