I am encouraged that the garden was not the disaster I feared when I returned after traveling on business for a few weeks. I was certain that weeds would be knee high, but instead, the worst of it was cleaned up in a few hours. Several large limbs fell in storms while I was gone, which is not unusual with the proximity of the garden to tall maples and tulip poplars, but conveniently these dropped between valued plants and no damage was done. I haven’t gotten around to chopping the branches into manageable pieces, but this should not be a big project.
Several blooms that promised to peak while I was traveling have persisted long enough that I can enjoy their last days. The wide spreading Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora, above) was showing the first bit of color before I left, and I figured that flowers would move quickly to their peak and past. Happily, these held on until I returned. An acquaintance recently described bottlebrush as a giant weed, and how could I argue, but with attractive foliage and blooms it is perfectly suited to this shady spot at the edge of the garden. Since I’ve planted it slightly outside the boundary of our property, there’s plenty of space for this large shrub to spread.