Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to the Garden and the Blog

'Alabama' coleus

Yes, I'm still a garden blogger. Regular readers have probably given up on me ever blogging again though. August is typically my slowest month of blogging, but this year it's the slowest ever. Every once in a while you need a break, you know?

Allow me one little non-gardening digression - I first discovered blogging after getting laid off. I had a wonderful two years of blogging about my garden, meeting new friends, some virtually, some in person, and learning an incredible amount about gardening all over the world. (Being unemployed for two years was not so nice in other ways though!) Three months ago I got a job in a completely new field for me but luckily, it's in the town I live in and in a field I love - gardening. Sort of. I edit articles about gardening. So I sit all day in fairly intense concentration in front of a computer. Which means that when I get home, the thought of getting on my computer to read blogs, much less write one, is a little much. Those of you who knew me during my other career, software, will wonder why I didn't have this problem before. Well, I really didn't spend that much time on the computer after work! And with all of the management meetings I used to have, it wasn't as intense in front of a screen. All this to say that although I miss reading everyone's blogs and wish I could read them as often as I used to, I probably won't be able to. But please hang in there with me. Maybe I'll figure out how to make this work.

'Alabama' coleus on left, Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’ on right

Now back to the garden. There's not really that much happening in the garden so I thought I'd talk about one of my more underappreciated plants, the 'Alabama' coleus. I planted it in a potted arrangement when it was in a little 4 inch pot. Later I moved the plants that were in the arrangement around and left the coleus by itself. Other than madly pinching it when I first got it, I haven't done anything else. It's developed this nice mounded shape and absolutely no pests have bothered it. Not even the lubber grasshoppers! So, there's a nice satisfactory plant for August.

Ruby throated hummingbird

There are a lot more hummingbirds around the backyard these days. I think the migration is starting. It's hard to capture more than one hummer at a time at the feeder because they're so busy chasing each other around. I find it funny that they also chase the butterflies away from their nectar plants. Speaking of butterflies, I saw my first Gulf frittilary of the season yesterday!

Spooky balloon

A couple of weeks ago this ballon got caught on a vent pipe of my neighbor's house. It's been looming over my backyard ever since, kind of spooking me when I forget it's there. Does anyone else find this unsettling? I think you would if you saw it in person.

Wavy leaf cacus and agave (neomexicana maybe??)

My wavy leaf cactus pad has definitely rooted and even sprouted another pad. So I'm thinking of ripping most plants out of my stock tank, planting this cactus, and leaving the now thriving bamboo muhly with it. We'll see.

'Autumn Joy' sedum

I'm now seeing the "pinking up" of my AJ sedum. And pollinators are now getting attracted to it. Surely this means that fall is around the corner?? :-) Yep, I can't wait for it! Well, a couple of more computer tasks await me, including ordering some bulbs, so I think I'll call it a blogging night. I hope to get to your blog soon!

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2010. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.


  1. I totally empathize about the blog-behind problem. I can't seem to keep caught up with either blogging or reading this time of year...or the holidays...or the spring...hmmm - I see a pattern emerging here! Glad you're back, glad you're enjoying the new job. Just relax about the blog, it'll come when it comes and besides, we all get it anyway!

  2. August has been the pits here ... day after day I watch the clouds form and wait in vain for rain to fall. I hope your garden is getting some at least!

  3. I'm so glad you're back, and I completely understand why you've been away. I find August very hard. The kids go back to school. It's hotter than hell, etc. etc. Your balloon looks like it is looking at me so I get the spookiness kookiness of it.

    That Alabama coleus is a winner all the way around. Congrats on the job, and thanks for editing my work.~~Dee

  4. I'm in an August slump too. Let's hope September will be better!

  5. I can see why with your garden editing job why you would not be in the mood to write about gardening. Your garden is pretty however.

  6. I know what you mean... it's nice to see you back though!

  7. Firstly, it's YOUR blog and it's for fun. Don't apologize; post when you can. Secondly, congrats on a gardening editing gig. Yay! Thirdly, I've been making a living as a writer/editor in some form for over 20 years and I very rarely update my blog... writing all the time, or staring at ords, inhibits one's own interest in creating more. Sometimes I want to shout "Too many words!" but largely I behave myself.

  8. August is the hardest garden month, for us in the South. Lots of heat, and little rain. It's hard to stay excited about gardening.

    Add to that, a full time job....you get a pass.

    Our hummingbirds fight, too. When we had a place in New Mexico, the hummers there shared the feeders....crowding shoulder to shoulder. Not here. It's crazy.

    Stay cool. Fall is near.

  9. If it weren't for the grandsons, and Heath Fair preparations I wouldn't have anything to write about in August either. The job sounds interesting, but it is hard to spend ALL day and evening on the computer. Real people and real plants have definite appeal

  10. I agree with Monica. No apology necessary. In fact those who read blogs via feed readers, I venture to guess, probably don't notice when you don't blog, only when you do.

    The balloon looks like one of those inflatable snakes with big eyes meant to scare away pesky birds.

  11. Congratulations on the editing gig. Post when you feel like it, read when you feel like it, we'll still be here. That is a fantastic coleus, I've never seen one quite like it.

  12. That is a beautiful coleus! And a great idea to let it go solo in a pot--I should do that with some containers I have where some of the plants have fizzled out. Great shot of the hummingbird, but I do hope they haven't started migrating yet. That means mine will be leaving soon:(

    I understand how hard it is to blog when you've been staring at a computer screen all day. I hope you'll post when you can and don't worry about trying to catch up on reading; it's always a treat to see how you and your garden are doing, Jean.

  13. Hi, Jean;
    Giggling over the balloon. I would find it unsettling as well. And, I'm loving your coleus photos. Have never grown it but it's very pretty.

  14. Love your coleus and the spooky balloon reminds me of 'Wilson' in Castaway. We will read when you have the time to write.

  15. Jean,
    There seems to be a lack of time or intrest in blogging for alot of people right now. Except for those die hard bloggers. :-) There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. --Randy

  16. Keep the posts coming... love the coleus!

  17. This is my first visit to your blog. I'll be back.
    This spring I got a Sedum Autumn Joy. I had never seen one before. A few months later I was back at the same nursery and saw one starting to bloom (mine had not progressed that far yet). Liked it so much I bought my second AJ. I put them in a big pot. Now they are blooming. We progressed through the white stage to pink. I was amazed how they attract bees and wasps. Now they are turning darker. An amazing plant!

  18. I've been taking a break, too. Don't worry - your blog is so good that people will keep coming back!

    I love the photo of the cacti/succulents in pots - something about the light makes it look so serene there.

  19. Thank you to everyone for your encouragement. I didn't really mean to bemoan my lack of blogging, but more bemoan my lack of time to visit other blogs. I miss them and thank you for visiting mine!

  20. I think we can all understand the need for a break now and again...I had one a week or so ago...just too much drama at work resulted in no energy for anything afterwards :-( Glad you're back though...and employment is a good thing! Love your coleus, I always say I'm going to add some to my garden, but can never find one I like at the nursery...yours is lovely!


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