July 25th, 2015

How Elephant

Nursery Rhymes

Or maybe nursery exploration. One of the reasons, I figured, why I have not been finding catmints or any sun-tolerant ground cover plants is I have been going to all the chain stores. Summerwinds is the local nursery chain, they took over spaces which were once Walgreen's nurseries. Lowe's, Orchard Supply and Home Depot are all chain stores with significant nursery sections.

So I used Yelp and YP and Google Maps and found two independent ones I have never been to, did not know existed:

Central Wholesale Nursery (open for retail too) in south San Jose, and Green Thumb, in Los Gatos.

Central is huge, lots of parking but not a lot of empty spaces at 1 pm. I found catmints right away, two rows of about a dozen each, in open sunlight in a section of other similar sun-loving plants. And next to the grasses section. I walked around the whole place because they had a lot to look at. It took a while to find the citrus trees, which were inexplicably under sun screen canopies. Did not see any Thai limes, did see something called Asian limes, but not the double-lobed leaves. Also found some bright blue sun-loving plants which were not verbana, and four varieties of aloe. After about an hour I was content to buy 4 catmints plants, 5 gallon containers of them. One WTF is that while I kept having to dodge hoses as minions watered everything, I saw a lot of fried leaves, especially among the cacti.

On to Green Thumb, which GPS took me past Netflix to get to. Very slow traffic because some genius changed the road from 2 lanes in each direction to one lane in the direction I was going and two lanes the other way, which I suppose works for morning commute but is a PIA any other time. GT had no parking in front, no spaces in back, I parked on the street, and walked up a lot of steps. They had smaller pots of catmints, which were a better fit, but I already had what I needed. The helpful pool boy pointed out some not-catmints starters which are full sun, drought tolerant, have flowers and will grow into ground cover. Yellow crawling thyme, yellow gold zinnias, blue Hawaii and some gold colored plant which had flowers like ice plant but normal leaves. I got some of each.

Home, vegged for a while, then went to The French store, exchanged one empty SodaStream cartridge for a full one, and bought diet cola syrup and diet orange syrup. They were out of diet lime and diet ginger ale. I may order those online, now that Target is charging SRP. And I probably need a new set of bottles. Target does not carry the 1-liter color ones.

Home, made some cola and orange soda, enjoyed a glass of iced cola and some popcorn on the porch as hummingbirds divebombed each other. And looked at the rose garden and what had been the Bees Friend garden before I chopped it down. And found a circular enabling device - put my shoes on (I wear Birks indoors), opened the trunk of the car, got the shovel out of the shed, and took a pair of catmints plants over to the rose garden and started planting. As I finished the first one, neighbors came home, Lee pointed out that the flowers she had planted were not doing well, which is fine with me because I really did not want her messing with my side of the garden. And I had seeded that area with poppies, which are coming up and probably killing her flowers.

I planted two catmints toward the front, which had been bare, and one more about a third of the way from the back, near a stevia plant which is healthy, but not doing the roses any good by being vertical and not ground cover. There's also a blue sage doing likewise. I thought about pulling those out, but decided not to mess with a thriving plant.

Next, used the shovel to till the soil where the Bees Friend grove had been, and spread a bunch more seeds there, and mixed them in well enough, I hope, for the doves to not get them.

Watered all of that, then went to the other side of the house, planted the 4th catmints where I had removed a fried lavender plant.

Pulled the very heavy bag of 2 cubic yards of Miracle Grow garden soil over to the end farthest away from the street. and after trying Plan A: shovel out the ice plants and replace them with the soil, went to Plan 9: bury the ice plants in the soil and plant the Green Thumb flowers on top. And watered the whole shebang.

A lot of ice plant is poking up through the layer of soil, but that's fine, when it blooms it has very pretty flowers. But they were getting fried, and the layer of soil will protect them. The hope is to have a mix of ground covers there, a colorful mix.

All that wore me out pretty good. I was shaking a little, which usually means low blood sugar, but when I measured inside it was high -197. Probably my body kicking in extra sugar to compensate for all the exercise.

Delivered today was a new music stand. Much simpler than the two previous ones, and while not as heavy duty, it's solid enough for the massive book YOTB gives us. Assembled it (it just needed the top inserted into a mount) and put it in the hatchback. Removed the two which were in there.

In the mail was a revised bill from the denture clinic, this one legible, with a note that they had forgotten to deduct the extra $ insurance gave them for being an in-plan dentist. So I owe them nothing. Yay!

Dinner was baked beans and sausage, with more of that yummy cantaloupe for dessert.

Final work of the day, put the shovel back in the shed, take out the baritone and put it in the hatchback, toss the recyclables in the bin and the garbage in the other bin.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try to wake up on time
11:30 or noon to Shoup Park
Concert from 1:30-4
Drive down the hill to MV and meet Janice at Starbucks
Home around 6:30 or 7