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Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2016

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, I found this quote today and thought it quite fitting: “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others remains and is immortal.” – Albert Pike

I have heard of the Albert Pike Hotel and the Masonic Lodge in downtown LR, but I wasn’t sure who Albert Pike was, so I googled him.  He was born in Boston in 1809 and moved west over the years, eventually landing in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.  He moved to Little Rock to become the editor of the  Arkansas Advocate newspaper. Pike studied law while editing the newspaper, ultimately passing the Arkansas Bar exam in either 1836 or 1837. He eventually sold the newspaper and devoted his time to the law.   He played a major role in the development of the early courts of Arkansas and played an active role in the state’s politics prior to the Civil War.  He also was a central figure in the development of Masonry in the state and later became a national leader of that organization. During the Civil War, he commanded the Confederacy’s Indian Territory, raising troops there and exercising field command in one battle. He also was a talented poet and writer, and I think the above quote is quite profound.  Thankfully we had some insightful forefathers who took those words to heart and founded our great country.   Happy 4th of July!

I did have a more productive day and spent a good portion of it outside.  Thankfully the weather was greatly improved from the past few days.  Lower humidity and a nice breeze was blowing.  I got the yard edged and weeds pulled, and the rest of the beds mulched with rice hulls. my garden mulched july4.162 my garden mulched july4.163 I got a few more plants planted, containers fertilized and wateredcontainers july4.161 containers july4.162, and plants deadheaded and staked.

I had the first open blooms on the rangoon creeper and hope more will follow. rangoon creeper 1st blooms.jly4.162.  I found a lovely pink jatrophajatropha july161 and planted it with some tropical hibiscus which were on sale. containers july4.163 I have loads of blooms on the erythrina erythrina july4.161 and scattered blooms are opening on my encore azaleas. azaleas encore july4 (1) azaleas encore july4 (2)  My clethra blooms will open this week, clethra july4.16and the native beautyberrybeautyberry blooms and small fruit.jly4.16 is blooming and setting fruit in preparation for its show this fall. And speaking of natives, the Passiflora lutea is blooming and setting fruit. passiflora lutea.jul161 The small white to yellow blooms are followed by a dark purple berry.  It is a major plant food for several species of butterfly larvae, but it is invading my azaleas.  I am choosing to ignore it for now.

I did see my first signs of the dreaded chambers bitter weed, and hope I have knocked it down for at least a week. sneezeweed and weeds.july16 That is it lurking at the base of the sneezeweed along with some oxalis.  It is a tenacious weed.  I also found some hardy hibiscus which have been attacked by the mallow sawfly. mallow sawfly damage.july16 This insect turns the leaves to lace, but it this plant is in the side yard, so I am not too concerned about it. I will watch my other plants to see if it spreads.

The flowers on my hostas are showy and fragrant. hosta blooms july4.161 hosta blooms july4.162 and although the big-leaf hydrangeas are beginning to fade,hydrangeas july16 (1) hydrangeas july16 (7) the smooth and panicle forms are kicking in.  hydrangeas july16 (2) hydrangeas july16 (5) hydrangeas july16 (6) A great day in the garden and a very relaxing two days!

While we did not get any rain in my yard, I got reports from areas across the state that they did get some rain.  A little bit dampened but not daunted, our Van Buren County Master Gardeners showcased our MG program well in the Fairfield Bay 4th of July parade.  van buren mgs 4th float16 (1) van buren mgs 4th float16 (2) van buren mgs 4th float16 (3)  Don’t you love their slogan: Celebrating our Past and Inspiring our Future!  Hmmm, maybe we need to use that in our 30th year celebration which is coming up in a couple of years!

I hope you all had a great time with family and friends this long holiday weekend.  Now it is back to work tomorrow.




3 Comments leave one →
  1. Wilma permalink
    July 5, 2016 10:27 am

    Thank you for an enlightening bit of history. It was very interesting and I enjoyed seeing the flowers as well. I’m posting here by the beautiful White River in Norfork, AR.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. July 5, 2016 1:34 pm

    More a question really – you mentioned the big leaf hydrangeas beginning to fade. I want to dry the colorful blooms for an arrangement. Do I collect them now, or wait until fall?

    • uamg permalink
      July 5, 2016 2:04 pm

      The color will fade a bit after harvest, but I would take them while they are just finishing their color. Some people dye them later too.

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