I'd expected the sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) would go from the outset so that wasn't such a surprise.
|The first 2 photos show the sweet peas after the heatwave and the photo on the right shows them on Bloom Day|
I saw the Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) withering from my office window on Sunday so I also wasn't surprised by their condition.
|The first 2 photos show my dwarf and ruffled Shasta daisies after the heat struck and the photo on the right is another Bloom Day shot|
Some plants just aren't hardy enough to handle the heat and dry conditions here to be worth saving so I'll let them go.
I probably never should've tried growing ferns.
|The shade in my garden isn't deep enough to allow even western sword fern (Polystichum munitum, bottom 2 photos) to survive|
I've always known that planting after April is a crap shoot.
I was a little sick when I saw Alstroemeria 'Claire'.
|There was a big, healthy clump with lots of bloom here before the heat struck. I cleaned out the dead stems immediately because I couldn't stand seeing them. I hope it'll recover in the fall, if not this summer.|
The condition of one of my long-time favorite plants, Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Warrior', which I brought with me 5 years ago when we moved in, was heart-breaking.
|The photo on the left was taken Tuesday morning and the one on the right, showing the same plant, was taken last October. All my Plectranthus, including those in more shade, were damaged by the heatwave.|
The Campanula primulifolia I raved about last fall was delivered a death sentence.
|This drought tolerant Campanula looked great last September (photo on right) but the combination of reduced water and reduced shade did it in.|
My Cordyline 'Renegade' isn't looking good.
|The Cordyline as it looks today (left) and as it looked in January (right)|
Some plants, while injured, should come back.
|As anyone who's grown it knows, Acanthus mollis (left) can't be killed. The Agave attenuata (middle) on the back slope is sunburned. Ajuga genevensis (right) looks bad but there are baby plants surrounding it.|
Others seem to have suffered but are hanging on, at least for now.
Like freezes, the signs of heat damage may take time to show. I noticed more this morning than I did Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Even some of the Agapanthus, which I'd initially thought were unaffected, are looking worse for the wear.
|The light blue flowered Agapanthus shown on the left has suffered more than the darker blue and white specimens (right)|
All is definitely not lost. With the exception of the impact to our air quality, the wildfires that are having such a devasting impact elsewhere haven't affected us. My beloved Grevilleas, Leucadendron, and many other plants weathered this round of heat. This summer is expected to be tougher than the last one and the early blast in June certainly reinforces the threat. I'm going to eat into the water budget I've accumulated by my miserly irrigation schedule in an effort to improve the resilience of my plants to handle the next heatwaves. I may also reconsider my efforts to appease my foliage-hating neighbor and let the tree canopies that so offend her spread to give my garden more shade. Shade - and the lack of it - was clearly a factor in this heat apocalypse. I'll haul off the dead, mourn my losses, and move on.
On the positive side, for my Wednesday Vignette, there are grapes ripening in the dry garden - and the raccoons haven't got all of them (at least not yet).
Visit Anna at Flutter & Hum for more Wednesday Vignettes.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party