Garden Notes

Garden Notes

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Blue-sky days; hoping for rain.

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Watering has been doubled up, insufficiencies in irrigation programs revealed, and signs of stress have appeared everywhere.

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Those unfamiliar with the dinner-plate sized flowers and stature of hybrid hibiscus are literally stopped in their tracks by them.

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Perhaps there is still time to plant late-flowering perennials and fall-color shrubs, such as anemone, tricyrtis, lespedeza, and witch hazel, to add seasonal interest.

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We tried a new early potato variety, ‘Satina,’ this year. Boy, are they ever smooth and yummy! Our usual, ‘Dark Red Norland,’ is great too; it is likely that all new potatoes are an epiphany, compared to tired old storage spuds.

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It has been a great month for roses, due mainly to the plentiful rainfall early on and the cooler-than-average temperatures, it seems.

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The lesson is easy: be careful where you mulch and cultivate if you desire more self-sowers.

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I report (with relief) the many bumblebees, along with their accustomed buzzing, foraging on the large roseum elegans rhododendrons at my place, primarily at dawn and dusk. Those vast mountains of magenta blossom, usually hosting scores of industrious bumblebees, had seemed eerily silent for the past two seasons.

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Mayapple has been used in Native folk medicine for centuries, and over 100 years ago found its way into American materia medica.

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One wishes to plead for this ineluctable seasonal onrushing to delay so one can take it all in.