Sometimes in the middle of the summer, I’m not sure what to write about in the garden. I wander out there, see all the plants in bloom and figure that you folks are doing the same thing.
What in the heck am I going to write about when everything is doing so nicely?
Do I write about problems in the garden confessing my sins?Or, do I wax poetically about some gorgeous yellow rose that just started throwing sweetly fragrant blossoms?
Lovely to look at but the wrong plant in the wrong place
I could even run on the rampage because of a bush rose I bought this spring that has turned out to be mislabeled. What was supposed to be a tall rugosa rose in red has turned out to be a short ground cover rose in pink. I’m not overly impressed with this latest development I can assure you.
But if that’s the worst thing I have happen to me this gardening season, I can live with it.
But is it?
This rose and a bunch of other plants will be moved this fall after they are dormant. As soon as the leaves come off the plants, they’ll be picked out of their current location and wheelbarrowed someplace more appropriate.
I’m comfortable moving some of the perennials, I know where they’re going. I’m just not quite sure where that groundcover rose is going to wind up. The perennials need more space and a better sense of plant combinations. I currently have a perennial blue Geranium next to a slightly different shade of blue Veronica and the combination is either quite inspired or quite sickly, depending on how I’m feeling that day. I’m moving the Veronica to get rid of the question.
But the week’s holiday did what every week’s holiday is supposed to do.
It turned the vegetable garden into a weedy nightmare. That garden is almost a lost cause in some parts; who knew that pigweed could grow that fast. The tomatoes are holding their own as they were fairly clean before I went away.
However, let us not consider the pea patch.
The annual pull-up-the-peas, vine and all, will happen this week and I’ll get rid of as many weeds as peas I’m sure. You may recall that this section of ground wasn’t doing very well, to begin with, so I’m going to declare it a lost cause and start double-digging in there for next year.
I’ll likely go for some fall crops of broccoli and other cole crops by digging now and planting next month.
Holidays Kill Shrub Cuttings
The holiday also killed off a few shrub cuttings (well, more than a few) because the automatic system that was going to keep them damp decided to not be an automatic system. The holiday was worth it though, even though I collected far too much sunshine this past weekend. Both my plants and I are sucking back water in an attempt to rehydrate.
And I note that the new Hydrangea ‘Forever & Ever’ is still in lovely bloom but that it does demand a fair amount of water.
Sometimes in the late afternoon, it will wilt and the flowers will be hanging down but within an hour of being soaked, it will be standing straight up and looking perky. The first time this happened, I thought the flowers would disappear because of the wilting.
They recovered as quickly as the shrub did and I’m delighted. I can’t begin to recommend this plant highly enough for its summer appearance; that’s assuming of course that you water more regularly than I do. (Update: this plant died on me over the first winter. USDA zone 4 but it should have been fine. Emphasis on “should” – but wasn’t. )
I’m reminded how weedy (it is good for gardeners who want a wild look I note) Campanula persificolia or the peach-leaved bellflower really is. This darn thing is all over my garden as a former owner must have liked it or found it all too easy to grow.
Seedlings are popping up through 3 inches of bark mulch they are so eager to see the sunlight. I’m whacking them out as fast as I can. I did a few minutes of pulling to get me in the mood to write this morning and I now understand that this is going to take more than just a few minutes to get this plant under control.
This is by way of saying that I’ll be deadheading all the nice campanula in my garden this week as their flowers are starting to fade so they don’t even think about doing the same thing. Those cuttings are going into the garbage too, and not into the compost barrel as I don’t want them to even think of surviving in my garden. I’ll nip those weeds in the bud so to speak.
So this is my week to weed and deadhead in the garden. I’ll be cleaning it up and getting rid of as many weeds and seedling weeds as possible. Doesn’t that sound exciting?Given I have some gardening folks coming this weekend, the garden has to look at least presentable. By the time you’re reading this, we’ll have wandered the garden and discussed all the plants. A little extra mulch and a few hours of weed pulling should do the trick.
Don’t you just love the motivation of having company to get you to do all those little chores you’ve been putting off?Sometimes I think it’s the only way I’ll get any work done.
At the height of the perennial season in mid-July, the report card on this brand new garden is barely a passing grade. I knew it wouldn’t look great and that the new soil would take some time to get going so seeing the reality of that isn’t overly surprising. While I confess I was hoping for a plant miracle and lush growth the first year, I do understand that developing great soil will take a few years. But the plants are mostly alive and growing and a little work on my part will put them in good stead for the fall root growth season so I’m happy with that.
Now if I can only get those weeds under control this week.