Monday, July 19, 2010

In the Garden

My garden isn't at its best in July. It's a month when I tend to sit back and watch how plants "duke it out" with the dry weather. Partly for environmental reasons, partly from laziness, I put a sprinkler out only where it's desperately needed; most of what's in my garden now is either a plant that needs little water or it's one that's developed long roots over the years (my roses, for example, get watered only once a week at max., but they seem to manage on that, presumably because their roots have wandered over to the neighbours looking for water!) And actually, quite a few surprise me by putting on a decent show with very little water. The oakleaf hydrangea sprawling across the concrete pavers in my side garden is one example, getting a drink only once a week, maybe twice if the temperature goes above 25 for a few days.
The eryngium pictured above gets even less, only catching the occasional drift of moisture from a sprinkler set up nearby. I never water it for its own self, yet look how pretty! I'm so very partial to a steely blue.

The most spectacular xeric flower just has to be the Romneya coulteri. Gravelly soil, lots of sun, and, for water, the sound of the pond fountain nearby, and this one performs and performs.
And as they say of certain models, it loves the camera.

Despite the lack of watering, my garden still looks quite green -- the bamboo helps as do the banks of roses everywhere, but there are other smaller plants that contribute interesting texture as well as verdancy. The hellebores, for example. Isn't this a handsome leaf?!

I also love the leaves on this Rosa glauca, but for their glaucous colour rather than for their shape -- I think every garden should have one of these easy-care, all-purpose beauties. Their flowers are such a delicately pretty size and shade of pink, the leaves such a cooling tone, and the hips that are already beginning to form provide welcome fall colour and food for the birds.It's the only rose I have that isn't noticeably scented, which tells you how much I admire its other attributes.
This climber, Awakening, is better in the scent department, being a sport of the perennial faavourite New Dawn, and it's very pleased that we put the pergola nearby for it to sprawl on.And Darlow's Enigma, nearby, puts out these fabulous bundles of scented blooms for months, climbing and sprawling tens of metres to decorate the neighbourhood. Across the furthest fence, it's echoed by a neighbour's magnificent Kiftsgate rose that splashes huge white bouquets at least two storeys up the cedar and fir trees.
Back on the ground, this simple daylily stalwartly produces a bloom or two each day, reminding me of a laying chicken in its faithful schedule. The clump is spreading slightly each year, though, and there are more eggs in the daily basket than there were last year, and I hope there will be more next summer again. That's the gardener's way, isn't it, always hoping forward, planning and imagining future gardens while remembering earlier ones?
I'm heading out into mine now with my morning cuppa for a few quiet moments before our little visitor wakes up. What are your plans for the day? Perhaps you'll commune with a plant or two as well . . .