Dry, and Digging It
Fall is now officially in full swing, so I've stopped whining about my disappointments, even though the memory of this summer's garden still makes my heart ache. The way my favorite flowers drooped and withered away this summer was painful. Even though I was on patrol with my hose most of the time, I couldn't be everywhere at once! The blasting heat dried up every flower bud on my favorite Agastache and toasted all of the Acidanthera buds. I can't even think about those crispy looking hanging baskets, and the choice little hydrangeas I used to enjoy so much laid gasping on their sides.
On the other hand, my husband saw none of this. While I was lamenting about these disasters, he was going on about how great the garden looked, and actually, I had to admit some of it did. I just didn't notice because I was focused on all of the other stuff. I decided to try looking at it with a more open mind and what caught my attention were the number of plants that were flourishing even though they weren't getting much help from me, like this little combo of European Ginger and Carex 'Evergold'. It didn't skip a beat all summer even though it's planted in a dry shady area that didn't get watered much.
Hmm, I can't say enough about this soft wiry gray sedge, Carex 'Flacca'. It's like a camel!
Calaminth 'White Cloud' endures just about anything - dry conditions, heat, poor soil...bring it on. Its fragrant foliage and delicate sprays of white flowers cheered me up considerably.
The roses surprised me - I always thought they needed a lot more water, but these Knock Out roses performed even better than they usually do without much help from me.
I didn't think Hollies were so durable either, but this one, Ilex meservae 'Blue Girl' has more berries this fall than it has ever had. It's probably due to the stress from not getting enough water, but it looked pretty darn good all summer.
Here's another that surprised me, Ilex 'Green Lustre'. I knew it was a pretty tough shrub, but still - it wasn't in range of my hose very often and always looked crisp and perky.
Boxwood 'North Star' and Geranium 'Biokovo' .....dry and happy.
This red twig dogwood Cornus 'Ivory Halo' actually seemed to perk up when it got hot and dry...go figure. I thought it needed a lot more moisture than it got.
Take away points? Nope, I'm not getting rid of all my favorite flowers, but I'm going to reduce them to a more manageable level. And next year I'm on the hunt for more plants like these that can handle the worst case scenario.