Summer’s end

The lush restfulness of the garden in late spring is now disturbed by a weathered, brown edged hosta. Once crisp and green, the leaf is now frayed and preparing for its journey into winter’s dormancy. Thankfully, parts of the garden remain unblemished by summer’s heat, so I lounge peacefully on the stone patio (below) in the shade of Japanese maples and lilac, considering the day, or perhaps nothing at all. But, yellow leaves of the serviceberry (Amelanchier) float past, reminding of the changing season.

Though the season remains summer, it’s heat has passed and the air seems more crisp, even in the afternoon sun. After a dry week thunderstorms have returned, afternoons and mornings, but these are moderately intense, with less destruction and more benefit to the garden than storms earlier in the month.

While this year has inarguably disputed my overconfident claim that I had finally figured out daphnes, several continue to grow with vigor and, as always, flower continuously from late March into November. A ‘Summer Ice’ (Daphne x transatlantica ‘Summer Ice’, below) planted in slightly more sun than I thought ideal has performed ideally, so I must rethink most of my prior thinking. Despite some difficulties, daphnes will always be a part of the garden, even if they must be replanted every five years.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Valerie says:

    You have a wide array of plantings, most of which I have not seen at garden centers, such as Merrifield. May I ask, where do you find them? Do you pluck them from natural settings throughout Virginia? Do you order them from various online sites? I’m just curious. How do I find such treasures for my garden? I’m just getting started, and I would value your advice for developing such a diverse environment. Thanks.

    1. Dave says:

      Many plants in the garden are purchased at the garden center, but others from specialty mail order sites specializing in orchids, native spring ephemerals, and plants found by plant explorers. A few plants have been harvested from private properties, but plants must not be taken from parks and other public lands.

      1. Valerie says:

        Thanks very much.

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