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This is nuts. It’s been a year of extremes–all over the world, and all in the wrong places. It’s rough on a gardener’s constitution. Don’t you think?

I broke down and bought a new sprinkler a few days ago. In my rich fantasy life, I’d imagined a single sprinkler head and hand watering wasn’t that bad. Hah. Until it’s over 100 °F several days running. The one I “chose” was only $20; it was one of two available on the near empty shelf. And it works great. You can adjust this sucker every which way. You will get soaked in the process. But that’s a given.

This little sprinkler that could. Why the consternation?

To think I stood there scratching my head wondering if it was worth the investment. Imagine all the plants I could buy with $20. Well, not that many. And if you let the ones you’ve got die of thirst–there’s no bargain to to had at all–even in the bargainyest of bins.

Here are few plants I’m keeping an eye on.

Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ aka Natchez Crape Myrtle

The lilies were here, so I don’t have no id. They don’t smell terrific like these from Heather Tucker‘s garden.

Lilies from Heather. They smell divine.

I’ve been a little slow to get on the lily bandwagon, but that must change.

The area under the eaves stays super dry. Great for the window maintenance, not so much for plants.

Caesalpinia gilliesii aka Bird of Paradise Shrub

The Caesalpinia is supposed to be fine without water. But I gave it a little anyway. I couldn’t help myself.

Moveable bamboo fencing.

Okay, this doesn’t need watering, but I thought I’d show you anyway. It was a gift from Megan, and I love it soooo much. I’m watching it so I can decide where to best use/display. I bought rebar from the steel yard so I can secure it. But, of course, quick implementation is not my strong suit. Plus, once I pick a semi-permanent place, it will eliminate other options. I’m like that with plants too. Anyone with me on that?

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Golden Arrow’

I bought this Golden Arrow Persicaria at the urging of friend and fellow garden blogger, Alan Bertin. We are each other’s trouble maker. You may remember our first steel-yard finds.

Potted plants need lots of water too, especially the kind I choose. I always get a papyrus, because they make me happy. This one isn’t too tall yet, but so lush. It’ll get there.

Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’

A tall thin pot gives King Tut Papyrus a lift. It’s a yearly favorite.

Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’

I overwintered a Bromeliad and a couple of Elephant Ears in the basement this past year; they recovered despite considerable neglect. (I don’t know my Bromeliads–so something else to study this winter. Any recommendations of good source info?)

Round bed with over-wintered Colocasia and Bromeliad.

The Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’ is new this summer. I’ve been treating Angel Trumpets as annuals, but maybe I’ll try overwintering. It could happen.

Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ and Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’

I don’t often mix plants in pots, but this combination makes me happy. The Evergold Carex and Variegated Jasmine are a couple favorite plants. I keep buying these two, even though I usually have plants in stock to be planted. Little pots need even more watering. What was I thinking?

Too much Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ success?

The Bananas are looking good after surviving the cold winter. And the Tetrapanax are quite going crazy. I hope I don’t regret this. One giant hangs over the fence to the neighbors yard. I need to lasso those leaves, but I’m a little scared of them. I hear they can send one into a terrible coughing or sneezing fit. Maybe one should not plant plants wherein one is afraid of them.

Mister with his new charges. They’re about 6 weeks.

One other happening around here: new foster puppies. It’s not easy to get a clear shot. These pups are on the move. They came with the names Duke and Shelley, but I’m not feeling it. I could maybe go for Mac and Stella. Megan says they name themselves, that one day you find yourself calling them by a particular name. For now, I’m calling them “Babies!”

Babies! Foster Pups from Oregon Humane Society

Let me know what’s going on in your garden. My main discovery this year: watering makes for miracle.