Sunday, June 21, 2009

This has been an odd weather week for gardening. Monday thru Wednesday we had 80's and scattered showers all day - more scattered some days than others - and about 1/4 inch of rain each day. Thursday it started to warm up and was major league humid and by Friday we were in the upper 90's. In other words feast or famine for both water and sunshine. Hard on the gardener, but not so bad for the garden.

The monarda 'Raspberry Wine' is gorgeous and way tall! The butterflies are everywhere and we keep looking for a hummer or two. Haven't seen any in our yard yet, but are told that others have. The feeder has been up for several weeks, but only the downy woodpeckers and chickadees are drinking there so far.

While the river of purple is currently between bloom flushes, we had a lake of yellow all week - the miniature day lilies 'Happy Returns' - bloomed like troopers everywhere and by the end of the week we had completely bloomed out. Sometime this coming week I have several hours of deadheading to do to get the old stems cut back for the next flush of blooms to start. The 'Richmond Spider' lilies continue to bloom and will be with us for several weeks. There are miscellaneous tall yellow daylilies starting to bloom all over and a couple of neat "black" daylilies I picked up from Andre Viette last summer. They are a deep, deep purple and an interesting contrast to all the yellow. Makes me wish that one could bring daylilies into the house, but unfortunately they live up to their names - even when they are not cut.

A lovely clematis 'Jackmanii' made its first appearance this week, too. It grows on a trellis on the side of my garden shed. Of all the clematis varieties we have, it is really my favorite. The cone flowers are coming into bloom, and the alstroemeria - another love - have started, too. Most of them are a dark yellow 'Sweet Laura', but this morning I found one little clump of a gorgeous cerise, named Staprioxa' (sold as Oxana Princess Lilies).

The big job this weekend has been spreading mulch. I should have done this in April for several reasons: 1) It would have been easier when all the perennials were just little fellows peeking out of the ground. Now I have to do it all by hand and move everything aside as I go. 2) It was hot this weekend and I have had to do it in little bits, so it's not done. 3) It would have been better for the plants to have had the mulch earlier to help shade out the weeds, and I would not have had to pull so many. In other words, if I had done it on time, it would have been easier and better.

I am generally happy with the garden and the weather, tho. We've only had a few really humid days and so far none that were hazy, hot and humid. We're getting enough rain that I have only watered twice which is nice, so let's hope it holds!

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