Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rain and Lushness

Azalea mollis

Plants in my garden are socking it up. They are drunk with it. Rain, rain, and more rain, and humidity, and temperatures in the upper 70s and mid-80s. It got down to 26 degrees Fahrenheit just 13 days ago, blackening the eyes of strawberries and killing grape blossoms. freezing some annuals under cover.

Now, though, it seems like central Wisconsin is a tropical jungle. steamy lush. It is almost as if I can see the plants growing.
Geraniums are starting to bloom.
While a lot of the garden is a wild riot of color and fragrance, the Long Border is just green and lush with a spot of lemony yellow and the occasional burgundy euphorbia. It really comes into its own after the first headlong rush to bloom of the peonies and irises. Its ranks contain spireas, asters, helianthes, heliopsis, sedums, spiderworts, daylilies, and beebalms.

Azalea 'Northern Lights Mandarin'
 I have three deciduous orange azaleas in my garden. Two of the mollis, and one Northern Lights series. This year it is finally apparent which is which.

Azalea mollis
Some gardeners will see mildew and fungal diseases multiply under these weather conditions. I suppose black spot is lurking in my garden even now. With our sandy soils, though root rot is not in the picture. Many of these same plants which appreciate the rain will bear up quite well when the sun appears unrelenting. My Long Border will come into its own and some plants will go dormant.

These allium have been seeding themselves liberally throughout my garden, The foliage is already going dormant although the seed heads will continue to be ornamental for many months.

This section of my scree garden is a tapestry of heat lovers, containing many small sedums, some of my favorite daylilies, and geraniums.

Another section of my scree garden with the interesting texture of fescues seed heads and a larix 'Varied Direction'. (Yes, larix are moisture lovers, but being right off the deck it gets an extra drink along with the daylilies and 'Crimson Frost' birch.)
Given all this, it is hard to consider we had fairly heavy snow falls into late April, which did not melt quickly.

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