Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flooding Disaster, Baptisia, Staking the Betula Youngii

I've been away, psychologically, from this blog for a while now. Wanna guess why? Ever since the chaos and intensity of this last, final term of grad school, I'm still in the process of coming down, though the smallest things seem so large. My sleep pattern is all haywire, most likely still stemming from my 8-10 hour workdays to finish my book in January. But I feel glimpses of normalcy again. And then things happen to disrupt them. Read on.

First, it's been a while since I posted garden shots. I dislike close ups of flowers on other blogs, usually, because I want to see the garden--but you can't see the garden in a picture. You can't move and focus in on something that catches your eye (or nose, or pant leg). Like, look at this 2.5 year old baptisia finally blooming, and blooming like gangbusters.

That's Baptisia 'Twilight Prarieblues.' Although it's so smoky you can't see it from far away, seeing it up close is way neat.

'Black Stockings' Meadow Rue. Very seductive and kinky. Right? Hello?

I've no idea which of my Iris sibirica this is, but it's cool.

First year in the ground and blue flag iris is growing fast and blooming beaucoup.

Globemaster allium tearing itself open. Reminds me of this blister I had last week....

Globemaster. (A possible name for a GI Joe or HeMan character?)

Amsonia hubrichtii about to bloom. Freaky. Click on the pic to expand it and see the hairs.

And below, please find the nightmare I've had this week. Most everything was going well this year, much less loss than the previous spring. Although I'm about to rip out the two 'Ruby Spice' Clethra which are languishing (what do I replace them with? 'Winterthur' Viburnum where it's damp clay, yet more dogwood shrubs?).

So, I woke up one morning this week to find I left the water hose on. No big deal, except the hose sprung a leak--the threads, with nozzle attached, ripped out of the hose. I bet 100s of gallons of precious water were lost. The ensuing stream went to the dry stream bed I have for the gutter downspout, out under the fence, along 40 feet of my neighbor's yet-to-be-sodded yard, and vanished underground in a waterfall. My clay soil was nothing but mush as far as I could dig.

So I rushed in and yanked out two shrubs and a perennial before they drowned. The dwarf arctic blue willow should be fine, but not sure about my wife's clematis or an itea. She said the whole area looks like someone was searching for a body. I was. Mine. My heart sunk into that muck, and I hope it dries out (the soil) in the 90 degree weather to come this weekend, but doesn't kill the potted shrubs (like the 'Ogon' spiraea, which after 2 years was FINALLY getting going).

But, I did accomplish one goal I set out to do 12 months ago: stake up the contorting young's weeping white birch that I got dirt cheep at Home Depot in 2007 (it pays to look). Some things just take a while to think about. You be the judge on my work. The bottom part of the trunk is so heavy it shouldn't go anywhere, and the top part (about 6' off the ground) seems snug against the hose and the velcro tape.


Sarah O. said...

I just bought the same baptisia last week but it must be going on 3 years or so b/c it was busting out of its pot and is ready to bloom. I'm really looking forward to it - my past patience with baptisia has gone unrewarded since rabbits just chew them down to a stump before they can get established.

our friend Ben said...

Love your baptisia, Benjamin! My own B. australis are blooming now, huge, joyous bushes that always set my heart alight. I'll have to look for 'Prairie Smoke.' Sorry about your flood, though. So... when is your book coming out?

Kim said...

Your Itea should be fine - it likes wet feet. Good luck with the rest - they may surprise you.

Unknown said...

I agree with Kim on the itea... and frankly, those clethra seem to languish for a few years before they really settle in and get going. (The 'Ruby Spice' do, anyway.)

So cheer up, dry out... and thanks for posting some of the macro shots. I promise to do the reverse and start putting up more all-garden shots instead... I guess that I just tend to photograph the garden the way that I see it. And since it's a small garden, and since I'm IN it so much, that tends to be on an intimate one-on-one scale.

Liisa said...

I just love the meadow rue... and those were my exact thoughts when I saw the photo... seductive... kinky... ;) That blue flag iris is gorgeous. I never really cared for blue flowers, but I am quickly warming up to them. Best of luck to you with the book!! :)

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