In this very wet late summer I have continued to plant enthusiastically, dividing and transplanting from thick clumps in areas that are overpopulated, and ordering ferns and native orchids to plug into every small gap in shaded parts of the garden. This is work that typically is planned (if it’s planned at all) for spring or autumn, but with recent mild temperatures and daily rainfall I can’t help myself.
I must stop adding to the ever growing collection of ferns to apply some measure of self control, and so that more thought is given to placement than only where another will fit. Certainly, I’m not complaining, and there’s little doubt that spots for more ferns (and orchids, and other treasures) can be found, but after a few moments of contemplation.
Two dark leafed crape myrtles have been planted in somewhat drier areas of the swampy lower garden. One replaced a Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) that struggled for several years in the dampness. It didn’t die, but it didn’t grow, and probably never would have. I’m far less than certain that the crape myrtles will tolerate the moist soil, but at least there was no standing water at the bottom of the holes I dug, and after so much recent rainfall this was a pleasant surprise.
‘Rumblin’ Red’ (above) and ‘Purple Light’ (below) are recent introductions from the Thunderstruck series of crape myrtles, combining very dark leaves with fast growth. I am not particularly keen on crape myrtles, but that is in the context of collections of dozens of other trees, so the addition of two makes five crape myrtles in the garden. Certainly, not the mark of a collection out of control, and while I’ve barked in recent years that there’s no space for additional trees, this damp area has been slow to be planted while I figure choices that will tolerate the wetness.