Friday, August 29, 2008
Hangin’ in there
Thanks to almost daily rain this summer, which sounds much worse than it is, because the showers have mostly been brief in duration, the garden can still justify the term lush and retains a good amount of floriferous action.
But all this rain has meant that things get long and lanky. Hence I’m still pruning, staking, and arranging. At top you see a container rose that basically has become a trellis and vehicle for annuals. It has clematis and black-eyed Susan vine coming up, while its base is covered with abundantly growing sweet potato vine, the black and chartreuse varieties.
Elsewhere, an Abraham Darby rose was way too tall, so it’s being held up by an obliging Black Knight butterfly bush.
And late summer is when I really depend on the tropicals, as well as the annuals. I just don’t have enough sun to make it as an all-perennial gardener. Tropicals will put up with a lot as long as they have humidity and we’ve had that. This castor bean certainly would have preferred sun, but I’m enjoying it in its truncated condition and hope by the end of September it might be a lot taller.
Lessons learned? Start the castor bean sooner or buy plants. Put down slug bait a lot sooner and use the other slug-deterring methods as well. Sooner. Try cutting back the rudbeckia hirta early—tricky, though—so it doesn’t tower over everything quite as much. Tracy Sabato-Auste’s book will help there. I have to write this stuff down so I remember …