Sunday, July 8, 2007

Trials and Tribulations

We haven't had rain in weeks and my garden is slowly starting to show some ill effects. I kept everything hydrated very well but the one thing I noticed that is WAY behind is my rudbeckia. Plus, I'm seeing these odd brown/black spots.

I am very discouraged. I thought Black-Eyed Susans were some of the hardiest of the perennials and I've never experienced this. In fact, I was boasting the merits of this plant to my sister and gave it to her as a gift for her garden in coastal Maine. I hope she has better luck with it than I am! Of course, it is only July 8. I'll post new photos in a few weeks to show you how it's doing. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome ...

And here's another weird one. Have you ever seen a plant that is yellow at the bottom and green at the top? I think it must have got too much water at one time so I cut back. I used to hook up the hose right behind the plant (see it on the house?). I think that did it in ...

Once I stopped using that faucet, I noticed that it did get a little greener. This coneflower did NOTHING last year and now it's huge - despite the odd coloring. There are several blooms on it so we'll see how it does in a few weeks.

P.S. I mulched my whole front and side gardens with cocoa bean mulch. I went on a tour of homes last year and one gardener told me how much she liked it. And I admit, it was a very neat-looking garden without the whole mess of wood chips. I tried it and now I'm a believer. Cocoa bean mulch looks good, smells good and doesn't completely upset your garden if you like to move things around all summer. I just put a new dressing on my beds this weekend. With the high temps and humidity, I felt my beds needed a little extra TLC.

My Monarda is starting to bloom. Honestly, I can stare at my Monarda all day and I am amazed at its beauty. I know a lot of people don't like it because of its invasiveness but so far, I like that it's a prolific grower and it hasn't become a pest in my garden whatsoever.

My Marshall's Delight and Raspberry Wine (pictured) are both lovely. The Jacob Cline are nice but they really droop. I have been able stake them and that helps. I believe I read somewhere that deadheading will help in reblooming. If that's true, where do you deadhead? Man, this is a pretty color, isn't it?

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