Bonanza day

reddingJuly 11, 2011

Well, after fighting with the fried junction box for our power supply, and the blown-out water main that created a nice little artesian effect in the pasture, I got a nice surprise in the mail. Both the book 'Gardening With Difficult Soils' and my order of seeds for xeric plants from Plants of the Southwest arrived in the mail. Hooray! Now I can look forward (I hope) to having Desert 4 O'Clocks, Hummingbird Trumpet, Wine Cups, and some of the tougher penstemons, along with the yellow Missouri primrose.

Sure, it will be next year before I can do anything with most of them, but it's still exciting to think about. Now I need to revamp the garden and decide where I'll put them. Shoot. I might even need to get out the drafting paper, instead of popping them in the ground willy-nilly. I'm fixin' to get serious about this!


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joellenh(6b Jenks)

Pat, that is so cool! You were overdue for a nice surprise.

I have my eye on this book, but am going to see if the library has it first, because I blew all the extra money on watering this month. :D


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:21AM
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Thanks, Jo. It's been a case of just one thing after another. The power company came out this morning and replaced all the fried wiring and transformer, so that part is finished. Now we just need to install the new main breaker panel and we should be good to go. Luckily we have a neighbor who can do the work, so we'll only be out about $400 instead of the $1,500 that the electrician quoted.

I'm not even going to ask what can happen next. I don't think I want to know.

That book looks really good. Did you see that they have several used copies available, starting at $3.30 plus $3.95 shipping? That's the way I usually get my garden books. The other resource I've used from time to time is Hamilton Books online. They carry overstock books that are new and usually cost pennies on the dollar. They generally have a good selection of garden books, although it changes all the time. You might want to check it out. I've gotten $35 books from them for $3-4. I just checked their site and it looks like they have a couple hundred different titles available for gardening.

Now if someone would just write a new one that deals with gardening in Oklahoma. Maybe lots of rain and maybe none; usually windy, probably clay soil; maybe really hot and maybe freezing rain. Sigh. The ones I bought when I moved here are Dobb's 'Oklahoma Gardener's Guide' and the Southern Gardener's Book of Lists. I also have the Southwest smart garden guide. It's beginning to look as if I need to get them all out and do a lot more reading, now that I've lived here long enough to have an idea of the growing conditions. Challenging, I think you might say. It's a slow process, but I think I'm making some headway. Maybe eventually I'll get it together . . . if I just don't forget where I put it.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Jo. there's a copy of that book in the Pioneer library system at both the Moore and Norman branches. Are you within the same library system?

We actually got a bit of rain!!! Probably not more than 1/4", but it was enough to at least rinse the leaves off. The temp dropped about 6 degrees, and the humidity level is rising rapidly, but all the plants had to have benefited from it. I saw so many dead or dying trees when I went to the store a while ago. I'd have to say that from 5-10% of them are under major stress.
The pines are in particular trouble, but also some redbud, sycamore, mimosa and even some of the oaks.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 5:11PM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

I reserved a copy from the Tulsa library system to be delivered to Jenks, they have a bunch :).

We got rain for seriously about 10 seconds. If I hadn't been looking outside at the moment I would have missed it.

But the temps have magically dropped to 88, which is a good 20+ degrees lower than they were yesterday at this time, so I'll take it.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Scott Ogden's books are a must for gardeners in our region. "Gardening with Difficult Soils" is written from the perspective of dealing with either the heavy blackland clays or the thin caliche/limestone soils of central Texas. However, even if you are some distance from central Texas and have either one of those conditions, it's invaluable. Plus, in my opinion, he is Texas' equivalent of Gertrude Jekyll as a garden writer. You will enjoy it.

However, if you are a plant collector or want a book to dream over, his "Moonlit Garden" is a masterpiece. I never tire of reading it and it's chapters cover all the possibilities from the highlands of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado to the coastal plains of Texas and Louisiana. Plus, his own attitude/inclinations come through much more clearly.

I gave up plant collecting when we moved back to the Texas Panhandle from deep south Texas. My first priority (time and money after life essentials are met) is to our animals, then to vegetable/fruit production, and finally to improving wildlife habitat. But, I still like to dream and indulge that dream a little.

Finally, his "Garden Bulbs for the South" is a must for the flower gardener in our region who lives along or east of the I-35 corridor. I gave my copy to a friend in South Carolina when I moved out here, since even the toughest daffodil or tulip flower usually doesn't last more than a few hours in our fierce, desiccating spring winds.

Also, while looking up the correct book titles, I found out that he is apparently now married to Lauren Springer, the authority on xeric and adapted perennials for the High Plains and Rockies.

Tom Logan

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:04AM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

My biggest problem is that we live in zone 6, so we get hard killing freezes, and yet at the other extreme we have drought and 100+ degree temps all summer. Unfair.

Most of the drought resistant perenials/trees etc. are not cold hardy, and almost all of them that I keep finding are for zones 7 or 8+.

I need to find a book called : "Gardening in the Worst Climate Possible: From Freezer to Frying Pan".


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 7:34AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


When I suggested Scott's book to Pat, all I could think of was how helpful it had been to me with both the blackland prairie clay I had in Texas and the red clay I have here in Oklahoma. I guess I've been reading Scott Ogden's writings for as long as he's been writing.

Y'all would think I would have bad more sense than to deliberately choose a place with clay when we moved here, but the other two choices here in this general area were caliche clay with limestone ridges or very sandy soil prone to nematodes. Compared to those two soils, red clay seemed the best choice. (Sometimes I have to remind myself that I choose this soiL!)

I love all of Scott's and Lauren's books, including those they've written together.

Their latest book comes out in less than a month. I've linked it below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Thanks, guys. I just received my copy of Gardening with Difficult Soils and have not had a chance to get into it yet. I was also interested to hear that he has one on bulbs for our area. I have some daffodils and narcissus in the big flower bed, but tried putting in some montbrecia and it was a total failure. They simply fried.

The electrician is getting ready to turn the power off to replace our main breaker panel, so I have to sign off for a couple of hours. More later.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:41AM
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