Return to the garden

I returned from two weeks of travel expecting to see the peak blooms of one Downy Rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens, below) and flowers of others that are slightly behind. Unfortunately, a beast of some sort severed the tall flowering stalk of the native orchid, so I must wait another week for others to reach their full bloom.

There is always something for the gardener to whine about, and while I fail to understand how or why the orchid’s flower stalk was severed, I am quite pleased to return to a garden drenched in recent days by repeated thunderstorms, equal or better than when I departed. A few blooms were missed, but everything is alive despite the extended period of heat and lack of rainfall.

Bottlebrush buckeyes (Aesculus parviflora, above) were expected to be past their peak upon my return, and they are, though flowers remain showy enough for my satisfaction. The flowering cycle of the buckeye is brief, but it earns its place in the garden with interesting foliage. One large clump is in dry shade, two others in a near swamp in part sun, and all grow vigorously. In the damp area the low branched shrub is put to good use hiding unsightly debris.

‘Tardiva’ and several seedling hydrangeas are late bloomers, still a few weeks from flowering, but other panicled hydrangeas are flowering. ‘Little Lime’ (above) is considerably smaller than ‘Tardiva’ and the popular ‘Limelight’, a better fit for most gardens and an exceptional bloomer. It is tall enough to stand above perennials, so it need not be at the front of the border.

A variety of Pineapple lilies (Eucomis, above and below) have reached peak bloom with the exception of a few that were transplanted from a wide, but slow spreading clump into areas that are clearly too shaded. It is likely that the few will be moved again, where the summer blooms can be enjoyed.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Bonnie C. says:

    Could be either young groundhog or young deer. I’ve had damage like that from both, especially if the plant is toxic. While the older animals know what’s what, younger ones will sometimes taste first before they learn what’s good & what’s not.

    1. Dave says:

      My wife reported that spiny stemmed leaves of gunnera were also severed, but when I returned a new set had grown. I spray to deter deer from nibbling their favored plants, but wildlife is welcomed and whatever minor damage that results.

  2. Enjoyed your post! Great pictures! I never heard of Pineapple lilies before.

    1. Dave says:

      Pineapple lilies are only marginally cold hardy according to references, but they have survived temperatures to six below zero several years ago. The dark foliage of ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ and ‘Oakhurst’ are attractive foliage contrasts even after flowering.

      1. They might survive where I live (northern NJ).

      2. Dave says:

        They should easily survive in northeastern coastal states.

  3. Anne Kelly says:

    Thank you Dave, and welcome home. Always a joy to return to our own gardens. Thank you for every post which I read but only occasionally comment. Thank you for all!

    1. Dave says:

      I enjoy sharing the garden, and hopefully my thoughts that it is not as difficult as some would have us think.

  4. tonytomeo says:

    They all look white, my favorite color, even the hydrangea.

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