Mostly minor problems

Among many, but mostly minor issues related to this year’s summer deluge is that Alstroemeria ‘Tangerine Tango’ barely grew, and only a few flowers were seen in early summer. In fact, I cannot be certain that the problem is not an overhanging Distylium instead, but shade from the evergreen seems not far different from a year ago, while rain is up substantially. I can’t stop the rain, but I can cut the Distylium back to give a bit more sunlight to ‘Tangerine Tango’. So, this is the plan for spring since it is too late for this year, though it is likely I will have forgotten by then.

While dogwoods in drier areas of the garden show no ill effect, perhaps not even more leaf spotting and mildew than is typical, native (Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Sunset’), Chinese (Cornus kousa ‘Wolf Eyes’), and hybrid dogwoods (Cornus ‘Celestial Shadow’) in the damp, lower garden have dropped all leaves much earlier than is typical. I expect no long term effect, assuming against recent evidence that drier weather patterns will return and that the lower garden will eventually dry out.

Two cherries on higher ground have also defoliated, though this is not so unusual since cherries are quite sensitive to excess moisture. Again, all should revive in spring.

Autumn coloring of leaves should begin soon, while foliage of Oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercilfolia ‘Munchkin’) in damp soil turned weeks ago. I presume that constant dampness is a stress factor that accelerates the effects of autumn dormancy since leaves of Oakleafs in dry ground remain green. Cold temperatures to push foliage color changes must be just around the corner, though the current forecast is quite warm for early October.

Two peonies and daphnes were lost in the summer’s wetness, but here I should accept at least part of the blame for planting in conditions that were marginal, summer flooding or not. I’ll know better next time, and while another twenty inch increase in rainfall is unlikely, I now know from experience that these will not tolerate the dampness of the lower garden. A third newly planted daphne, in its second year and planted on a dry slope, also displays its displeasure, though it will survive.

Summer Ice daphne is planted in dry ground where it grows and flowers vigorously.

Mountain hydrangeas (Hydrangea serrata) were planted in place of two daphnes, and certainly these will not thrive if the lower garden remains a swamp. But, I expect it will dry out, and even with occasions when damp ground persists for weeks the hydrangeas are better suited to this area.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ruth says:

    Hi Dave! The pictures of the leaves and the Ice Daphne were beautiful! Thank you. Hope the garden dries out soon! 😀

  2. tonytomeo says:

    That alstroemeria looks like the old sorts that we used to grow for cut flowers in the 1980s. They are difficult to find now, although we have naturalized beds of them in three colors. All that I can find in the nursery now are the low and mounding garden varieties. Is that what ‘Tangerine Tango’ is?

    1. Dave says:

      There are few choices that are cold hardy for this area. Yes, it is mounding, though it’s always been growing beneath the evergreen Distylium, so I’m certain I’ve never seen it’s natural form. For better or worse, the flowers remind me of funeral wreaths.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Oh, goodness, funeral wreaths! It reminds me of the 1980s because I grew it as cut flower during an internship in 1986. Back then, it was still quite rare.

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