Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Threat of Rain - Fulfilled!

Even on a rainy, overcast day, the leaves (picture from underneath) of the harlequin maple (Acer platanoides 'Drummondii') are exquisite. This is essentially a variegated Norway maple and the early season foliage in our climate is very showy. However, by the end of summer, there is some browning on leaf edges and the tree looks a little haggard. There are some real large ones in Janesville. Many times though, you see specimens that are partially green. Whenever a green "reversion' branch is seen, it should be removed. The variegation seems to vary in its stability. However, what a neat tree for foliage despite various problems that Norway maples develop in time.

Very fast and furious rainfall this morning. I think we had 2" come down in two hours or so. I'd prefer a "slow soak" of that volume of rain over the course of a day. A vast majority of that water disappeared as runoff. We always have to check our gravel paths after a rain like that to deal with washouts and potential "ankle twisters".

While we're on the topic of variegated plants, the image to the left is of a variegated mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius 'Variegatus'). Mockoranges (green leaved varieties) in my estimation are interesting for 2 weeks of the year when they bloom in June with very fragrant blooms. Otherwise, they fill space and should be placed in a larger shrub border. The fragrance incidentally is unforgetable and very agreeable. A variegated or golden leaved variety will offer extended interest from May thru October with colorful foliage.
A baby robin found a nice perch on the foliage of one of our st eel sculptures. He or she seemed more interested in my photography activities and ended up hanging out there most of the day. Lots of peonies in bloom including some of our intersectional hybrids that were donated by Roger Anderson, a well known peony breeder from Fort Atkinson, WI. I don't know the variety but this type of peony is a combination of a woody tree peony and the herbaceous types. Unfortunately the rains beat the peonies down severely today. More rain tomorrow.....

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