The drought and beyond
We experienced a dreadful period of heat and drought during the last three weeks of May. Most of our late spring annuals managed to put on their annual show, but the flowers were small and plants looked stressed. Large fissures appeared throughout the gardens but we continued our policy of watering only when we feared death for small, recently planted trees and beds. When we saw forecasts promising abundant rain, we planted the soft color garden concentrating on plants with pale flowers. Now there are Salvias ‘Wendy’s Wish’, pale yellow and orange lantanas, and verbenas, pink-tinged ricinus. Costus speciosus and Breynea disticha came out from the basement and went into the aster border. Xanthosomas went into the soil beneath the metasequoia near the smoke house. Suddenly the summer garden began to return. Mid-summer annuals began to bloom in the sunny gardens, but the garden looked unkempt with dying annuals. We have no choice but to leave poppies, larkspur, nigella, calendulas, and eschscholzias to ripen their seeds. By the end of the first week in June, the large crevices had closed, and we began daily trips to collect seeds. We always visit the areas with plants that had the most special colored flowers lured there by the joyous sounds of goldfinches that have little to do except eat and sing. Rain lilies responded, as they should—with masses of flowers on Habranthus tubispathus var. roseus in the dianthus walk.