Foliage and flowers in mid-Summer

Today, the garden is dominated by the huge flowering pannicles of crapemyrtles and hydrangeas. The large growing white crapemyrtle, Natchez , bloomed first, followed by Sioux, Burgundy Cotton, Pink Velour, Centennial Spirit, and Arapaho. The dwarf Cherry Dazzle has begun to show a bit of color, and is covered with buds, assuring a delightful display for the month to come.P1012140

The remontant blue hydrangeas (reblooming on new growth), Endless Summer, Penny Mac, and Mini Penny, continue to flower sporadically. Blooms will increase with cooler temperatures in September. Tardiva is nearly in full bloom, joining other white panniculata varieties that have been there for several weeks.P1012142

P1012139I have recently reported on the small tree, Franklinia. A quarter of its buds have opened, with many more to bloom over the next month. With normal cooling temperatures in late September the flowers will have a background of deep scarlet foliage, certainly a highlight of the early Fall garden.P1012143

One of the Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum) unexpectedly grew a mounded growth with a short flowering spike (unlike the elongated spikes of other varieties). They are planted in a gravelly mix between small granite boulders by the swimming pond. I remembered them blooming much earlier in the Summer, and another did, but this is why gardeners must keep records. The flowers are not beautiful, but interesting.

Many of the hostas are still blooming, though most are grown for their foliage. Dry weather and slugs have taken their toll, but the deer repellent has been effective in protecting hostas and other favorites.P1012011

I noticed a few days ago that deer had stripped the lower limbs on the mimosa planted earlier in the Spring, pulling the small branches off the tree. The remaining branches are above their reach.

For reasons that are a mystery to me now, the shady area by the three ponds in the upper part of the garden nearest the house has few flowering perennials (that is, if hosta are determined to be foliage rather than flowering). Towering maples and poplars block the early and midday sun, while large Japanese maples shade the late afternoon. P1011953

Japanese Forest grass (Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’, above), hardy Ginger (Zingiber, below), evergreen Aucuba, and Ghost and Japanese Painted ferns stand out in the cool shade by the creek leading to the lower pond. I struggled and lost several times with small bareroot divisions of forest grass before finding a larger container grown plant. With more established clumps I’ve been able to divide and transplant it easily.   P1012154

The ginger (above) is slow to start in the Spring, emerging from under fully developed hostas. The variegated leaf patterns must clash, but I’m forever challenged by rules of fashion, so stripes and plaids are a fine combination in this garden.

Mention of the ponds and stream remind me that an update must be near. I’ll close for today, and follow in a few days with the latest goings-on.

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