Sadly, the extremely dry conditions we endured all summer have continued, with less than 1 inch of scattered precipitation over the past month, and the garden is suffering. There are a few stalwarts in flower now, including golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia), goldenrods (Solidago), narrow-leaved ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii), purple Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’), and Japanese bush clover (Lespedeza thunbergii). The plants all look tired and droopy, though, and despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t get any images that were worthy of taking up your time to view. So, I offer my apologies for this month, with hopes that maybe I’ll have something for October, and encourage you to admire the efforts of the other participants in this month’s main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.
Despite chirpy assurances from area weather reporters that “everyone” in our region has repeatedly gotten soaking rains over the past month, a few of us, at least, have not shared in the bounty. Barely 1 inch of rain over the last 4 weeks, combined with an unusually dry June and July and long stretches of brutally hot weather, does not make for joyous gardening. To be honest, I was [this] close to simply skipping Bloom Day this month. Then this little guy changed my mind.
With so much going on in the garden this time of year, it would be easy enough to do a Bloom Day post every week without getting boring. I’ve limited myself to just the past 10 days for this once-a-month extravaganza, and there’s still a lot to show, so let’s get right to the good stuff, focusing first on what’s in flower.
After a speedy start, spring in our part of Pennsylvania has slowed considerably, due to several weeks of cool, damp weather. It’s nice in a way, as the flowers that are opening are lasting a long time, and there’s lots of lush new foliage to admire too–so much, in fact, that I’ll try to keep the chat to a minimum and focus on the interesting stuff, beginning with the wild things.
In Part 1 of Matchmaking with Bulbs, I covered some ways of choosing flowering and foliage partners to create beautiful combinations with bulbs. Another way to choose companions is consider them from a practical angle: plants that will look good when the bulbs aren’t at their best, or that will support or protect slender bulb stems and blooms.
I was all prepared to bemoan the wild weather extremes we’ve had over the past month, and how the timing of the plants is so far off normal, until I looked back through my previous April Bloom Day posts: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. They provided a much-needed reminder that the only thing predictable about our weather this time of year is its unpredictability. So, I’ll just accept that everything is as it’s meant to be, plant-wise, and enjoy what looks lovely now.