Late July in the Garden

It's almost August! Summer is sliding by quicker than a six year old on a Slip 'N Slide. It has been a few years since I launched myself onto one of those dangerously watery plastic sheets. I can't count how many years, though I do remember doing it! I did ask Lou to spray me with the water hose the other day. It has been hot and humid, but we have had some pleasant days thrown in now and then to make it bearable. August still to go.

Meanwhile, a quick tour of the garden shows that most non-foliage color comes from lavender and bright pink crepe myrtles, 'Coral' drift roses, and a few flowers such as yarrow and coneflowers. Here are images taken in the front garden:

Yarrow is a perennial that has long-lasting blooms:Hydrangea 'Limelight' positively glows in the midsummer garden:The woodland garden is noticeably cooler than the non-shaded parts of the garden. It is deep green with golden summer lights:

Stromanthe tricolor, a tropical plant I bring inside when winter arrives, and Solomon's Seal are just a couple of the foliage plants in the woodlands looking good right now:

'Waterfall' Japanese maple is a highlight in the woodland garden:

Rabbit keeps an eye on everything:

Finally, I have been seeing lots of dragonflies this year. This one reminds me of an old bi-plane:

Isn't nature grand? Blessings to all of you.    Deb



This Plant Had to Go

I was forewarned. When I was eyeing the wondrously variegated Artemesia 'Oriental Limelight', the nursery worker told me it could be invasive. The look on her face said more than her words. But it was so pretty!I noted the warning, however, and decided to plant my new specimen in the ground within a plastic pot. That was two years ago.

Last year I found new sprouts coming up out of the ground, all within a couple feet of the mother plant. I pulled them up but hesitated to remove the original plant. It was so pretty! I even let it flower, because I thought the white buds looked great along with the neighboring yellow day lilies.I was diligent to cut the seed heads off before they dried. Like someone nursing a pet sin, I felt I had it under control. 

This year I had to face my problem. This plant was in front of my house, next to where visitors park their cars. I never intended for it to be a ground cover, but not only did I have new plants coming up from underground runners that had escaped the confines of the pot, but now I had seedlings coming up that were five feet or more from the mother plant. So this week I was ruthless, pulling up the original plant, with its tenacious runners snaking out of several holes in the sides of the plastic pot. How was this plant able to make these holes?! I also ripped out every visible seedling. I don't fool myself that I have seen the last of it. 

There is a good place for most plants. Perhaps Artemesia 'Oriental Limelight' belongs in a meadow with grasses and other aggressive growers. It does not belong in front of my house.

Sometimes gardeners have to admit their mistakes. A plant may overgrow its spot, or maybe it won't grow at all. Perhaps it demands too much maintenance. Maybe it doesn't look good in its setting, and another plant would be a better choice. Maybe a plant is sickly despite all our doctoring. Gardening is often about editing, and that means we have to be willing to let a plant go.