Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's Saturday morning. Although it may not be quite so humid as it has been, it will probably be a hot one. In the garden, things like cukes, squash, corn, and basil are loving this weather. This gardener, on the other hand, likes it sort of cool. Maybe by evening I will be motivated to get out to the family garden or the potager to see how it grows.

It has been dry here. Handsome Son will be returning from his vacation sometime Sunday, or maybe early Monday. Summer school, which I have been teaching, ends on July 3rd. Then on July 9, Handsome Son and his dad go on a fishing trip to northern Wisconsin's Iron Mountain area where his godparents live. So I will be sonless yet again.

My flower border seems to be in a bit of a lull, or perhaps the gardener is. The salvia 'Purple Rain', one of the little used, later-blooming salvias with furry, silvery green leaves and large purple flowers is blooming. For some reason, I have never propagated a lot of this, typically selling any extra I had. Coming into bloom is liatris. Sedums are thinking about it. Of course, I like sedums whether they are blooming or not.

The gooseneck loosestrife is charming. Although many gardeners mistakenly removed this "loosestrife" from their gardens when it appeared purple loosestrife would take over our wetlands. Gooseneck loosestrife is not of the same genus and can not cross pollinate with the invasive species. The gooseneck can be invasive in its own way, however, as it does not seem to spread easily from seed (if at all), I can deal with the roots.

This is the time of year when I see which things are poorly placed and begin to contemplate what I should do about that.

There are days when I want to remove the few choice plants from my long border and Round-up the rest so as to get rid of the grasses that think they can gain a foot hold there. Then I would spread a pre-emergent to keep seedling from recolonizing. At this particular moment, the idea has a LOT of appeal. After a couple doses of Round-up, I would use my Mantis, which Handsome Son overhauled this last winter, till it all up, and replant it the way it should be.

I would probably lose plants like the dark blue clematis intergrifolia that I just noticed this last week, fighting for its life, or accidentally slice up some of the surprise lilies or tulips which are dormant presently.

I think once school is finished this might be a worthy project, this massive large-scale killing of all but the best. It would clear the way for placing the 'Golden Shadows' cornus alternafolia. It would be the last straw for the hot pink spiderwort that although pretty when blooming, needs some sort of containment, at best. And the grass, might at last, give up.

My poorly-placed smokebush 'Nordine' growing on the north side of my strawberry bed pays for its keep with a showy display from June through November. I keep it within 4'-5' tall.

Many spaces of my yard are doing very well, despite the mix of fruit, foliage, and perennial items from the potager like this ginormous rhubarb, backed by my cherry-less espaliered cherry tree (which suffered a hard freeze to its hundreds of blooms this year) and a variegated red twig dogwood.

This front corner of my path is just the right mix of soothing and pleasant with an Annabelle hydrangea, hosta, a species evergreen azalea, hydrangea 'Quickfire' lily of the valley and variegated hosta.

Let the long border war begin.

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