The somewhat annoying thing about summer storms these days is you can track individual clouds, or a line of clouds, on a weather site and think you’ll finally get some much needed rain, only to have the cloud, or line of clouds, shift a few kilometres south, or north, or east or west, leaving a neighbouring village inundated but depositing only a few drops on rain on your own, parched, garden. That’s what happened here on Thursday. Heavy sigh. If I was a tourist I’d be loving this hot sunny summer, able to spend every day at the beach or by the pool. As a gardener, I’ve almost depleted the close to 3,000 litres of water stored in rain barrels and butts, measuring out meager amounts every few days to my raised vegetable beds, a few containers with ornamentals and a handful of trees and shrubs planted in the spring. Fingers crossed that the rain currently forecast for tomorrow and Monday actually does show up!
Every Saturday, The Propagator encourages gardeners around the world to share six things that are happening in their garden. So I’ll stop whining now in order to celebrate a few things in my garden that have, so far, survived.
I think this hardy Hibiscus must have grown very deep roots because here it is, even though they’re supposed to need moist soil.
In the same bed as the Hibiscus are five Dahlias, three of which are finally blooming. I mulched them deeply after planting but have watered them just twice this summer. The results are very short plants and very few blooms. The big white one is Fleurel – my plant is barely two feet high and has just a single bloom so far. The other one is the gorgeous and gorgeously named Ferncliff Tropics.
One of the containers I’ve kept watering is on the porch; it holds Purple Pineapple Lily bulbs – Eucomis. This pot started with just one bulb many years ago, and it’s multiplied since then, sending up a record eight flower spikes this year. In mid September I’ll stop watering it and let the leaves die back, before storing it (pot with bulbs in situ) in a paper bag in the basement for the winter.
Another pot I’ve kept watered sits out in the garden, and holds a King Tut ornamental grass (Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’) surrounded by sweet Allysum I started from seed. The grass is, of course, more of an aquatic plant so it needs watering every day just to survive. It’s also proven quite resilient, bouncing back after an ambitious rabbit jumped into the pot early in the summer and ate back all but one ‘blade.’
One of my raised beds started the season with a few rows of radishes. They were really happy there and we were able to add them to many salads in the early summer. I left one in place, more of an oversight than planned, and after it started to bolt decided to let it flower and collect seeds. This is what it looks like now, more like a turnip than a radish, with loads of seed heads forming.
I’ll end today’s SIx with a beautiful yet sad sight. I have a patch of Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii – not the more native, white Chelone glabra) that I brought from my previous garden many years ago. That garden was in a yard in the city with unlimited water coming miraculously from a spigot at the side of the house. I can’t water it here so it’s not terribly happy, even though the patch spreads a bit every year. Just one stalk has bothered to produce flower buds this year.
Hope your weekend isn’t sad!