Friday, July 13, 2007

The Yarrow-Picking Girls

Red (Paprika) Yarrow ages to petal pink

When L was in middle school, she and her flat broke friends stumbled upon their very first get rich quick scheme. The neighbor around the corner offered to pay them $1 for every bucket of Yarrow they pulled from his garden. (They instantly started shopping around for the smallest size buckets they could find.)

After two weeks of hard labor, the much-anticipated payday finally arrived. The Yarrow-Picking Girls were drunk with money and begging for a ride to the mall.

This story should serve as fair warning that Yarrow is a lovely, waterwise perennial in places where you can keep it in check. If you're the proud owner of a regular, beautiful, normal garden - with luscious rich soil... Well, first of all I hate you and secondly, you might want to avoid Yarrow at all costs.

The creative drought that plagues me is one of the worst I can ever recall. I sit in front of the computer, stare at the screen... can't think of a single word worth writing.

And, that drives me to wander aimlessly around my garden when I should be working on my latest freelance project.

The lawn crunched like yellow straw as I walked over to the section of my yard that is home to the Yarrow. Like tough little soldiers, they stand tall, bloom bright, with or without the watering. They'll flower all summer long if you give them a haircut once in awhile.

100 degrees again. I can't remember when it's ever been 100 degrees here. Seems it's been that way for a month.

I tried to ride my timeshare horse. She bit me, can't blame her. Who wants to ride on a day like today?

So, I'm in the midst of a drought. And, so is my home, the desert Southwest. Half the state is on fire. (If only I could muster a fire inside myself.) What's not ablaze is threatening to do so at any moment.

The Yarrow can blame Mother Nature for their problems. I'm fingering Ay Chihuahua for mine. 'Twas his blog that recommended the great book. And, nothing shuts off the faucet of my creativity faster than reading the writings of someone who seems to know what she's doing.

Solitary Confinement:
Grow Yarrow in a spot in your yard that fills you with despair and is currently filled with weeds. Left to it's own devices, Yarrow grows thick and strong, making short work of weeds. The only time it's a problem is when you ask it to play nice with other perennials.

My favorites are Cerise Queen (pink) and Paprika (red.) I love the rich, red of it's flowers set off by that distinctive yellow eye. And, how those pretty red flowers age to petal pink as time goes on. (Once they hit the pink stage, I lop off their heads and hang them in the garage with the lavender to dry. I have the nicest smelling garage in the neighborhood!)

Read the book. Water your flowers. And, let the lawn fend for itself. Kentucky Bluegrass goes dormant when you don't cater to it's water-guzzling needs.

Slightly well-behaved Yarrow:
  • Cerise Queen (Magenta)
  • Moonshine (Yellow)
  • Paprika (Red)

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Thanks for the plug; I'm glad that you enjoyed the book.

We've actually had some relief from the heat here for the last few days and its been enjoyable to sit outside and putter in the garden. I hope you get some relief soon; stay cool!