Still Going…

That last rain really tricked me.  It tricked the lawn as well, a green shimmer appeared and of course I thought it would be extremely generous to run the mower over to pick up some of the dead leaves and trash and then spray some liquid feed.  Silly me.  The rains stopped and things are back to wilting, and I’m back to watering, but at least it’s been cool the last few days as a respite to our usual baking.

ipomoea nils fuji no murasaki

Slowly the Japanese morning glories are coming into bloom.  Ipomoea nils ‘Fuji no Murasaki’ is amazing and hasn’t been as invasive a seeder as other morning glories tend to be… unless you’re someone I gave seeds to and recently cursed me for giving you such a weed… so your results may vary.

Despite the return to dry, it’s still not as bad as it was, and still not as brutal as it could be.  I think I just like complaining, plus on top of that it’s just boring.  Super boring since just about everything is just sitting there waiting for water.  There are three things though, which could count as somewhat interesting.  First are the container plantings, which thanks to the drip irrigation are doing fairly well… in spite of a haphazard fertilization schedule, and the second is the patch of cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) which looks great, but causes nonstop hummingbird conflict as one sneaks in for a sip just as another one or two come down in a screeching dive bomb to fight them off.  People love hummingbirds but all I see are little featherpuffs of rage, and when one comes up and gives me the hovering stare-down of death for sitting too close to their lunch, I stare right back… but don’t dare say a word lest it triggers a torrent of anger from the little monster.

lobelia cardinalis flower

The Lobelia cardinalis does really well here in the shade of the house, far enough away from the life-sucking red maple roots.  I did water a bit but not as much as you’d think.  

So that’s two things, and for the third I’ll nominate the paniculata hydrangeas.  They get a drink of water once things get bad enough to wilt, but other than that they just look awesome and make me seem like a gardening genius.  Never mind the zinnias which are struggling and the surprise lilies which only surprise me by not dying, these hydrangeas are full of fat, fresh, flower-packed trusses of bloom.

hydrangea paniculata seedling

The worst of the dried up rudbeckia triloba has been cropped out, leaving only the joy of budding hydrangea blooms.  ‘Limelight’ is in the background, this is just a seedling which somehow managed to evade my super vigilant weeding long enough to look like something.

I’m considering adding a variety which fades to pink.  ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ was in here but had to be moved for the construction, and for some reason I didn’t like the way it looked around ‘Limelight’ anyway.  The pure white of V. Strawberry seemed just too white for all the yellows and chartreuse and then it was in a bad spot anyway, where the heat and dry would brown the blooms, rather than let them go pink.  It’s been replanted next door and to be honest I want it back even if it doesn’t fit in.  Maybe I’ll take some cuttings today, my mother in law loves it so there’s no way I’m getting the original plant back.

hydrangea limelight

Limelight in the back yard around the potager.  Obviously the phlox which was supposed to be moved years ago is still there and still doesn’t look nice alongside the hydrangea, but at least the boxwood is on its way to recovery after last winter’s run in with the bulldozer.

So three things are ignoring the dry and marching right through August in beautiful shape.  There are more bits and pieces looking good but as I said they’re mostly waiting for rain and I also just like to complain.  Now for example I shall complain that the dentist’s office still hasn’t called back to schedule my root canal and the gray skies have not produced anything more than a sneeze of useless mist.  Oh well.

Have a great week regardless.  These will be the sweet memories that come up in February when the only thing growing are the icicles off the gutter.

9 comments on “Still Going…

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Ridiculously dry here as well. Truly the worst dry spell in the 32 years I’ve lived here. It is surprising to see what is managing well enough. I love your phlox and hydgrangea together. The lobelia must be teeming with hummers, and yes, they do squabble a lot. One reason I won’t have a sugar feeder. Can’t stand the constant bickering! The Japanese morning glories are knockouts – wow, so gorgeous.
    Hope we both get a decent soaking soon. A day of nice gentle rain would do wonders. Enjoy your last days of vacation!

    • bittster says:

      Thanks, I’m trying to enjoy the last days of August, but I feel like everything is conspiring against me! At least things aren’t as dry as you have. Some more heat on the way but maybe there will be a thunderstorm with it to give you some relief. That’s all I’m hoping for until real relief comes along…
      There’s always something though, if you look hard enough. You know that of course with all the beauty you still pull out of your parched surroundings, but some more green in the picture would be nice!

  2. Everything still parched here as well. They say it will rain on Monday but I am not holding my breath. Btw, I have never had any seedlings from any Japanese morning glory variety I’ve ever tried – more’s the pity because I wish they would, maybe just a bit, enough to keep me from having to buy seed every year, LOL. (and I don’t think those phlox look bad there at all, to be honest!)

    • bittster says:

      Isn’t that the way of this summer? I keep checking the ten day forecast with hope but then when the days get closer it always turns to nothing…
      Hmmm. If you think the phlox look ok there that’s a big vote of confidence! You have that critical eye which doesn’t suffer all those annoying little ‘mehs’ which I always let slip by. I guess I just don’t like the clear whites and pinks with all the chartreuse, especially when the flower forms are so similar.

  3. Pauline says:

    Your morning glory and lobelia are amazing! Love your description for the humming birds, I can just imagine them! My hydrangea paniculata haven’t even made any flowers this year, we have had it so hot and dry for over 6 weeks now and plants are suffering in spite of me trying to get water to them. We actually had some rain yesterday, but not enough, is it ever enough?

    • bittster says:

      Isn’t the morning glory the most amazing swirl of colors? I’m tempted to try another one or two, but honestly they scare me with their seeding, and I’m halfway waiting for them to still make an attempt at taking over the yard.
      …and here I thought you were doing well keeping up with the dry weather! It doesn’t look at all like your garden has suffered this summer, from my end it looks like your work and care is paying off.

  4. Cathy says:

    Your Lobelia looks gorgeous! My Mum warned me not to try growing it as apparently slugs adore it…. but Imay try one day anyway. The hydrangeas also look really good. I think the sun and wind have done as much damage as the drought here. Everything combined, a tough summer. But your garden seems to have fared fairly well. 😃

    • bittster says:

      Fortunately we’ve had a break from the heat, and did receive two ok rain showers about two weeks back, but most of the green is from watering. Without those showers I think we would be right alongside your weather… actually no, I think you would still have it worse.
      I hope there’s some relief coming your way, this is no way to spend the entire summer just to have the weather turn cold again 😦

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    We had a lovely period of summer chill. Several days in the 80;s with a bit of rain to make all the plants look good. However we are headed into some heat and drought at this time. Pretty typical really. That swathe of cardinal flower floors me every time I see it featured here. It is magnificent. This coming from a person that can’t get it to grow more than one season in her garden and never with this many flowers. Sigh…
    I hope the weather begins to cooperate with you. Your garden has so many blooms to fill one up even in the heat. Cheers…

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