The best day, again


If the garden was just right a few weeks ago, I cannot imagine that it is either better or worse today. But, it has changed, with one dogwood fading while another begins to flower, and so on so that the garden has changed considerably in the few weeks. I don’t suppose there are more or fewer flowers in the garden today, but without a doubt there are more leaves since earlier in spring, and with increased rainfall through this period foliage is large and lush. On a cloudy afternoon, the garden’s floral and foliage colors and textures stand out, and what better place to be?

Looking down onto the rear garden, in splendid color even if there were no flowers. The yellow leaf is the Golden Full Moon Japanese maple, with an Atlas cedar in the background. The red leaf is the dwarf ‘Shaina’ Japanese maple with terrestrial orchids growing in front.

I am slightly concerned that recent weeks of cool temperatures and rain have prompted growth that will be damaged with the first prolonged period of heat and drought. This happened a year ago, with yellow leafed ‘Citronelle’ coral bells (Heuchera ‘Citronelle’) melting almost overnight, and while the garden is expected to fade somewhat as temperatures rise, the change should not be so drastic. Probably, this is nothing to be concerned about, and I try not to be bothered by things that cannot be controlled.

Gold Cone juniper stands in front of Globosa spruce and Golden Full Moon Japanese maple.

I’ve mentioned the family of Northern Brown water snakes in the koi pond recently, and as sheltering spots between boulders have been plugged it is apparent that some or all are hanging out in the dense foliage of the pond’s filtration area. The largest of the clan has been spotted hanging out at the edge of a thick mass of sweetflag (Acorus calamus ‘Variegatus’). Yesterday, as I watched, the snake struck as one of the pond’s few goldfish ventured too near.

Sweetflag, pickerel weed, and yellow flag iris provide easy cover for our family of Northern Brown water snakes.

There was nothing I could do, and why do anything? I couldn’t help but feel guilty, but this is what snakes do, and if fish don’t fall prey to predators the pond will quickly overpopulate. After this disturbance, koi and the goldfish or two that remain kept to the deep parts of the pond.

Native blue flag irises grow at the edges of the koi pond, and in a small, spring fed wetland area in the rear garden.

If there is a month, or month and half when the garden is at its peak, the pond is at its best for two, maybe three weeks while one variety after another of Japanese iris (Iris ensata) is flowering. Today, yellow flag (Iris pseudoacorus) and blue flag irises (Iris versiclor, above) are beginning to fade, so it will be a few days before the progression of Japanese iris blooms begins. At the same time, Oaklaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia), with stems that arch over the pond’s edge will flower, and I’ll wonder again how I could have created a scene so splendid.

Japanese irises and Oakleaf hydrangea will flower next week, but today there are yellow flag irises, baptisias, and Wolf Eyes dogwood flowering in the background. Good today, better next week.

One Comment Add yours

  1. ruth says:

    Hi! The pond is indeed splendid Dave – well done and a lovely post to read too – as always..have a good rest of the week! Thanks.

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