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Master Gardener: This-n-that

Rains of the last ten or so days have been very welcome, the ground being able to absorb most of it slowly with little run-off. Plants have responded in expected form, maturing faster and sporting lush vegetation. (The fig that had been bitten back so hard by the late frost will produce fruit after all.) We don’t realize how fortunate we are to be spared the excessive rains and storminess of our neighboring states. Thank the Maker for the rain for soon days will give way to the dryness of an Arkansas summer.

I received an ornamental grass catalog in the mail today. So many varieties, so little space to plant them in! There was even one type of sedge dubbed “Beatlemania” - I’ll leave it to your imagination what it resembled. Variegated grasses have been replaced by red- and purplish-colored specimens as the latest craze.

Note the continued interest in ground-cover petunias that come in an array of vivid colors. You still can’t beat the old-fashioned, self-seeding, lightly scented type. Did you know that the forerunner of today’s plant was introduced to Europe from South America in the 19th century? Petunias were a favorite in Victorian gardens. Petunia comes from the Brazilian word petun, or tobacco.

Tomorrow I’ll find a location for the native PawPaw tree I got at Blossomberry. Hopefully there’ll be an increase in zebra swallowtails in my yard next year. I disturbed baby preying mantises while pruning back aggressive groundcover - they were barely an inch long, but what good guys to have in the garden.

Think about journaling and/or taking pictures of your garden, its produce or things that stood out in the landscape. (That record late freeze we had was well worth documenting.) Your posterity can look back on you and that year and through your memories, walk through your garden once again.

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