Summer is flying by way too fast and fewer and fewer things are getting done. I wonder where the time goes but then remember that afternoon nap which got away from me and then the hour spent just sitting on the porch ‘looking’, and things kind of all come together. Summer is the lazy person’s nirvana.
Still a few things get done here and there. Mulching is one thing which happened, and although it was a half load with more planned for later, it made a world of difference even if most of it is just a foot wide strip edging the beds.
Mulching would have gone much faster but even a lazy gardener can be a greedy gardener. Beds were expanded, some enough so that the expansion was remarked upon by the housemates. I just explained that the re-edging of the beds was necessary and left it at that. New mulch is always appreciated, so the latest land grab was quickly forgotten.
A second thing of note is lily season. They’re doing great this year and although I’d prefer them towering over the other plants I guess they’re not bad at all considering how thin the soil is that they’re growing in.
A few shovel-fulls of compost might be in order for these ladies since they really get no attention otherwise. The only time they caused me any concern was in April when a late freeze damaged a few of the earliest ones. Most of my favorites survived but a few froze back enough to call it a year. Hopefully they’ll be back next spring.
Just a few more…
And one more. Lilium lancifolium, the old fashioned tiger lily. I think I read somewhere the garden version is a sterile triploid version and that sounds believable since it never sets seed, but this is the one most likely to be found in old gardens and around abandoned homesteads so it seems to be doing just fine as is. Notice the round little dark bulbils which this lily produces where leaf meets stem. They’re super easy to pluck off and pot up, and in just two or three years you’ll have a brand new tiger lily colony. Be careful though. They have a reputation as a Typhoid Mary of the lily world and are said to carry all kinds of viruses which aphids can spread to their more refined cousins. Of course I rarely listen to good advice and grow them anyway. They always remind me of summers in Maine and my aunt’s old farmhouse garden and I guess I’ll risk the others for that.
I also got a hold of the double tiger lily last summer. Beautiful or atrocious is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s just a few days behind the single so you’ll have to wait.
Off to a third thing. The phlox are in bloom and as usual they don’t compare to the very first year I prepped a bed and planted them out, but also as usual I’m willing to forgive many of the flaws in one of my favorite flowers. The fragrance of phlox is another summer farmhouse memory so when they’re in bloom out back even I can be convinced to grab a trowel and pruner and do a little weeding and straightening up just to be around them.
And maybe a fourth thing. The Russian hollyhock (Alcea rugosa) has captured my imagination as easily as their homeland captured the last election. The color is a soft yellow which goes with everything, the plants top out at a decent 6-7 feet, and best of all there’s still no rust to be seen on the leaves. In the front yard the current crop of regular hollyhock seedlings are peppered with orange spots and yellowing leaves, but back here it’s still a clean slate. I hope it stays that way.
So that’s it from here. Hope your summer is rolling along just as nicely as mine (although maybe at a slower pace) and you’re enjoying the sunny bliss of the season. It may all seem carefree wonder but don’t forget to give some consideration to the cooler parts of the year and by that I mean snowdrop season of course. Edgewood Gardens should be putting out a snowdrop list soon and I have no other choice but to wait patiently until it comes to my inbox. There’s already been a species list for the real fanatics (which I won’t answer yes or no to on ordering from) but the named drops list should be in the works as well. When it comes out I like to think of it as Christmas in July, and as it stands right now I’m sure I’ve been very good this year 😉