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Garden journal entry


The cruel fate of almond verbena's young growth
May 30, 2021. Our poor almond verbena can't catch a break this year. First, it was killed to the ground by winter storm Uri in February. Happily, new growth appeared, in the form of water sprouts from right at the base within too long, and our little tree grew amazingly fast after that, reaching a height of four feet and even starting to bloom by late May. In the process of getting there, several of the weaker sprouts had toppled over, but it was minor damage compared to the healthy growth of all the other uprights. Alas, the demise of the weaklings turned out to be an early warning sign... A freaky night-time thunderstorm blew through a few days ago – the kind whose lightning seems to nearly constantly light up the garden, with winds strong enough to buffet even robust trees like our live oaks. In the aftermath, I found that all of the uprights of our almond verbena had unceremoniously toppled to the ground, their attachment to the woody base insufficiently strong to take the storm's beating. The fallen sprouts, though doomed in the long run, are still alive, so I've left parts of them in place to feed the root system while the plant figures out how to put out some less-fragile new growth; I may need to help it with some temporary supports. Several other plants likewise took a hit from the storm: both our hardy tapioca and our Virginia pine found they couldn't stay upright when faced with the combination of soggy soil (from a couple weeks of very watery weather) and the high wind. They'll need some support too, for sure. As for the tall sunflower that grew from a bird-feeder dropseed – I'm afraid I'll have to lop that one. But no worries – there are more of those coming.

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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