Marty's Garden, August 22, 2021

With two thirds of summer behind us, it’s time to take stock. We had plenty of hot days, but it rained regularly, more than in most summers. Now, in late August, a tropical storm moved up the coast and with it lots of rain. Suddenly my garden is drenched, and everything stands a little taller and greener.


The only plants which have shown signs of stress this summer where the hydrangeas, but no wonder, this is one plant which will hang its head before everything else. I have tucked them away in shady spots, their preferred location. They are also in sunnier locations or spots which will be shady in another year or two when trees have grown enough to provide cover. Most plants were bought at the $3 sales rack at Lowes, and some came from supermarkets. It has taken them a few years to bulk up enough to start flowering in earnest this year. One came as a cutting from my old garden. This cutting was an afterthought; just about when we were ready to move, I thought it would be nice to have this plant in my new garden. It sat in a pot for a year; then I kept it in a slightly bigger pot for another year as I would have lost it in the garden; it was so small. Finally in year three I planted it in the rain garden, under the Chionanthus virginicus, or American fringe tree. Now, in year five it bloomed, and I am looking forward to many more years of amazing flowers.



My carnivorous pitcher plants are doing well. I have a variety of them growing on the side of the pond in a fairly shallow area. Before I added moss among the plants, the frogs used it as their spawning area and dislodged plants on a regular basis. Now, I have a green mossy “lawn” connecting the plants and the frogs have moved to another area of the pond for their amorous activities.  Other pitcher plants are grown in containers; one in an oversized deep plate. The containers are brought in before the first frost and I keep the plants in the basement. I keep them watered with pond water and each spring they go outside again. Browned and dried up pitchers are cut down at the base and soon you have a new flush of growth and flowers to boot. Insects beware!




There is always some time in August when I start to look forward to cooler weather and the prospect of wearing socks and shoes again. I am not ready to say goodbye to warm weather (even with muggy days) but I am chomping at the bit of making a new garden and for that I need cooler weather. The side garden outside of the fence will go out all the way to the sidewalk and the lawn will get a little smaller (again). I have dug up plants which had outgrown their original spots and others which needed dividing. I bought some and ordered a few more plants online which should arrive mid-September, just in time for planting. One Vitex shrubby tree will be dug up from the front bed and it will become the center point of this new garden. Planned out on paper all I must do is wait a few more weeks to get this project off the ground. Cooler weather, mulching, digging holes, planting, and getting dirty – now there’s a great way to welcome fall!