The Vanishing Portulaca Mystery

All summer I have been scratching my head over this one. I have a large concrete planter on my porch that I filled this summer with a mix of portulaca. At first, it seemed like a winning combo – the drought-loving plants settled right into that sunny, dry planter and bloomed like crazy.

Then, one day, my happy portulaca looked a wee bit wilted. The next day, it looked downright discouraged. Within a couple of weeks, the plants were completely dead, rotted away to stubs. All summer, I have been scouring my sources to find answers, and yes, there are some fast-acting diseases out there, as well as a thriving online support community for survivors of sudden portulaca death.

Finally, though, near the end of the summer, I happened to open my door at just the right moment, and the answer to my question was looking me right in the eye – literally:

Meet Houdini, who generally runs the place by using his 14 pounds in whatever ways he sees fit. In this case, he declared eminent domain over a cozy napping spot, and as you can see by the look on his face, I was disturbing his peace and quiet. Next year, instead of the portulaca, I’ll just put in a blanket and the TV remote.