gardens by daisy moore

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Extreme conditions

Water has been a major factor in the garden this year. The rain has accelerated the growth and activity of all sorts of new and unusual things. Plants are either looking great or looking awful and only time will tell how everything weathers the storms.

Extreme conditions tell you something about the value and vigour of plants. It seems almost unusual this year for leaves not to be eaten by something when other plants have become skeletons of their former selves. There are many such healthy and worthy plants which have a leg up in my garden. The Ligularia in the woodland garden is incredible and loving the rain. It grows from a rosette with long, deep burgundy petioles. The leaves are large and robust and frame the summer flowering yellow spikes. It is five feet tall and four feet wide. Bee Balm, Heliopsis, Butterfly Weed and Hydrangea are more stunning this year than I can remember.

The beets look bountiful and lush and have rewarded us already with several meals. There is lettuce, arugula and spinach to eat with a zucchini problem not far away. As long as you can keep up with the weeding, gardening with the rain is a positive thing.

My iris and rose garden went through a major transformation this season. The irises were having a terrible time with all the rain and were in fact crowding out the roses. This bed is encircled by a tightly clipped boxwood hedge as an extra special border for the hybrid teas. It unfortunately prevents much of the natural air movement at the base of the plants. This, combined with the generous applications of compost every spring and fall created a steam bath. I think I was killing my plants with kindness! I've removed the irises and replaced them with nine new roses. It is now the first bed which gets my attention and it shows! I now understand that roses don't like company and they want all the attention.

When problems occur, it is time to take a look at the basics: air, light and water. Pest problems tend to occur when plants are under stress. Changing the habitat or breaking the life cycle of the pest will alter its future success. This sounds simple enough but can be rather difficult to execute when everything is happening so fast.

I have thinned out my beds and pruned trees and shrubs more aggressively than usual in order to cope with the increase in moisture. Thinning will promote air movement through the plants and discourage diseases which tend to like humid, dark conditions. I personally dislike those conditions and don't blame many plants for sharing this opinion.

There is a lot of growing season left and many changes are yet to happen as we move into the late summer garden.

Daisy Moore, 2000.



Other summer garden tips:

(click on the tip you want to read)

Extreme Conditions
Growing Roses
Summer Lawn Care
Propogation by Cuttings
Sources of Native Plants
Making Sense of Fertilizer Labels
Annual/Perennial Combinations
Climbing Plants
The Dry Garden
Ornamental Grasses
Chooosing A Good Gardening Book
Companion Planting
Preparing the Compost for Fall Use
Getting the Most out of your Vegetable Garden
Repairing Lawns From Summer Stress
All About Grubs
All About Onions
Useful Herbs for the Home Garden
Screens and Hedges




Home  |  Garden designs  |  Naturalized gardening  |  Help with your garden  |  Garden Tips Spring  Summer  Fall  | Contact Daisy


Daisy Moore 2005