The meadow in June

Last summer ended up being awfully dry in my neck of Pennsylvania, and as a result the grass in the meadow (or orchard if the apple tree ever takes off) took quite a beating.  Parts are so stunted this year you can barely tell it’s been uncut since spring.  This kind of defeats my dream of amber waves of grass rising and falling in the breeze, but it works out great for the new summer bulbs I dibbled around into the turf last fall.  I experimented with a few triteleia and dichelostemma, and although I didn’t expect much out of them after the cold and wet winter, they survived and are now showing off nicely amongst the sparse grass.

triteleia ixioides starlight

The thin grass leaves plenty of room for short bulbs such as triteleia ixioides “starlight”.  It’s not a great picture since it doesn’t show any of the soft yellow of this flower, but it’s the best I could manage!

I needed some bulbs which the rabbits wouldn’t decimate (unlike the crocus) and these have worked out well so far.  I have my fingers crossed they’ll return next year, but for now I’m happy with them.  I think my favorite is this dichelostemma ‘pink diamond’ a natural hybrid from somewhere out of the western end of North America, and hopefully a good match for my dry-as-a-bone-in-summer meadow.

dichelostemma pink diamond

Dichelostemma “pink diamond”, the tubular pink blooms look almost waxy and rise up above the grass while the grass covers up its yellowing leaves.

Sumac and aspen are constantly making a bid to take over the meadow, so I need to get in there and snap them off.  Too bad the lazy little bunnies can’t do me a favor and chew these plants down.  It would finally give the blueberries a break.

dichelostemma pink diamond

The bright color of the “pink diamond” blooms really stand out in the meadow.  Good thing too since last year’s drought was also rough on rudbeckia and daisy seedlings.

Dichelostemma congestum was another treat.  It’s got a clear, bright blue color and also stands out well in the grass.  Hopefully this is another bulb that will settle in and call the meadow home.

dichelostemma congestum

Dichelostemma congestum looking nice up against the only patch of decent grass.

If I trust my seed skills I could try collecting a few and nursing them along for more of these little bulbs, but honestly I think they’re better off falling to the ground and fending for themselves.

dichelostemma congestum

If the butterfly weed was just a little quicker I could have a nice mix of bright orange to go with the daisies and dichelostemma. Summer’s the time for bright combos, right?

So that’s it for the meadow in June.  The butterfly weed is coming along and should make for a colorful intro into July and I’m glad to have a few interesting things back there.  Sure beats the half dead lawn I used to waste my time cutting each week!