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Another Month Gone

It’s hard to believe I am about to go from constant complaining, worrying and bitching about no rain to concern about too much rain in a short period of time. But the remnants of Isaac are headed this way and the forecast models suggest some interesting possibilities. Like over seven inches of rain. Now hopefully that is spread over the whole four or five days covered in the forecast. But at the same time, that ground out there is sort of hard and dry making it a wee bit difficult for heavy rains to infiltrate the soil. Bodies of water are low so they can hold a more than normal so seems that would help. Then again, forecasts are notoriously inaccurate so who knows how much rain we will really get anyway. Maybe I shouldn’t worry. But it’s my nature. Is this bee worrying?

The recent rains have made such a difference around here. It’s surprising still to see the dramatic change in a landscape when only a little falls from the sky.. And I am not dismissing the effects of cooler temps in the equation. Getting rid of those high-90’s and 100’s has been critical. “Normal” temperatures remove so much stress on the plants (and the gardeners!) It’s good to see most of the hoses hanging here instead of hanging out in the gardens.

Turf seems especially fast to respond to actual rain. Despite irrigation the grass in front of the Lilly House looked bad. There was a bull’s-eye pattern around the irrigation heads. A small green patch circled the head, then a large brown-ish circle surrounded that, which was followed by green again blending into the pattern of the next head. The first rain initiated change and now it’s all lush green.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost September. Some of the fall bloomers are starting their display. The anemones are throughout our gardens. This super tough perennial is one of the standards for fall color plus great foliage the entire growing season.


Anemone hupehensis, 20 years ago this was A. vitifolia and at one point the word “robustissima” was involved somehow.


Anemone hupehensis ver. japonica ‘Prinz Heinrich’

Dahlias love the cooler weather that comes in the fall. Even if they have been blooming all summer come fall they reach a new level in both flower production and beauty. I always say dahlias are at their peak the day before the first frost. These plants at Nonie’s Garden got huge this year. I’d tell you what they are but they are not what I ordered so I really don’t know.

The same is true of these cannas.

Of course some of my dahlias this year didn’t start blooming until a few weeks ago. I didn’t think I planted the Cutting Garden all that late. They seemed to just sit there during that really hot time. I bet the fall show will be spectacular. And it’s kind of nice having new things reaching peak later in the season. You don’t want everything coming on at once. This is ‘Park Princess’.

Grasses are in their early season stage. They’ll just keep getting better.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’

These Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’ were almost completely tan before a little rain returned. They have had NO irrigation.

Begonia grandis in white (‘Alba’) and pink. Yes, they are a hardy perennial.

Our native Lobelia siphilitica and Sedum ‘Brilliant’ make a fine late summer/early fall pair.

Heuchera ‘Brownies’ shows its H. villosa parentage by blooming this time of year (that and the great foliage). Why am I hungry now?

So don’t hide indoors all week-end because it’s raining. I bet there will be some moments that will be perfect for a stroll. Now I’m not saying be a fool and come over to the IMA during a flood. Show me you got some common sense. But think about it. When’s the last time you took a walk in the rain?

Filed under: Horticulture

One Response to “Another Month Gone”

  • avatar
    Nina Says:

    I was walking through the gardens this week wondering what kind of flower the anemones were, but I couldn’t find any label that seem to match them. I thought they were a wonderful late blooming flower. Thanks for clearing that mystery up for me!

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