Monday, July 14, 2008
We may be headed for drought. For the past six weeks occasional scattered sprinkles have left some corn fields in healthy, not thriving, growth, while others are stunted and very dry. So far, passing thunderstorms have been highly local, drenching some areas, leaving others parched.
Established plants in the garden are doing well. After several weeks of prelude, the Rudbeckia maxima and Filipendula rubra 'Venusta' are in full bloom across the "wet" prairie. I suppose this is proof of my high water table (at ground surface throughout winter and spring). This past weekend I did have to do some spot watering of new plants. The five-foot Almelanchier laevis looked close to expiration and some Kirengeshoma palmata in the woodland garden were in a state of continuous droop.
But the large, established plants are doing well and give me hope that in future summers I won't have to do any watering once root systems are well established.
Lesson learned this year: monarda does not thrive in this heavy, wet clay. Most of the Monarda d. 'Blaustrumpf' barely survived and only one M.d. 'Jacob Kline' came through winter in good shape. This will not be a plant I can rely on.
The good news. Silphium terebinthinaceum, which I planted as plugs three years ago, is finally mature enough to put up flower spikes (no blossom yet), and Silphium perfoliatum, which I planted as seed two years ago, has finally appeared and will be blossoming at about four feet. Vernonia noveboracensis, also seeded two years back, has appeared in profusion, promising a very colorful fall. And big, bulky roots of Inula racemosa 'Sonnenspeer' from Bluestem Nursery, planted only a month or two back, have taken root and appear to be well on the way to maturity and substantial bloom this summer.
A lot of yellow, I know. I didn't allow yellow in my former Rosemont garden. But in this garden in the woods, with a dark wall of trees all around, I need bright colors to contrast with the surrounding darkness.