After a damp start, this dry late summer continues. Still, the dryness has not been so severe and extended so long that it is much of a problem, except that the gardener anxious to begin planting in early September must be a bit cautious. In recent days I’ve planted a handful of new toad lily varieties (Tricyrtis, above), and until regular rainfall returns I’ll monitor these to be certain they’re not lost.
I am encouraged that mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla, above) have continued to flower through the summer. In a typical hot, dry summer new blooms are often delayed until cooler weather, but there have been scattered flowers through July and August, and buds promise more in the weeks ahead. Several mopheads in sunnier spots regularly wilt by mid afternoon, but no harm is done, and without watering they revive by late evening.
Lacecap hydrangeas rarely rebloom in this garden, but there is a single flower on ‘Twist N’Shout’ (above) and a few buds are starting. In the heat of late summer the bloom is darker, more purple, I think, though I am color blind and my word should ever be taken on matters of flower color.
The winter past was difficult for abelias (Abelia x grandiflora) in the garden, with several suffering considerably though these are typically very sturdy shrubs. ‘Canyon Creek’ (above) is taller and less compact than other abelias, and its yellow foliage is less remarkable than others with variegated foliage. But, it flowers more heavily, and it was hardly bothered in the cold.
Finally, Japanese beetles are gone and flowers of the passionflower vine (Passiflora encarnata, above)) and Gordlinia (x Gordinlina grandiflora, below) are not mutilated as soon as they open. Besides damaging a few flowers, the beetles do little damage in this garden, so they are not much to complain about. Still, I’m happy that they are gone for the summer.
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The lack of rain in Mt. Airy, MD has really hit the garden hard. Many of my hydrangea appear to be dying, my toad lilies have not bloomed yet, and many hostas have turned brown. I’m worried about going into winter with such a lack of moisture in the ground. Even the ground is cracked. I’ve watered as much as I am comfortable doing. I can only hope it helps. The past few winters have really hurt many of my plants.
I’m depending on thunderstorms this week to get at least a little moisture back in the ground, but we’re so dry that we need a good tropical storm or two. Autumn rainfall is critical, in particular for evergreens to survive the winter. If we’re dry, and have a repeat of the past two winter’s cold, there will be trouble.
That blue flower 2nd from the bottom is an beauty!
Passion flower vine looks tropical, but it is cold hardy to below zero. There are few flowers that compare to the purple passion flower.
That’s good to know. Thank-you!