Friday, June 29, 2018

New challenges and old friends in the garden

A year ago I was at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show admiring acres of gardens and gorgeous blooms. The roses in the marquee were so stunning, they almost brought tears to my eyes.

A glance at my garden today almost brings tears to my eyes. But not because I am gobsmacked by the beauty before me. Fact is, this may be my worst gardening year ever.

First blooms of 'Vanessa Bell'

When we returned from England in mid-July last year, the garden was in a pretty sad state. Fair enough. You cannot leave a garden for three weeks in the summer and expect it to look like something out of a magazine when you get home.

I don’t have that excuse in 2018. We’ve been here the entire spring and early summer. But we haven’t been able to overcome the annoying weather we’ve experienced since March. 

Another new addition, 'James L. Austin'

Clematis 'Josephine' has been one of the few bright spots
First, we had many late freezes with temps going down to single digits several days in a row. Then we’ve had downpours virtually every day for weeks. Some of my new plants are literally rotting in the ground. And my rose leaves look like filigree thanks to sawflies.

Still, I am not ready to call this gardening year a total failure. I am going to cut everything back, fertilize and try to coax everybody into perking up for fall.

'Lyda' is almost always a dependable performer

I know I can rely on old friends like ‘Lyda Rose’ to lead the way with her charming candelabra of summer blooms. I’m hoping new additions like ‘Vanessa Bell’ will continue to impress. I’ll replace some tired perennials with colorful new ones. And I will politely ask the bears not to step on my bushes. 

Will it work? In the end it doesn’t matter. Because as you all know, gardening is a journey. 

I may have hit a bit of a rough patch this year. But next year is bound to be smooth sailing! 

Or so the optimist in me hopes.

Some hydrangeas did flower despite the freezes


Teresa/ said...

I so get this! I have been away too much fur a happy garden (but not for a happy Grammy) and it’s either been tooo cold, too dry, too wet or too hot. Before I left for my last trip I cut everything back, fertilized and now I’m seeing more signs of life. But, it’s HOT HOT HOT, so blooms will probably be smalL. Good thing I Iove a challenge... so all’s good. Love your stories! 😘

Lynn Hunt said...

Ah, we are on the same journey dear fellow gardener! And it is lucky we both enjoy a challenge. But the garden can wait when those precious grandsons are within hugging distance. So glad you are enjoying the stories. xo

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, don't be too down-hearted, some years will be good, others not so much. I hoping that no matter how bad the start of the season was for you, the remaining will be full of long, warm days of sunshine with the occasional break of rain to keep things from getting parched. The Lyda rose is a plant I saw at Chelsea and is going to go onto my shopping list, I think. I love the white and blush pink colour.

Unknown said...

Hi Lynn, We all face challenges, those who overcome them have great stories to tell just like you. Loved the article. This reminded me of this blog: Keep posting!

Gail said...

What a tough year. May it get better! xoxo

Lynn Hunt said...

Thanks Gail. It will. I am an eternal optimist. (One needs to be quite often when gardening!!)

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