I have been away from the garden for about two weeks, weeks of very high temperatures and very little in the way of rain. I missed a few weeks of In a Vase on Monday, Wordless Wednesday, Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day and End of the Month Review. Forgive my absence, please. Coming back after a week at the beach, I made a tour of the garden today and would like to present a brief report, in no particular order.
‘Osage” crape myrtle has decided to put out a new set of flower buds this year and is displaying a new flush of bloom. It has done that in past years when I deadheaded, but they are now over fifteen feet and my Arranger will not allow me to climb ladders in the garden, so I am pleased with their volunteer self effort.
“Catawba” crape myrtle has held its color far longer this year than in the past. The one heavy rain we had about ten days ago (3 inches) loaded down the flowers and they continue to bend; I may have to do a bit of pruning later if the branches don’t rise again.
I bought this dwarf crape myrtle over six years ago (its label read “dwarf pink”) and it is blooming now the best it ever has. It responded well to last spring’s pruning. The blooms are about half the size of other crape myrtles; it is a true dwarf. Most of my other crape myrtles have about finished for the season, but it’s nice to still have this kind of color in the garden in August.
I didn’t expect to see gardenia ‘Jubilation’ in bloom at this time of year, but here are a few. The white phlox ‘David’ is almost full after earlier deadheading. A few hostas are blooming now; most have finished. The unidentified light pink phlox is blooming still, while its sisters in another area are in bad need of deadheading; they should rebloom after I attend to them. This is the last daylily, strangely named ‘Early Red.’
A contrast of two hydrangeas: ‘Little Lime’ is in full bloom while the rest, looking like ‘Endless Summer,’ are fading.
The ‘Winter Gem’ boxwoods that were trimmed several weeks ago are looking quite healthy, despite the stressful weather, and are covered with bright new growth.
A verbal report of the rest:
The Carolina jessamin is growing like crazy on the back arbor, and several clematis are showing buds. Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’ is living up to its name with dozens of new growth shoots bearing white flowers. The purple barberries are retaining their color despite the summer heat; they usually fade to green at this time of year much as the red maples have already done. ‘Anthony Waterer’ spirea is putting up new growth and should bring another spurt of flowers before frost.
The Knock Out rose has recovered from the Japanese beetle onslaught and is blooming again. I would have presented a photo here, but it is in dire need of deadheading, and I don’t want to get a reputation for keeping an untidy garden.
A few Encore azaleas are in bud. The bright yellow ligustrum ‘Sunshine’ has held its color quite well in the heat and has added bright splashes of color throughout the garden.
I lost a euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ to the heat. A few of the annual pots didn’t make it through my two weeks of neglect; my Arranger has already been talking about the choices we must make to replace them anyway. The heucheras have survived well enough but are showing some heat and critter damage.
All in all, I must be happy with the state of things. One of my objectives over the past year or so has been to make changes in the garden that reduce maintenance and install plants that can withstand the stress of the elements. I am beginning to taste success.