The Weekly Gardener 1


Back Home and We Brought the Rain

Isn't She Beautiful?

Field of Flowers

I mean, look at this, and it rained buckets! I wished for a wildflower meadow a couple of years back, but when I looked into the details of creating one I learned that it's a difficult design to create and maintain in the average garden; one has to be very precise with the planting times and the growing conditions to make the flowers bloom in concert. Since it seemed like too much work, I gave up on the idea altogether.

As it is often the case with things green and leafy, you only get them to cooperate when they feel like it, and not according to your planning. I guess the wild flower meadow concept was on a two year delay. The irony of this is that if you plan to start one from scratch, it takes it three years to reach this stage, and there is no guarantee that it is going to work.

I can't keep up with this, I give up, nature wins. Whatever you want to sprout, dear, I shall love it. I couldn't make this image happen if I spent every living second on that flower bed, toiling to exhaustion. I will take many pictures of it, because I'm not sure I can replicate the lucky meeting of circumstances that made it happen in the first place.

So, wild flower meadow, check! I wonder if I should wish for a heirloom rose arbor next, I never managed to make that one happen, you should see those misty paintings of old cottage roses in the landscaping books, they break your heart, they do.

In the meantime, please allow me to present the protagonists of this lovely assembly, just in case anybody had doubts that this is a true wildflower meadow: cone flowers, tall American bell flowers, bee balms, catmints, daisies and black eyed Susans. We'll have goldenrod and asters later.


Purple Belles

Purple Hostas

You would think that hostas, like the shade plants with broad foliage that they are, would love nothing more than a rainy summer, right? Partially. They developed luxurious foliage, and yes, the large fragrant ones did bloom, but not as abundantly as they usually do. You are looking at a picture of a very early variety here, I guess that's the one that likes the rain.

The rest of them bloom much later in the summer, during what is usually the driest period of the year, so I should have realized that they don't suffer for lack of moisture, but they do resent lack of sunshine; given the permanent cloud cover this season blessed us with, they are going to drag their feet this year. I'm patiently waiting to see if the small landscaping variety, which tends to bloom in compact masses of lavender bells towards the end of August will surprise me and prove me wrong.

Hostas kind of grew on me. I didn't know how to care for them in the beginning, and as a result they looked sort of generic for a while. When properly attended to, it is hard to find fault with these plants, they bloom reliably, their flowers are spectacular, often delightfully fragrant, their foliage is lush and healthy, they're exceptionally resilient and fill the void of the garden doldrums, after the summer perennials have already finished blooming.

I didn't realize they're just not that into rain, to my great surprise, and this is not their year. If I had to pick between the daisies and the hostas which ones were going to have a better season, I wouldn't have hesitated to pick the hostas, but what do I know? Nature has its own wisdom.