I recently took A Walk in the Garden and noticed several welcome changes…and a few surprises. Let me share a few.
Clematis ‘Comptesse de Bouchard’ has taken quite a beating over the summer with the scorching full sun that bears down on the south side of the house. My Arranger had suggested that all the brown leaves just might mean it hadn’t made it, but lo and behold, there is new growth and buds and a very welcome flower. I did hand water a bit.
My crape myrtles have remained in bloom far longer this year than in previous ones. Why? I have no idea, but I like it. Large bloom clusters and heavy rains have weighed down many branches, but here is a pleasant surprise. Some of them, with almost horizontal branches because of the weight at the ends, are putting up new flower buds along the branch just as the first flush is fading. The result will be a continuation of crape myrtle color for another few weeks.
Pieris japonica ‘Red Mill’ has set buds for next year’s late winter blooms. While they aren’t flowers yet, they still add a delightful touch to the north side of the house. Who knows? They may even turn up in a vase on some odd Monday.
My Encore azaleas are full of buds and have started blooming throughout the garden. I expect to have quite a bit of color from them soon from white to various shades of pink.
Most of the hydrangeas have settled down for the year with blossoms fading and turning a less than friendly brown. ‘Endless Summer,’ however, is living up to its name and is putting out new growth with flower buds, some of which have started to open. If all the buds I see open, it should carry well into fall. The late blooming ‘Little Lime’ continues to do well.
This border seemed to be a bit quiet and to need something to perk it up. Last year I saw Ligustrum sinense ‘Sunshine’ at the Home and Garden Show and thought it might have a place in my garden. If fact, seven of them now have a place in my garden. ‘Sunshine’ has the wonderful characteristic of keeping its yellow foliage color throughout the heat of summer. I am pleased with the lift it has given this border.
Finally, readers may remember how much I like the chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) for its pale blue flowers. After it bloomed this year, I deadheaded the seed heads, at least those I could reach without falling off the ladder, an event against which I was vehemently warned by my Arranger. Now, just a few weeks later, the tree is covered with new growth and I can see flower buds forming. I anticipate having a full flush of blooms soon. In the photo below, the light green foliage is all new within a few weeks.
Soon, I guess, I will have to take another Walk in the Garden. I hope you will join me.