I’m sure no one noticed the omission of a report for April in the garden, or at the end of May but a baby is a great vacuum of time and thought, sucking up energies for anything else. Even the most determined will can be broken by the urgent and increasingly upset wails of an infant.
If only new transplants had the same capacity. A very expensive Daphne x burkwoodii ‘G.K. Argules’ transplant sat for 3 weeks with an exposed crown before I finally noticed its defoliated self. Maybe it will rally. Probably not. But this is the state the garden is in, and it has made me wonder if this isn’t what gardening is supposed to be; a series of failures with the occasional surprise triumph.
I suspect this negative perspective is being nurtured by ongoing sleep deprivation. How else can I explain that the carefully transplanted ‘Jersey Knight’ Asparagus didn’t grow in its pit, but the forgotten bareroot crown left lying on the ground next to it did?
The Hydrangea anomala petiolaris ’Littleleaf Brookside’ is still small and full of promise, code for “it’s not growing.” However, the Dixie woodfern hybrid Dryopteris x australis is doing very well and shows all initial signs for being a huge success. Thank you, Graham Rice for that suggestion from your book Planting the Dry Shade Garden. The Winter Jewels Hellebores I bought are also looking very good, but the greatest satisfaction of the season is coming from the Cercis chinensis ‘Don Egolf.’ I got a fantastic specimen and even though it’s small, it is gorgeous and healthy.
When your Japanese Maple leafs out like this, it was a rough winter. I attribute its survival to it likely has some roots under the stone patio, which kept them moist while the surrounding soil dried out.
Of course, we have setbacks. The incredibly dry winter took its toll on my ‘Hubb’s Red Willow’ Japanese maple. I should have been more diligent with watering. Only one Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Amethyst’ pulled through, but it was the one that was better sited, so not too many tears there. Of course all the natives pulled through amazingly. Even the really exposed Penstemon venustus. And the coup de grâce of epic failures, the transmission on my minivan has blown for the second time, so I had to table my plans for Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’ for the front. It can’t go in until I’m able to have a forklift bring in a one-and-a-half ton red sandstone slab for a bench. So, this will be happening next year. In a way, it’s a relief. I’m not a professional designer that can put everything on paper and have it all pull together in weeks. It is taking me years. But at least it will be all mine.
So for now, back to weeding.