Rough around the edges

As expected following a wet spring that promoted overly lush growth, the recent spell of heat (and no rain) has caused more than a few problems in the garden. None too drastic, but in sunny areas the look of summer has set in to stay. Most days, I’m certain I look a little ragged, as well.

This is the time, of course, when shade is most appreciated, for the garden’s residents (fauna and flora) as well as a place for the gardener to escape. While hostas (above) and hydrangeas in a bit too much sun have taken their typical turn for the worse (fading, not failing), ones in shade, and even dry shade show no ill effect. The garden is not irrigated, so an extended drought is likely to result in a few brown leaves, even in the shade, but the only plants requiring attention are ones most recently planted.

Earlier in the spring I planted two Korean wax bells (Kirengeshoma koreana) from densely rooted one gallon pots near the more common yellow wax bell (Kirengeshoma palmata, above). Many soft wooded perennials are subject to wilting in the heat, and particularly after a wet period, but wax bells will collapse in a hurry, so I must watch these and dump a bucket of water if storms don’t arrive first.

I also notice that tiarellas (above) and several heucheras are wilting in the heat. With no rain in the forecast for another week, a sip of water or two will be necessary.

Small numbers of Japanese beetles have been spotted. Some leaves of the pussy willow with pendulous branches have been chewed, but today there are no beetles to be seen. Since the pussy willow is a beetle favorite I am encouraged that damage to the thick clump of Ostrich ferns (below) along the path from the driveway to the deck might be minimized if there are fewer than usual.

In any case, beetles are never a problem in the garden, with only minor damage to a few plants. Since no insecticides are sprayed, I attribute this to clean living and hard work, though I suspect birds are more likely to be responsible.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Linus says:

    Where can one get the Korean wax bells?

    1. Dave says:

      I bought these mail order through Gossler Farms in Oregon. They are shipped with the container and much of the soil mix removed to save weight in shipping. Typically, I find mail order to be a poor value if there is any other alternative local source, but these were large plants for an okay price.

  2. Jenni McLean says:

    I do have a big problem this year with Japanese beetles, and am reluctant to spray. Any suggestions?

    1. Dave says:

      I do nothing about beetles in my garden, but I read that it is advised to pluck them off into a pail of water. I’m not sure that this is practical, but I don’t know of another solution. Perhaps an insecticidal soap would work as a contact killer, but it will not prevent the next batch of beetles.

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