This is a slightly different photo from Wednesday because now I am intentionally showing the dead inkberry holly. It’s one of 2 on our property that has yet to be removed. I have lost track of what we have already removed.
All of the is carnage from last year’s severe drought here in the Northeast. I am willing to bet that unless you lived it, you were unaware of it. That’s surely understandable with the events of the past year–but did you hear about the multi-year drought from 2014-2016?
It seems that unless drought occurs in a farming state, it rarely makes news. And while I certainly don’t want any more negative news in the news cycle, it might be useful for national news outlets to cover drought whenever and wherever it occurs.
The same goes for wildfires. I wonder how many of my United States readers heard about the major US wildfires in New Jersey and Massachusetts in the last 2 weeks? Why is this happening? Well, gee, it’s dry again and windy. Has anyone heard about this?
Homes were evacuated in New Jersey too. The fire was along a major roadway, in a state forest, and caused evacuations. Luckily it is out, the homes were saved and no one was injured.
Again, with a 24 hour news cycle, there surely ought to be time for more coverage of this. It would let people know that events like these are no longer regional–sadly. And once people understand that, they might understand more about what is happening to the planet.
This shrub is so large that it literally is taking over the garden. It’s totally my fault. It’s exactly what I talk about when I lecture. One of the things that I always remind people is that we often fail to envision what a mature tree or shrub will look like–or, as I say colloquially, “remember, 6′ tall is bigger than me!”
Well, I always fail to plan for mature plant size, because nothing is ever happy in my horrible wet clay soil so it is a rare plant that achieves its full size. This kolkwitzia is such a rare plant.
And while it is just glorious this time of year when it’s a glowing wall of flowers, if you notice at the base, it is completely obscuring my lovely flowering quinces. Sigh. My bad.
But at least I didn’t do this–pruning at the wrong time so that I cut off most of this year’s bloom. There are actually 2 of these. It’s sad to see.
In this neighbor’s defense, perhaps these shrubs were damaged by wind or heavy snow or something. But I walk this way pretty regularly and I don’t recall that. I am going to stick with the original “pruned at the wrong time theory. “
I suspect it won’t happen next year, knowing these neighbors. As for me, my lack of vision will persist, sadly.
Clearly the plants have gone on their summer vacation. These are how my windows now look from the inside.
In this photo, you see a bit of staging for the plants.
And here they are on summer vacation. I never realized that most of my plants–even those that are in East or West windows when they are inside–really want shade outside. That’s why most are all crowded together here under this old dogwood tree.
Here are the sun lovers. They are citrus and croton, for the most part, with a few others thrown in.
And here are the herbs, both tender ones like basil that I plant new every year, bay and tender rosemary and lavender that I overwinter, and a few evergreens that winter on my sun porch.
Behind that, in the window of the sun porch, the succulents are just barely visible. They don’t come outside because of uncertain watering. I can’t control nature.
The plants are all set for summer. Now I have to do the same for me!
You have probably heard of the book The $64 Tomato? Let’s not discuss the price of this lettuce, shall we? I am going to chalk it up to a bit of pandemic induced madness–and the fact that I simply cannot grow any edibles in my yard anymore with the various critters out there. It’s like the old 60s show Wild Kingdom.
So here we are about 4 weeks later. The lettuce closest to the camera came with this setup and is unhelpfully identified as “green lettuce. ” Well, yes, it is. Variety might be nice to know, but whatever. When I went on to the app to indicate which plants I was growing, they gave them names–literal names like Amy. I deleted the app. You all know how I feel about gardening technology and that didn’t change my mind.
In the middle, I am growing flowers–or trying to. They’re a little slow. They’ll be alyssum someday, maybe, for my pollinators. In the meantime, I will probably go out and buy some real alyssum.
Farther from the camera is romaine lettuce. I am impressed with how healthy everything is and how fast the lettuce is growing, although it probably would do the same thing outside if it weren’t for Wild Kingdom. That’s one thing that I never get to see. By the time I might have any real growth outside, it’s gone.
So I won’t try to figure out how much lettuce I have to grow and eat to get a return on my investment. This thing will grow all sorts of other plants too. I figure basil in the winter will be nice–if it’s not too darn cold in my house.
Luckily lettuce likes it cool. I see a lot of salads in my future.
These are a few red Darwin tulips that have naturalized in my garden and have proven quite resilient. I can’t recall how many years ago I planted them but I am going to say that it has to be at least 20. So they have done quite well.
Since you see them coming up in all that leaf litter (and it is still cool here–cooler than it should be. I am not leaving the leaf litter for insulation purposes but to be sure that any beneficial insects have hatched out), obviously they are not bothered by damp–either the wet leaves or my wet clay soil. I wouldn’t recommend this treatment, but obviously they can endure it.
Here’s the true “surprise ” though, that I reference in my title. You know that I am always raving about the multiple colors found in bulbs. Look inside at this lovely yellow ring around the deep black center. I am sure that coloration is for the pollinators–but it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy it too!