21 Sep 2012

A Most Bizarre Year: July 2012

DSC_0233It was a rarity to see the reflecting bowl filled with water this summer past! What scant precipitation we received was usually in the form of seven or eight large, heavy, pendulous drops – often mistaken for sweat than actual rainfall. If it did rain, it was in sudden torrents, a downpour that for the most part ran across the surface of the scorched earth before trickling down the drive to the storm sewer. The water barrel and this reflecting bowl were two of my saving graces!

DSC_0178Clematis ‘Blue Boy’ was one of the surprises for me in July. I’d heavily pruned it back earlier in the season and was happy to see it scrambling through the wooden framework of the front veranda once again. In recent years it had attained a height of 2m and had then fallen over the railing where it lay on the walkway, its magnificent blue bell shaped flowers hidden from view. This year it bloomed less prolifically, but each and every bloom was a sight to behold!

DSC_0200I was thrilled to have Salvia sclarea var. ‘Turkestanica’ in the garden again! A biennial, it sewed itself, in of all places, the pavement of the drive! [I’d collected the spent flowerheads last Fall with intention of collecting seed to sew this Spring] I transplanted the two largest and was joyous to watch them bloom – ensuring more seed which I did collect!]

DSC_0217 DSC_0213 DSC_0226 Acanthus hungaricus was one of my very first perennial purchases. While I have witnessed massive sized clumps, mine remains rather small, largely due to the fact that it resides in more shade than sun. This hasn’t stopped it from sending up its trademark flower stalks, all spikes and spines of mauve, purple, pink and white! It makes for a wonderful photo composition as well!

DSC_0230  I was determined at all costs to ensure that ‘Carnival’ didn’t succumb to the scorching heat and lack of precipitation by watering him on a daily basis.

DSC_0001 A certified plantaholic doesn’t let the threat of drought stop them from adding new and exciting plants to the garden’s repertoire, and with three recent trips to Lost Horizons, this gardener was more concerned with finding another foot or so of available space than he was about keeping everything irrigated! Two new Arisaema species, and a delightful new Deinanthe caerulea kept a permanent smile on my face for the better part of the month!

DSC_0051 DSC_0029 I was doing as best a job as I could staying one step ahead of the drooping, crisping plants that I was noticing much more frequently on my walks to and from the garden centre. Many gardeners had simply given up. I had a woman accuse me of wasting valuable water [when we have nothing to drink!] on silly plants. This is the same woman who washed her car once a week during the peak of the drought. People’s nerves were a tad frazzled as July faded and August promised more of the same!

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DSC_0046And then the skies opened, and the rain began to fall! Ever so briefly, but long enough for me to be able to capture its presence on the foliage of Polygonatum!

1 comment:

iwouldntlivethere said...

Oh man, what a great blog! Great photos, commentary, interesting topics, and all those blue plants!
About this: "...it sewed itself, in of all places, the pavement of the drive!". It's not bizarre at all - it sprouted in exposed soil in a presumably sunny location, yet partially sheltered by the pavement. Keep this in mind if you want other volunteer plants - keep a sunny area with exposed mineral soil (i.e. not too humus-ey) and some rocks/logs/etc scattered about. Yes, it will also be a weed magnet.