Mid-Season Gardening Resolutions Check-up #1


Did you make some New Year’s gardening resolutions in January, or fantasize about a series of projects to complete before summer’s end? I did (see http://loisdevries.blogspot.com/2008/01/gardening-resolutions-for-new-year.html). Well, it’s mid-July and we’re halfway through the gardening season. Time to check our progress against our plans. With one caveat. In the garden, it seems our imagination is always larger, or more abundant, than our capacity, whether of time, money, or ability.

The Golden Dragon Clivia sits on a shaded porch for the summer, per advice from experienced Clivia growers on the garden writers listserv. Once the air conditioner comes out of the window, it will go back to its in-house space. So far, so good. It’s still alive.

Climbing roses for the arbor. I got only one that was on my list, Bantry Bay. This was tiny compared to the others I finally purchased, but it is on its own root (not grafted) and I have great hopes for it. I’m disappointed to say I got ripped off for $85 from a California nursery with a web site. I thought I was protected by PayPal, but live and learn.

By the time I realized the roses I ordered weren’t coming, the local nursery stock had been picked over. But not the climbers. I got some very robust plants of Northern Crown's Coral Dawn, Weeks Joseph’s Coat (which looks better in person than in catalog photos), and Weeks Golden Showers. As a bonus, Golden Showers has almost no thorns. We were inundated with gypsy moth caterpillars which severely weakened some of my mature roses, but they are still putting out new leaves.

If you’re wondering how so many climbers can fit on a rose arbor, see http://adobe.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=tsgykcv.u89lo8f&x=0&y=ec454e --- it’s not your usual rose arbor.

I decided against the Late Dutch Honeysuckle, but only because I had so many other plants for the arbor.

I chose Autumn Clematis for the fragrance and late bloom. More colorful selections can come at another time.

The Lavender garden (shown above) is coming along nicely. I had to replace only one plant of 23, a Provence which is iffy here at best. It also got caught by deer browse and a cold snap after new growth had already started. In another year, I think this garden will really take off.

This mid-season check-up has helped me see that I actually stayed much closer to my plan than I thought I had. There’s still time for a reality check and some mid-course corrections.

I’d love to hear how others are doing. More next time.


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