Monday, November 5, 2007

Interior Gardening

A lot of gardening is about thinking. I bought this chair at the Salvation Army near my house; painted it yellow and made a cushion for it. The fabric is an outrageous print of oversized dahlias; which don't grow in Austin's climate or soil. To succeed in my garden, since I don't do a lot of soil amendment, I must plant things that thrive in sticky black alkaline clay. I have a knowledgeable guide: Scott Ogden, whose Gardening Success with Difficult Soils, is something I constantly turn to. One alkaline-loving effulgent bloomer I was counting on is the oleander. But this weekend an employee at Barton Springs Nursery told me that oleanders were under seige in Austin from some bacterial pestilence called leaf scorch. From the Texas A&M website:
We are facing another disease problem in Central Texas that looks to be a major challenge for the nursery and landscape industry. I first encountered it in the Lakeway community where it is devastating oleanders at an alarming rate, and have since seen it all over the greater Austin area. The symptoms include scorching of leaf edges and tips, leaf drop, and death of entire branches on the plant. Death of the entire plant often follows. Plants will often attempt to send up new shoots from the base, but these usually follow the same fate.
So my plan for lush oleanders is on hold. I must do some more thinking and planning.

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