Monday, June 23, 2008

A Well-Oiled Machine

Note the beautiful combination of blue blooms over golden foliage on this spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana 'Blue and Gold', also called 'Sweet Kate'). We have clumps of this around our sunken garden used in repetition. I'm tired of most other spiderworts as they have seeded around the gardens quite prolifically. However, I wont soon be sick of this variety.

As usual on Mondays, we had lots of volunteers. The Grumpies showed up en force and we had some additional planting/weeding help from five female volunteers. Take a look at Terry, Bill and Ron to the left. These guys look ready for rain but in reality were bringing back our rowboat after their "retrieval expedition" involving a small bridge from our Japanese garden that drifted away in the floodwaters...Always interesting.

All the grounds crew kept busy and Monday went off without a hitch. We're ironically hoping for a bit of rain as some of our new plantings are looking thirsty. The type of watering we're doing is not ideal for establishing durable plants. Shallow watering on a frequent basis pampers the plants and really tells them that they don't have to develop deep roots because they'll get water often. We prefer to accomplish deep watering on a more infrequent basis. This encourages plants to send roots deeper in their quest for moisture as the soil dries from the top down. Unfortunately, we have to respond to immediate signs of moisture problems and often fall in to a pattern of this "shallow watering". Make your plants work for that moisture and they'll be more established and drought-tolerant in the long run. The image to the right is of the lower portion of our "wishing well garden". Those are white petunias under 6" water from the pond near Lion's Beach. Now (hopefully) begins the slow and steady draining off of our flooded garden spaces. We have been seasonally assaulted this year. Note the neat containers below with hints of our seasonal theme. The image below is in another part of the garden but creates that blue/orange combo with blue fescue (Festuca sp.) and an orange coleus mixture (Solenostemon).

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