Late August. The annuals are up to speed or off the road, the perennials have shown their colors or given us a good hint of what’s to come and it’s time to assess the success of the gardens. Gail and I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon cruising the gardens and picking them apart – we’re especially hard on the North Garden.

My notes for the North Garden say things like “too much phlox! – divide/thin this fall” and “‘Sympathy’ dahlias are too pale – try ‘Fuchsiana’ next year?” The roses (Rosa Ballerina) looked great in June and are doing their rusty leafdrop trick now. We anticipated that and in front of most of them, we planted Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in hopes that it would climb the roses and cover their naked legs. It worked! Rosa ‘Ballerina’ clothed in Geranium ‘Rozanne’But we didn’t have a ‘Rozanne’ for every ‘Ballerina and the Rozanne-less roses stick out – literally. naked Rosa ‘Ballerina’ and a daylily holeWe can also see now that the daylilies are done that there are giant holes and we really need to find something that can either tough it out under all that foliage and take over when it gets pulled or think of something that could be planted about now. Any suggestions? Gail also says (every year she says) “anything not in bloom by mid-September has GOT to go!” We’ll see…

The Rose Garden looks better than it (ever?) has – everyone says so. Julie thinks there might be a little too much orange and I’m not sure there is such a thing… We’ve only begun the renovation in that garden and I’m already excited to think about next year’s additions.Rose Garden 8-23-07Rose Garden 8-23-07

The Display Garden has been growing gangbusters on one side and slow as molasses on the other. The new beds are just not thriving like the old ones. New soil might be to blame – it’s good stuff but evidently not as sweet as the old… This particular bed is boxed in by recycled iron from the old greenhouse and there’s been some speculation that the iron is leaching and stunting the plants. (These are tried and true plants for us that are usually fully abundant by now.) What else could it be? recycled iron bed with dahlias, Salvia guaranitica, Pennisetum ruppelianum and Teucrium chamaedrys (wall germander)
This fall we’ve got to get ready for the guys to do more redesign work – the Idea Beds will change and all the perennials and shrubs in those beds will have to find new homes. Plenty to think about.

Some things on the property defy critique – like bosquet blooms, wild flowers and critters:

Lycoris squamigera (Resurrection Lily)
Lycoris squamigera (Resurrection lilies or as Gail has it – Naked ladies) are blooming in the bosquet. They emerge foliage-less in late summer and flower-less in spring. Marsh Mallows down by the waterThe Marsh Mallows (Hibiscus moscheutos – or palustris?) are blooming in large swampy swaths down by the bay.Marsh Mallow sea

Could this be my mantis maybe? Praying Mantis checking me out

And does anyone know this fellow on the Clethra?Clethra and blueblack wasp-ish