So it’s been hot and hasn’t rained more than half an inch here in the last three weeks. My “garden” has always been a little more interesting than it is beautiful, and now with things wilting and dying left and right, on top of the construction debris and damage, my yard has officially entered the trash stage. Visiting several beautiful gardens last weekend, filled with lush goodies, all artfully combined and arranged was a nice exercise, but did not help my opinion at all so earlier last week I decided to rip half of it out, mulch most of it, and try to save a few bits through the daily triage of going plant to plant with a water hose.
Lawn is not drought tolerant but rudbeckia and a few other things are. At least not everything is brown.
Maybe we’ll get lucky tonight and the storms rolling through will drop some moisture, but it’s going to take a couple days straight to get anything into the hard-baked soil and that’s not going to happen. Also the next week’s forecast is full of 90’s (32+C) so any rain tonight is more a teaser than relief.
With half the plants now ripped out, and a couple days of standing around with a water hose under my belt, the front border no longer shouts ‘save me!’ and instead just looks hot.
So plenty of people have it worse, and some people always have it worse, so please don’t feel the need to be nice and sympathetic when this kind of summer really isn’t that out of the ordinary for us. There’s still plenty of recyclables in this trash pile, and always a few treasures to pick out, such as the orien-pet lily ‘Conca d’Or which dominates the front border this week. I love everything about it this year, it’s huge, fragrant, creamy lemony, and as solid as a tree.
‘Conca d’Or’, perovskia, and some ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass doing just fine under the triage of ‘just in time’ watering.
Now faced with a garden of mostly trash, more garden visits sounds like a good idea, right? I think so, but little did I know how dangerous they can be. Some friends and I traveled up into the far reaches of Northeastern Pennsylvania this weekend to visit a daylily farm and it was a bad thing…
A perfect, Idyllic, country view of the daylily sales-field at Lambertson’s Daylilies. Mark it with a flag, pay, they’ll dig it and it’s yours… what a deadly temptation!
I’m not above taking one for the team, so when a visit to Lambertson’s Daylilys came up in conversation, I of course politely agreed. “You hate daylilies” was mentioned, and that’s kind of extreme, but I can be nice and keep my thoughts to myself when opinions vary… and try not to relentlessly steamroll people with my beliefs and opinions just like all adults should… but I’m digressing… we met for breakfast and all of us headed out for a day at the farm.
Some of the display beds coming into bloom around the house. No trash here!
I bought one. It’s planted and gets checked way too much each morning. Today I cross-pollinated a few flowers and I’m already thinking about going back to see about picking another one… or possibly two… dammit…
The mother in law’s garden bed and it also looks very non-trash. I guess I’ll have to swipe a bit of this one and add it to my new daylily adventure.
When I returned home (filled with delicious ice cream because of course we had enough sense to stop at a dairy while in farm country) I put a critical eye towards the depressingly stunted tropical garden. A daylily would look good in there.
Even with watering there’s little hope for this year’s tropical garden. I’m far too lazy and cheap to water properly and the cannas are knee-high rather than chest height.
Seriously. It’s the perfect spot for a daylily patch… bed… border… growing field 😉 The peak bloom will match pool season, and that’s when this sidewalk gets nearly all its traffic.
My selection out of the farm’s seedling patch. At Lambertson’s the seedlings grow for a number of years, the under performers are culled out and most of the good ones are just sold as un-named seedlings.
Tree lilies, daylilies… I’m sensing a theme for easing the pain of a better-for-the-pool-than-the-garden summer. Waterlilies fit right into that.
The pond is thick with debris and whatever else washes in off the construction site, but the pink water lily has never grown as lush before. The tadpoles are also doing well, and I guess a dirty pond is still better than no pond.
So it’s not all bad, unless you judge me for finally falling into the daylily trap. I was doing so good… in 20 years I think I never went over a total of five daylily plants, and no one needs to know about the other 30 years of my life and the rows of daylilies that still grow at my parent’s house. I had put that behind me.
Not daylilies, just a couple hundred bricks which I chipped the mortar off and neatly stacked so that they can sit here for decades until I finally get around to doing something with them. In the meantime I’ve camouflaged them with potted plants which I couldn’t be bothered to bring up onto the deck.
It’s just one daylily. Maybe it’s just the dry weather and heat that are getting to me. Luckily plants other than lilies are still chugging along and even enjoying the weather. All those geranium (pelargonium) cuttings from the winter garden are loving the dry, sunny days, and were a nice, cheap way to fill a bunch of planters.
Maybe a few too many geraniums on the deck.
Another potted plant which has surprised me are the rhodohypoxis bulbs. They’ve been blooming for over a month and I didn’t expect that at all. In fact they’ve grown so well I might need to divide them soon, and don’t know if now or next spring would be the better time.
Some of the rhodohypoxis pots still doing well. The large-flowered, pale pink ‘Pintado’ is by far my favorite.
Maybe I mentioned one other bulb which wasn’t doing as well as the rhodohypoxis (actually both are classified as corms, and not really bulbs). Last winter I lost about half of the caladiums I was so excited about last year summer, but that doesn’t mean the ones which made it are pitiful. A couple are awesome again, and since many are of the same sort I’ll be referring to them as some of the idiot-proof cultivars and think twice about trying new ones this year. -which is something I decided last night after closing an online order which was soooo tempting until I thought about the daylilies again-
A few caladiums coming back to life now that temperatures have warmed. I think a cold, wet spell last fall did a few of the others in, as well as not hot enough weather in June.
So that’s what’s been going on here for the last couple weeks. It’s not bad at all but the garden really is trash, and only close editing and avoiding the majority of the yard has saved this post from becoming a complete downer. There’s a new daylily though, and the pool is always refreshing, but don’t bother asking how the construction is going, and just for reference it’s midnight and the possibility for a good rain is dwindling with each hour.
All the best for those in really hot and dry weather patterns, and I hope you still all have a great week. There’s always ice cream.