Naturally, if this phenomenon (i.e., a great year) is real, and not a figment of our imaginations, it must be due to some aspect of the weather. While we’ve felt a bit sticky from humidity, it seems to me that unlike last year, we haven’t had much very hot weather. (I understand that right around 86 degrees F is the point where most plants stop growing and start suffering.) We also have had plenty of rain, fairly regularly, but not so much overcast weather that things are suffering from a lack of sun.
Here’s a flower bed of mine a week ago (6/26/07). You may note Delphinium and Cosmos in bloom, and a few flowers left on Centranthus ruber ‘Coccineus’ and Lupinus (front center and back right). Not very floriferous, I’ll concede, but: It’s the first year for all of these perennials; the Potentilla fruticosa ‘Pink Beauty’ shrub (reddish twigs behind and to right of Cosmos) can’t be expected to be doing any more in its first season (it was supposed to be a “trade gallon” but arrived as a bare-root -- at least Wayside Gardens did give me a half-back credit when I complained); and the area has a bunch of plants scheduled to start blooming by August (four big Dahlia plants around the middle right, Chrysanthemums at left, Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’ just to left of Cosmos, Solidago / goldenrod and Hemerocallis / daylily at back).
Does anyone else in the area have any other theory about the conditions this year, or have anything to report on growth or health of their plants?