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One small moment of Sunday sanity

Away from the constant drumbeat of scare stories about the new black plague … lies the real world.

In case any of you remember last year’s laborious rock-wall project and wondered how the succulent plantings survived the winter:

The pictures don’t do justice. While the yellow jumped out into the camera, there’s also quite a lot of dark red that doesn’t show well. I couldn’t get it to pop even with a color-balance and hue-saturation adjustment. Take my word for how colorful it really is. 🙂

The main thing is that the sedum not only survived the winter but is doing very, very well. I’m having a bear of a time keeping grass from competing with it this spring; it’ll be a couple years before the sedum has spread enough to choke out other plants. Meanwhile Grass B Gon, patience, and a lot of plucking by hand are slowly gaining on the interlopers. These pix were taken a few days ago and I’ve since gotten rid of a lot of that straggly stuff.

Considering that I planted tiny clumps of succulents very late last summer from four end-of-season sale flats (one of which contained dying plants), not bad. Considering the biggest bunches weren’t much more than fist-sized when I set them in, they’re growing like Audrey II. Oddly, for the moment the growy-est clumps of sedum seem to prefer spreading onto the rock itself more than into the bare patches of soil. But that’s okay. It’s their job to spread and wherever they want to go is fine by me.

You may now return to your previously scheduled screaming panic.


  1. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge May 10, 2020 2:02 pm


    Glad something is going well in spite of the covid clown show.

  2. Fred M.
    Fred M. May 10, 2020 2:58 pm

    It’s all due to your green thumb. 😊

  3. Those People
    Those People May 10, 2020 3:57 pm

    Very lovely.
    “Life, uh, finds a way.”

  4. Joel
    Joel May 10, 2020 4:17 pm

    Excellent! I was actually thinking about that wall a few days ago and wondering how it was going.

  5. Claire
    Claire May 10, 2020 4:38 pm

    Yeah, Fred M. Suuuuuuure. It’s all due to the fact that even a black thumb can’t easily kill succulents (though in fact I just repotted a miraculously thriving aloe plant, dividing it from one container to four — and three promptly died).

    Val E. Forge, Those People, and Joel — Thank you. Yeah, it’s nice to be reminded that life and beauty come ’round again.

    But Joel, your Jean Giraud/Walter M. Miller glimpse of a hermit monk in nature really beats my rock wall by miles.

  6. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal May 10, 2020 5:24 pm

    I think I’ll put off my screaming panic until tomorrow. I need a nap and a walk– maybe not in that order. Plus, a screaming panic sounds like a lot of work, and kinda noisy. It might scare all the stray cats in the neighborhood. I’ll see how I feel about it tomorrow or the next day. I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually.

  7. Claire
    Claire May 10, 2020 8:03 pm


    I’m sure once you’ve worked yourself up to one, it’ll be a damnfine one, Kent.

  8. larryarnold
    larryarnold May 10, 2020 11:53 pm

    Thanks for the flowers, Claire. Brightened my day.

    They’re blooming around here as well. As are critters. Made a turn on the caliche road to the range yesterday ( had a license to carry class) and thought, That’s a little deer. Then his ears went up, and I saw it was an industrial-grade jackrabbit.

    We went out to eat this evening, Mom’s Day, and the restaurant was full at half-capacity. (We’re under a 50-percent occupancy rule.) Everybody was enjoying themselves, both patrons and staff. Although a waitress admitted to being a bit out of practice. It overlooks a small lake, and we watched kayakers, a herd of real whitetails, and swallows scrounging nest materials.

    Our hair cutters opened Friday. I called at 10 a.m., and got an appointment for 10 a.m. May 28. Apparently the predicted hesitancy about going back to them was overstated a bit.

    Went grocery shopping Thursday. The store had a stack of toilet paper 4′ X 5′ X 10′. I guess we can scratch that off the worry list. I also found Lava soap and hand-wipes, which had been scarce.

    At least here, panic seems confined to big city bureaucrats. The only thing I’ve been hoarding is dark-chocolate M&Ms. (Keeps my wife happy.)

  9. Comrade X
    Comrade X May 11, 2020 8:17 am

    May clumps of sedum rule the world!

    On 2nd thought it may be more intelligent than those that do today.

  10. The Real Kurt
    The Real Kurt May 11, 2020 9:33 pm

    Be glad you don’t have English Ivy, Morning Glory, a volunteer cherry tree and/or a Holly tree lurking about. When I was living in Kenmore, they were the bane of my existence in the yard. Keeping them down was nearly a full time job.

    You’ve done some mighty fine work, and I hope it brings you peace and satisfaction for a very long time.

    The Real Kurt

  11. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson May 12, 2020 4:07 am

    Your rock garden looks fantastic. Just looking at the size of those rocks makes my back hurt. I have to hide your photo from my wife…or I know what she’ll have me doing this summer.

  12. Just Waiting
    Just Waiting May 12, 2020 8:09 am

    Looks excellent Claire! In another year, it will look like its been there forever.

    (X- smarter than those that rule here 🙂

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