Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This Week in the Garden

I know you're all dying in anticipation for my weekly addition to the gardening annals. I worry a lot when we go away that I'm going to come back to lots of dead things, especially my container pots. So in preparation I put them all out for days ahead under the underground sprinklers to make sure they will get plenty of water, I just can't ask someone to come over EVERY day for 2 weeks. Then I watch and make sure they are happy. I set all the underground sprinklers on extra because if it's really hot here which it often is in July, we're better wet than too dry (we did live in WA for 3 years so I see that things get very green with lots of water). Drainage is important though- I have had that same issue once before and killed a clematis while away. Anyways, things went CRAZY while we were gone. Prime blooming time of lots of my perennials happened while we were away, so came back to lots of new things in flower!

My wacky rose bush that seems to bloom bi-annually.

Echinacea with a bumble bee enjoying the pollen or whatever that is likes from there.

After years of being told that hydrangea can't grow here because it's too hot, I saw them in stores all the time. I bit the bullet (whatever that expression means- we usually try to find out the meaning behind expressions because some of them have funny origins and people use them a lot) and bought one last year and put it in the shadiest spot in my yard. It didn't really do much last year and was a little leafy 2 weeks ago, but I came back to this!! I was really disappointed I had bought white and not blue, so I bought another one this spring, so I am hoping it does the same next year.

You could probably guess this one, especially you nursey types, but bite the bullet comes from this origin: "Before the advent of ether, the first anesthetic, surgery was a pretty desperate and painful affair. With the patient (although victim might be more descriptive) fully conscious and feeling the pain. These early surgeries were typically limb amputations or the removal of some object lodged into the body such as a bullet or arrowhead.

A typical amputation consisted of the "surgeon" using a saw to hack off the unwanted limb. The skin was then pulled down over the stub and sutured shut. Amazingly, some of these patients survived, but certainly the success ratio was low. Note that poorly skilled physicians today are called "hacks".

Even after the advent of anesthetics such emergency surgery has had to be performed at times. Particularly in times of war when anesthetics may be in limited supply or unavailable.

To ease the pain the patient was given a couple of stiff belts of whiskey to numb the senses, then given a stick or lead bullet to bite down on as the surgeon went to work with knife and saw.

The bullet or stick was given to let the patient focus their energy and attention on the biting instead of the cutting and pain. It may also have helped to reduce the screaming, which probably benefited the surgeon and attendants."

My purple sandcherry that I hacked to the ground last fall, has sprouted hugely!

This photo desperately needs to be cropped, but the lilies are amazing!

My grapes are taking over!

Once the 18 inch grass gets mowed (note- the sprinklers were on high), maybe I'll add some more.


Randi said...

Your hydrangeas are amazing! Love your garden ... I don't know anyone else who has a garden like that.

"bigcanadiangirl" said...

Beautiful - love the hydrangeas too. My grass is sometimes 18 inches and I'm not on holidays.