Saturday, August 20, 2016

Random Thoughts in the August Garden

After all the frivolous hosta with their funny lilac blooms have long since turned to ugly sticks, hosta plantingea's scented blooms open. They can be up to 6" long and the mounded plant continues to grow until August, when many other hosta are looking a bit worn. 
 In the muddle of green there is a lot to see as I look around. I had plenty of time to do that when I recently spent two hours removing the stump of a cherry tree in my garden. Who knew that a plant with such troubled growth would have a root system worthy of the healthiest of trees?

My Handsome Son in the throws of his lazy and brutish youth, was amazed it took me so long. He could have taken the initiative to remove it himself, although I believe it would have tested his mettle and resolve. I could always see progress, which kept me at it. I was amazed to discovers three roots as big around as my wrist radiating from the root ball nearly a foot down. With handsaw, clippers, and sharp shovel I did remove the root ball and drag the root and its five foot trunk out into the alleyway where my cute little chainsaw and I made quick work sawing it into manageable chunks. I may be slow these days, but I am dogged in my resolve, like the puppy to its root!

I am revamping my garden and have taken to choosing some samll task each day that gets me to my "Future Garden". It amazes me, that as knowledgeable as I feel I am at this point in my gardening life, that I managed to do...."X". You can fill in the blank. (Like the limey white hosta, I just this year planted in my front yard hosta bed for contrast which looks so jarring and totally out of place to me each time I drive out of my yard. I am sure it has damaged the sensibilities of some gardener neighbor.

Enter the random banana plant, gifted to me. It looks good considering I did not plant it out until July. It needs surprisingly less water than one would think. It has quadrupled its number and size of leaves in that short time.

Hydrangea Pinky Winky in still much too much shade.
 I have decided to add more weigela, hydrangea, peonies, and clematis to my yard. I keep searching for the hydrangea macrophylla that will actually bloom for me. I have an very healthy 'Endless Summer' without a single bud.  Both 'Bloomstruck' and 'Endless Summer' are supposed to bloom on new wood (and old wood)... I'll give 'Bloomstruck' another year before I pass judgement.I might just have to try out the hydrangea serratas.

I added hydrangea 'Bloomstruck' just last fall. It has bloomed on new wood, but a single bloom.

This is a surprisingly dark corner in my garden, At best it receives dappled sunlight throughout the day.I am going to plant more yellow and variegated plants here for interest.

The heart-shaped leaves of Dutchman's pipe, a good vine for shade.

I love the shiny texture of the leaves of this turtlehead, but am always sad to see the flowers as it signals fall for me.

Another fall signal, giant ironweed, veronica; I am not sure why I fail to tie this one up earlier in the season while I can still reach the back of the border.

Honeysuckle blooming almost all summer. It took a bit of a beating last year, and has not fully bounced back, after my hard-pruning.

Really like the marbling on these nasturtiums planted by my nephew.

One of the last daylily blooms in my garden is Joan Senior.

I like the huge textured leaves on this plant in a garden that runs to grass-like foliage and tiny leaves. This symphytum blooms twice for me, but takes up a lot of space at nearly 6' across.

I need to have more of this weigelia for the foliage alone!

Clematis Rouguchi bloomed almost all summer, depending on if I remembered to water when really hot. I need to do a better job tying up the fragile stems of clematis overall.

A fuchsia I have had for over five years. It grows easily from cuttings.

Some hybridizer has to work on these tuberous begonias to get a more upward facing bloom on a stronger stem.

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