Yes, there are a few rough spots in the garden, certainly more than in May and June, but that’s not a fair comparison. The August garden will never match the lushness of late spring, but today it’s looking pretty good, I think, and soon there will be lots of late summer flowers coming on.
I returned from two weeks traveling in July to find an Oakleaf hydrangea badly wilted and near death, and the columnar, purple leafed beech (‘Red Obelisk’) planted by the greenhouse this spring was mostly defoliated, so not everything is perfect. But, these are minor concerns. The hydrangea was chopped out a few days later and replaced by a yellow leafed redbud (‘Rising Sun’). This will be a plus, and one oakleaf hydrangea gone with another dozen remaining won’t be missed much.
The few leaves remaining on the beech are spread along leaf tips, so the branches are alive and it’s likely I won’t know the answer on this one until spring. The huge, purple leafed beech in the front garden regularly drops leaves in the heat of summer, so I’m not overly concerned that a newly planted tree is a bit more susceptible to summer heat and dryness.
The new planting (from spring) in the lower, rear garden is looking as good as possible (above and below), which means that it’s been overplanted and within a few years something must come out. I’ve planted a couple non-hardy cannas to fill space, and in any garden temporary fillers are a good idea. It’s possible I’ll dig the cannas up at the end of the season, but starting from a one gallon pot these are cheap so it’s not a great loss if I don’t. I do have a greenhouse to store such things in winter, so it seems pretty stupid not to dig and store them, but I’ve done many stupider things.
I am planning a few changes to this area when things cool off. I knew when I planted an Umbrella pine that it would grow too large, but at the time the new Japanese maples hadn’t even been considered. So, with a few prized maples now within the area that the pine will grow into in five years, the umbrella pine will be moved to the new planting area that I’ve dug out along the tree line. This is the last undeveloped border of the garden, and I plan to take full advantage to cram in a new redbud and probably another Japanese maple along with the pine and a bunch of smaller plants later in autumn.
With this planting the garden will be complete. Well no, not a chance, probably never, but every day the garden gets a little closer to where I want it.