Yes, I’ve begged for an end to our fourteen month spell of incessant rainfall, and here it is. Predictably, I’m not so happy now that the ground is parched, but showers are in the forecast, so perhaps this dryness will not persist long enough to cry “drought”.
Parts of the garden are dragging in this two week period of heat and barely a drop of rain, and I think plants that are plump from a damp spring must suffer more while being weaned from constant moisture. Despite the gardener’s griping, there are periods when rainfall is just right, though few in the past year when much of the garden remained saturated.
I am pained by the loss of a Japanese Umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) planted earlier in the spring. The roots of the evergreen were bare of soil and exposed to multiple freezes prior to planting, so its death in the summer heat is not a tremendous surprise. Could I have nursed it through with careful watering? I don’t believe so, but that was not a part of the equation from the start, and I didn’t pay a cent for this tree that seemed certain to perish. So, the only thing lost was the effort. My wife reminds that the Umbrella pine was planted in an inappropriate spot (she is probably correct), so she is happy with the loss.
I continue an internal debate to choose which of the potted trees sitting on patios will go into the ground to replace the Umbrella pine. Korean Sweetheart, Dove tree, or one of several Japanese maples? All are a bit smaller than I’d prefer, but I potted them to hold for an opening, and here it is.
Also, a variegated leaf ‘Celestial Shadow’ dogwood has only a few live leaves remaining, probably soon to be another (and hopefully the last) victim of the constant swampiness of the lower third of the rear garden. The dogwood is hardly seen, with a gold tipped cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan-sugi’) growing closer every year, so I will leave it, possibly until spring to confirm it’s death.
Still, I’m not discouraged. Despite typical summer temperatures, several transplants have been moved to fill the spot vacated by the Vernal witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) that was chopped to the ground. I expect suckers to sprout from the witch hazel’s roots in spring, and now I am undecided if these will be encouraged or pruned away. More plantings will be done once temperatures cool a bit, and of course when there are better prospects for rain.