Better than expected

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.

Two Yucca rostrata border the koi pond patio. with a red horse chestnut standing above.

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.

A mishmash of terrestrial orchids, hellebores, and various perennials and evergreens flourishes on the lower end of the greenhouse.

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.

Pretoria canna stands above smaller plantings in the recently planted lower, rear garden.

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.

Along established clump of mountain mint has spread further into expanded planting areas in the lower, rear garden. Until newly planted shrubs are well established the mint will require annual taming.

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.

The plantings along the stone path and stream have long been one of the favored spots in the garden. In dry, hot weather the serviceberry that hangs over the path drops substantial numbers of leaves.

A large colony of sweetbox has crowded out lesser perennials and grasses along the stream.

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.

The shaded area beside the house was replanted several years ago following the removal of a large yew. It is finally filling in.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Chuck says:

    I love the pictures from a bit of distance so I can see the different plants working together

    1. Dave says:

      I try to show some overviews occasionally instead of the individual plants or only flowers.

  2. Bridget says:

    I just wanted to drop a note to let you know that I really enjoy your blog and that while you may not know it, you are informing and entertaining me! Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Dave says:

      Thank you for your note. I intend to promote the joys of gardening, with an emphasis that it’s not quite as much work as lists of monthly garden chores make it seem. When I get lazy I slip into the just the facts mode, but I suppose that’s also helpful.

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