Perhaps I’m not the first to complain, but I recognize that I spent an inordinate period of early March whining “when will it be spring”. Usually, I answered my whiny self with “shut up and wait, it’ll be here soon enough”, and since mid March there’s hardly been a thing to complain about.
Well, there is at least one thing. The lower garden continues to be a swamp, with a few dogwoods, a Japanese maple, and two ninebarks (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diablo’, below) succumbing to the prolonged dampness. I’ve always figured the native ninebarks for weeds, but it’s clear that there’s a limit to how long various plants can survive with waterlogged roots. It is quite distressing to lose long established trees, but what can you do except figure out a replacement? I can tell you, my wife is getting very tired of new plant deliveries.
A few other shrubs appear to be in trouble, though it appears that extensive trenching in the past few weeks is improving the situation. At this point I’d be happy if the area turned to dust, but it’s likely I’ll have to settle for constant dampness, which is a whole lot better than swamp.
Again this spring, I’m surprised that Cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias, above) considered by many to be an overly aggressive thug, has further retreated. Last year, a seedling of Espresso geranium (below) ran it out of a small area where it had been established for years. Now, increasingly dense shade along the edges of the patio beside the koi pond has diminished the once vigorous clump to just a few scattered sprigs. This is not too big a deal, and certainly there are gardeners where this spreads out of control that would think this is just wonderful.
I notice that although I could hardly care less about garden ornaments, I’ve accumulated a variety over the years. While I would be heartbroken if a bandit dug up and carted off a Japanese maple, I wouldn’t be too wounded if someone stole a metal frog or a porcelain fish. I’m not inviting thievery for that one reader who might be so inclined, but this garden is about the plants and as far as I’m concerned, not a couple aluminum herons.