If the garden was just right a few weeks ago, I cannot imagine that it is either better or worse today. But, it has changed, with one dogwood fading while another begins to flower, and so on so that the garden has changed considerably in the few weeks. I don’t suppose there are more or fewer flowers in the garden today, but without a doubt there are more leaves since earlier in spring, and with increased rainfall through this period foliage is large and lush. On a cloudy afternoon, the garden’s floral and foliage colors and textures stand out, and what better place to be?
I am slightly concerned that recent weeks of cool temperatures and rain have prompted growth that will be damaged with the first prolonged period of heat and drought. This happened a year ago, with yellow leafed ‘Citronelle’ coral bells (Heuchera ‘Citronelle’) melting almost overnight, and while the garden is expected to fade somewhat as temperatures rise, the change should not be so drastic. Probably, this is nothing to be concerned about, and I try not to be bothered by things that cannot be controlled.
I’ve mentioned the family of Northern Brown water snakes in the koi pond recently, and as sheltering spots between boulders have been plugged it is apparent that some or all are hanging out in the dense foliage of the pond’s filtration area. The largest of the clan has been spotted hanging out at the edge of a thick mass of sweetflag (Acorus calamus ‘Variegatus’). Yesterday, as I watched, the snake struck as one of the pond’s few goldfish ventured too near.
There was nothing I could do, and why do anything? I couldn’t help but feel guilty, but this is what snakes do, and if fish don’t fall prey to predators the pond will quickly overpopulate. After this disturbance, koi and the goldfish or two that remain kept to the deep parts of the pond.
If there is a month, or month and half when the garden is at its peak, the pond is at its best for two, maybe three weeks while one variety after another of Japanese iris (Iris ensata) is flowering. Today, yellow flag (Iris pseudoacorus) and blue flag irises (Iris versiclor, above) are beginning to fade, so it will be a few days before the progression of Japanese iris blooms begins. At the same time, Oaklaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia), with stems that arch over the pond’s edge will flower, and I’ll wonder again how I could have created a scene so splendid.