Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I am the portulaca

Summer is coming to a close.

Earth-shattering news, right? I'm suspecting those above the Mason-Dixon line are sorry to see the approach of fall, while those of us down South are praying for summer to end.

Yes, it's been that hot. Record-breaking temps in the 90s and over for weeks on end.

We did get some rain finally the last two days. Too late for my astilbe, which succumbed to some
kind of fungus. My friend the Master Gardener told me she had transplanted some  from Pennsylvania when she moved to North Carolina, but they only lasted two seasons. So I guess I will count that as a lesson learned.

I replaced them with some echibeckia, a cross between a cone flower and a brown-eyed Susan. So far they are doing well and look very cheerful down by the creek.

One pot of petunias dried up like an Egyptian mummy while we were on vacation. (The others were parched, but are coming back.) I've always had good luck with portulaca, so I got a hanging basket of them to replace the defunct petunias.

Now, I am going to digress here and admit planting flowers takes a little out of me, particularly when I have to hack at the dry, clay soil with a pickax to loosen it. Like the year, I am reaching not just autumn, but the winter of my days. I can still do a lot of things, but it takes me longer to do them and longer to recover afterward.

So when I looked at the portulaca one evening, I had to chuckle. If there was ever a plant that could illustrate exactly how I feel, it's that one.

Here's why:

  This is me in the morning -- bright and  sassy and ready to move mountains.

And this is me by 5:00 p.m., wilted and droopy, ready for my book and a glass of wine.

The good thing is, the portulaca recovers the next morning and is ready to bloom again.

And so do I.

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