While we look to the tropics and wait to see what the latest hurricane brings I think a trip to the milder side is in order. The Pennsylvania tropics are much calmer and even-keeled and if you ignore the heavy hand of winter’s approach I think it’s a nice enough retreat from everything else going on.
Even though things were in the ground earlier than ever this year the cool weather made for a slow start. I even lost nearly all the dahlias when my “big patch of ’em” idea didn’t go well with the “all the water drains here” reality. Losing plants to an excess of water is not something I’ve ever experienced here on this thin-soiled hilltop. Fortunately there’s always a backup plan.
Verbena. Verbena bonariensis is my backup plan for nearly every plant fiasco/disaster. Any unmulched sunny spot quickly sprouts a few seedlings and all this gardener has to do is stand back. If anything they need thinning since they come up thick and look much better when each has some space of their own.
I do tend to let things just happen. Laziness and distraction can do that to a garden, and the far end of the tropical border is mostly foliage.
The mulch which I smothered this end of the bed with must have contained some leftover autumn decorations so the coleus I planted ended up being smothered by the climbing vines of Yugoslavian finger squash. They seemed to love all the rain and vines slinked and slithered all through the back of the border.
So while we await our Finger squash decorating bonanza the rest of the border is busy with the bees and butterflies who take advantage of the color.
I’m hoping things work out well for a big Monarch migration this autumn. A few years ago there was a trifecta of beautiful weather, plenty of butterflies, and loads of verbena blossoms and walking through the fluttering garden was almost surreal. Thinking back on it I really feel bad for those people who hire landscape companies, spray for any wildlife which gets too close, and then stare at lawn all summer. Holy boring.
The tropical garden is not boring.
Hope a good weekend is had by all and a little boring can extend down to the areas in the path of hurricane Irma. The tropics look much better when not ravaged by obscene winds.