Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Green Man

The Green Man, in this case Copper...
Usually this piece of garden art peaks out from a pot filled with allium 'Summer Beauty' (also named 'Millenium', I believe).  That would be next to the cotoneaster and a phlox (maybe 'Amethyst'?), and the 'Sweet Autumn' clematis.

This year that placement would just highlight the toll the brutal, deep winter has taken in my garden.

There  is nothing much growing there yet.  I cut back a lot of the cotoneaster.  The allium which had survived more than five years in a cement urn was certifiably dead.  (What kills allium?)  And the clematis, I cut to the ground; hoping for life anew.  The phlox, however, is just going about its merry way.

Which leads me to another trend I am seeing in my garden after our deep winter.  Woody plants, substantial, well-rooted ones at that, had a hard time of it this last year, while the perennials that die to the ground each year, act like "Carry on, nothing different here."  I am not sure why this should be.

Daylilies, phlox, beebalm, bloodroot, trillium, asters, salvias, geraniums-- although delayed, do not seem to be much affected by how cold and how log it was cold, the depth of snow or frost line.  My garden is awash of tender new green growth with the bones of the garden are bare sticks.  My forsythia, green, but a second year without bloom.  My viburnum 'Mohican' is just now blooming.  My smokebushes, always late to the party are alive and starting to leaf out at pretty much their normal time, but I am still waiting for large sections of privet to show me the green.  

Even some of my spirea and barberries are coming back from the ground.

Barberry 'Rosy Glowl'  (My other red barberry 'Carousel' seemed unaffected.)
While these perennials are looking great.

Prairie smoke

Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'

American ginger

Clematis 'Blue Dancer'

Seems I am not the only one nursing "broken bones" this year.  The garden is having a hard time of it as well.  The upshot is, how to go on?  What is the best path through the new normal?

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