Friday, July 06, 2007

How’s Your Garden?

At the Independence Day parade in Williamstown, I ran into a father of a girl who will be in my daughter’s kindergarten class. He noted that it’s been a great year for his garden. It hadn’t occurred to me until just then, in part because I’ve only had my garden here for 11 months, but yes, it has. Almost everything is growing strongly and flowering well. And apart from a little powdery mildew on some of my goldenrod, I have had no problem with fungal or other diseases. Of course, the weeds are also vigorous, there have been insects here and there eating things, and the rodents haven’t let up on their depredations. But you can’t have everything.

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?

1 comment:

Southview said...

It is only that we have had no prolonged dry spell. We have had just enough rain to keep the plants watered nicely but not drenched. It has all come together perfectly for a great growing season here in the NE.