Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wet Conditions

The oddly cool August weather continues. Last night was not as chilly, but with overnight temperatures  in the low 60s, it was great sleeping weather. Days are getting a little muggier but are still unusually pleasant for late summer.

The porch is nearing completion and just needs some stain on the walls and ceiling. I love it already.

I have noticed differences in some plants due to this year's wetter conditions. One big change is that the fleeceflower, Persicaria officinis 'Dimity', is doing much better. In the past three hot, dry summers they did ok, but formed big gaps where they did not spread.

Under the blackhaw viburnum they got destroyed by voles one winter and that left huge gaps.

This year they look great, have filled in, and have been blooming all summer. They definitely like wetter conditions than I had thought.

The cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, also wants it pretty wet. This year they have formed a nice stand in Meadow's Edge and have been blooming for a long time.

But the Ruby Slippers lobelia by the patio wall has not done much this year for some reason. It is only just now starting to bloom. I like the velvet purple flowers next to the hardscape of the wall and birdbath, and in combination with the sunny Black eyed Susans.

Ruby Slippers in prior years was very tall, flopped, and kind of overwhelmed the area. This year there are just a few of them, they are shorter, and seem to be reluctantly blooming.

Lobelias are short lived. Are they just in decline?

Or is the river birch, newly planted in that spot, taking all the water and making this patch of lobelias drier?

A lot of other plants seem to be thriving this year. Most of that is due to maturity -- things have been in the ground now for three or more years in some cases. And the wet conditions help.  But the fleeceflower and lobelia are the two that really seem to have come into their own with more moisture than they got in previous years.