One area in particular screams "help!" every time I walk through my back garden.
|This photo shows the area in question in mid-June (on the right side of flagstone path)|
|And this is the area as it appears now|
Even though last year's rainfall was abysmal, the area didn't look half this bad in July 2018. In fact, my mid-July 2018 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day shots show that Achillea 'Moonshine' was still blooming well at that time. In contrast, by mid-July this year everything in this area looked like it'd been run over by a bulldozer. The area's collapse seemed relatively sudden, although admittedly my attention was focused less on the garden and more on remodel-related chaos at that time. My first guess was that critters of some sort staged a mighty battle in this bed. Our security cameras provided no clues to either support or refute that theory. I also wondered if I relied more on hand irrigation last year than I did this year, or if gophers or other tunneling creatures damaged plants from under the ground. I've no record tracking my hand-watering efforts, although I know I undertook emergency watering in early July 2018 when our temperature hit 110F. As to gophers, I couldn't find any evidence of their presence on the surface.
|This area, like the rest of the border is covered by an automated irrigation system. I deep-watered it manually about 10 days ago, which gave it something of a boost, rewarding me with a few Amaryllis belladonna blooms.|
In any case, I'm thinking this area needs an overhaul once cooler weather returns.* At present, it's occupied by the following plants:
- Achillea 'Moonshine'
- Erigeron glaucus
- Gazanias (self-sown)
- Geranium 'Tiny Monster'
- Narcissus 'White Lion' (currently dormant)
- Scilla peruviana (currently dormant)
I'm considering introducing one or another shrub here that might be tough enough to handle summer conditions - and critters - in stride.
|Another Echium webbii is one possibility but this one next to the fountain got bigger than its projected 3x3 foot profile, which I think would be a problem in the bed on the other side of the path|
In the short-term, I may plant up 2-3 pots and stick them in the afflicted area. Or plant heat-tolerant annuals. Or simply clean out the dead plant material, lay down compost, and wait out the summer. I'm open to any and all suggestions for short- or long-term solutions to make this area less ugly.
Tell the Truth Tuesday is hosted on a periodic basis by Alison at Bonney Lassie to keep things real by sharing the less-than-perfect aspects of our gardens.
*Recent weather forecasts suggest that the North Pacific "Blob" has returned, which could lead to higher than average temperatures this fall. Other reports suggest the possibility of a delayed rainy season.
All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party