August 20th, 2009

Creative Joyous Cat

Wanted: Scary, Flower-Loving Under-The-Porch Monster

One of the "joys" of city gardening is that people sometimes take flowers.  I've become accustomed to losing a rose here or there; knowing this would happen is a large part of why I planted lilies and wildflowers between the sidewalk and the roses; little kids who don't know any better, and bigger kids who don't care, would have something easier (and less thorny) to grab, which would hopefully reduce the damage to the roses, which should be pruned carefully if one wants to bring a flower in, and not have the stem roughly yanked or twisted apart.

Several years back, I planted stargazer lilies, which have a large, bright, majenta and white bloom.  The first picture here is the first to bloom.  The plants send up one stalk a year, but unlike daylilies, the flowers last for weeks.  The first year, one flower.  The second, two or three.  This year there were at least a dozen flower buds on each plant, and I was very much looking forward to enjoying the flowers.  Also, because they flower after the other lilies, they help fill in a "hole" in the season, keeping the garden looking good (and keeping the city from thinking all I have is "weeds"). 

And round about now, they should be blooming.  But they're all gone.  Someone came along and cut every single plant, leaving me only leaves.

It's not the first time.  We have had people cut a dozen roses from a single bush, overnight, trimming all the new growth off the plant in the process.  And one time someone yanked a whole rosebush out of the ground.  But still, it's disheartening.

And it's not even something that one can realistically report to the police.  The value is less than a broken car window, which they will barely take a report on over the phone.  Why can't I have a nice garden-familiar, something big and scary and ready to send would-be flower thieves running?

In other garden news, the tomatoes are starting to ripen, and the hibiscus are starting to bloom.  The pretty copper-colored beetles are indeed eating holes in the leaves and even some of the flowers.  The various volunteer squash plants are doing well, with no sign of the dusty mold that usually covers them late in the summer; perhaps a blessing of how dry it's been.  I spent a little time placing supports for them, and winding their tendrils around until they caught.

It rained last night, and the wind or the rain knocked some of the cherry tomatoes and one ripe cayenne pepper to the ground.  Happily, I noticed before I stepped on them.