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Drought Tolerant Gardens
Some helpful articles scattered around the 40 or so
pages here -
Coping with the
dastardly Lily beetle.
Shrub Pruning Tips
Winter Garden Protection
Correct planting of
new trees & shrubs
Increasing Drought Tolerance.
Bits 'n bites on
things to do, or
in the August / September garden.
Articles here are
my "Dirty Knees"
some of my
seminars, and appear
in no particular order.
Index to a few
highlights here in
Late Summer Notes for Zone 4
Rain, rain, and more rain - enough already!
The must-do list before you head off on
from Outside my Window,
Remember summer 2007 when the heat and
drought just went on and on? We were all convinced that it was a
sign of things to come in the era of climate change.
Well...uh...where's the drought? Can I
have some drought please? PLEASE!
We have had so much rain combined with a
lack of any intense sun and heat this summer that many plants just flopped about as
though they were drunk. Many drought loving plants suffered
rot spots and mildewy leaves. They were loving the wet cool spring
as they were in their green growth phase, but by summer they needed some heat
To say the blooming this year was lackluster as a result, is an
Normally sturdy, upright and tall, this
new salmon Echinacea hybrid I was so looking forward to being really
great this year in my 2nd year garden, is flopping near the ground
instead, with many fewer blooms than it would normally have had.
Overall, it isn't so much the excess
water that's the problem, but the inherent lack of sunshine and heat
that comes with lots of rain days. There's not much to be done about this problem. At least when
climate change brings us dry heat, we have the option of planting lots
of drought tolerant things, as many of our standard garden plants are,
but when it's too much water though, all we can do is dream of next year.
Mid-July to mid-August is daylily
time. With everything from 12" short to 48" tall and
flowers in all sizes and colours, it's hard not to make room for
at least a few. Beautiful
on their own, but partnered for contrast or
harmony their vibrant colours shine. Here
Baby's Breath creates a dreamy backdrop for red
2008's "Outside my Window"
weed! Deadhead, deadhead,
I'm sure I could come
up with something a bit more profound
than this if I wasn't so tired (more
bored actually) from all the weeding and
crop of weeds is sneaking up just as
you're packing for holidays, and all
those blooms of high summer means lots
of deadheading if there are to be blooms
August. Soooo ... not very profound
or complicated, but weed, weed, weed.
Deadhead, deadhead, deadhead, is your tip
The clearance sales
have started and there are plenty of
tempting bargains to be had.
Remember that this is probably the
worst time to be planting so take
the extra time to really soak the plants
by immersing them in a bucket of water
until all the bubbling stops, before
planting them in a well watered hole. Once
planted, put up some temporary shade for
a few days and water very deeply every
three days for 2 weeks at least.
Don't expect much from them this year
since they need to struggle through the
heat to get some feeding roots
out. If there are flowers on the
plant it's best to cut them off to help
it focus on roots. It's hard, I
know, but the plant may reward you with a
fresher crop of blooms later.
If you've been
procrastinating on some needed pruning
perhaps you have an excuse to put it off
even longer since we're entering the
"NO PRUNE" zone of
September & October.
Anytime is a good time for light
maintenance pruning to remove the 4D's -
dead, damaged, diseased or deformed
branches, but any major pruning should
ideally wait until November at this
point since pruning stimulates growth
that won't have time to harden off
before winter. By November the
plants are already well along in their
preparations for dormancy and aren't
stupid enough to put out growth.
More later - there's
more weeding and deadheading waiting for
isn't anything sadder than the flowers
of this old fashioned hosta. I
them to enjoy the fresh green
foliage that helps the neighbouring
flowers look that much better.
two were made for eachother! Bee
Balm 'Cambridge Scarlet' and the tall
spikes of Ligularia 'The Rocket'.
Pinch back half of the growing tips on
Bee Balm in early June to extend bloom.
have brought coneflower a long way in
recent years with white, orange, and
yellow colours now available in this
sturdy, drought tolerant, long flowering,