It stopped raining long enough this afternoon for me to get out there and do some watering. The deluge of nearly 1/10 of an inch did little more than dampen the top layer of mulch and cancel a Little League game, but it was enough to cool things down at least. Maybe it also gave the pestering hordes of gnats a nice drink as well, God only knows they must be getting tired of sipping my blood and sweat all month. Here’s how the lawn out front looked yesterday morning.
I hope my crabbiness about the weather doesn’t come on too thick. Weatherwise I feel like I’m riding one of those shoddy, barely-passed-inspection carnival rides where you get thrown back and forth between burning and freezing, drought and flood, and all you want is Dramamine and a Tylenol when it comes to a stop. Maybe today’s misting and this week’s milder temperatures will improve my outlook. I think it will, especially when there are flowers toughing it out and cheering me up.
I’ve done next to nothing on the front border since mulching it with shredded leaves in March… and weeding and deadheading once in May. That’s great because it still looks decent enough, but not so great since I like to add a few patches of hard working annuals and tropicals in there to brighten up the summer months. This pattern of neglect isn’t way out of the ordinary though, so even if it’s getting late for annuals I’m 99% sure that if I finally get it planted there will still be a decent show… but I’m not doing the same for the foundation bed. It’s so dry the majority of the perennials are wilted and dying and I have no desire to even look at it long enough to even consider carving out a few watered spots for annuals. The blue fescue border was de-seeded last weekend and in general it looks good enough, so I’ll leave it at that.
It’s curious to me how some years an odd balance tips and suddenly your most reliable standards vanish. This year the front border is missing the hordes of rudbeckia which dominated last summer and in their place is a nice wash of rose campion (Lychnis coronaria). Many people look down on this old fashioned, reseeding, short-lived perennial, but I love it for its tolerance of droughty soils, its soft gray foliage, and its cheerfully bright flowers. It’s a perfect compliment to the nearly-a-weed white of the oxeye daisies.
My absolute favorite right now isn’t even a flower though, its the dried round seedheads of allium ‘Pinball Wizard’. Big fluffy spheres which seem to float above the border are just perfect this year and I’m planning on lifting the bulbs this week to spread them out a bit (the original single bulb has split into four now and I don’t want it to have any overcrowding issues.
Once you move towards the far end of the border things go downhill fast. Everything in this border gets done from the near end to the far, and unless I’m making a strong effort to be fair, all the good plants, best mulch, nicest compost, most delicate pampering…. all that happens at the one end and rarely carries all the way through to the other side. I’m pretty sure that the most obvious solution to this problem is to make the border wider again. More room, more plants, more excitement… the natural choice when faced with a border which might already be a little too much work 🙂
Digging will have to wait until August at earliest. Who knows what there will be left to plant in August, but we’re approaching phlox season and no bed digging is worth the risk of interfering with flowering phlox enjoyment. Just today one of my new ones opened and it is so amazing I’m sure you’ll see it here shortly. Wow is all I can say, and to be honest I haven’t been this completely excited about a new flower since at least last week.
With all the work I’ve done recently in weeding and trimming you might be able to tell I’m now trying to catch up on the blogging. Well, blogging and watering of course… but please bear with me as sore muscles recover indoors and I throw out a bunch of posts in what might be too little time, and please feel free to skip commenting or even ‘liking’ since I’d hate to wear out my welcome!
Enjoy your week and I’ll be back Thursday to join up with Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome for her Thursday Feature. Maybe I’ll even feature the new phlox, although saying that pretty much guarantees a woodchuck or deer attack tonight…