What a relief. After last year’s plague of voles, this year we’ve not seen a single one and our beds and borders are transformed. They look lush, verdant, and from early wood anemones, arums, epimediums and spring hellebores (now doing a great job as foliage ground cover) through lilacs then daylilies and clematis and luscious black raspberries… to today’s hydrangeas and bee balm and cleomes and hibiscus and bugleweed foliage… with phlox and rudbeckias just starting and asters and fall foliage and fruits to come – it’s a great year.
We improved the soil in places where it was too stony and thin and, as you can see, we like to see dense planting and that demands good soil. judy’s dedicated weeding and hand watering when it was so dry, coupled with extending the soaker hose network, have made a big difference. [Actually, judy’s done most of the work this year – credit where it’s due.]
True, that ‘Cambridge Scarlet’ bee balm has mildew and the phlox, including the supposedly resistant ‘David’s Lavender’, will probably get it soon as well, but if the plants are moist at the root mildew is less destructive.
And under this richness of summer foliage and flower, are those spring plants – shaded by summer’s leafage, quietly winding down their season as the summer plants take over. In such a densely occupied rootzone, crowded with roots and bulbs and tubers, sufficient nutrients and sufficient moisture are needed to provide enough for everyone.
So I’ll be finishing off the soaker hose network in late fall or early spring, after again enriching the soil. To ensure an extended season of flower and foliage we have to provide the conditions to make it happen. So the displays never stop – as long as the gardening never stops.
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