Friday, July 4, 2014

Arthur and the Alliums

I can't remember having a hurricane so early in the season. Today, on the fourth of July, Hurricane Arthur is headed up the coast. We aren't directly in the path, but we'll get rain today as it passes by New England. Thunderstorms brought an inch of rain last night, and now Arthur will bring more.

We needed the rain badly.

I don't know if it was the ultra dry conditions for the past three weeks, but there are no drumstick alliums this year. The fine wispy foliage emerged, then turned to hay and laid down in the dirt.

I have allium sphaerocephalon planted in small sweeps all over in Meadow's Edge and in the gravel garden, and every single area has little piles of dry string instead of tall upright wands with purple pompoms on them.

This is how they are supposed to emerge -- last year in June they were tall and sturdy.

And when they open their drumstick flowers on top of straight stems, they are supposed to look like this, as they did last 4th of July.

But they are just totally gone this year in every spot where they had been.

The other alliums in my garden were fine this year. They bloomed earlier, so maybe the last three weeks of rainless weather did not affect them, but did affect the later blooming drumstick alliums.

Here were the pretty little allium 'Graceful' plants blooming in mid June by the patio wall.

And in early June the bright yellow little allium moly flowers opened nicely, although these alliums never spread about the way they were supposed to.

The big globe alliums were dramatic back in late May too.

I have summer blooming alliums 'Millennium' growing in a container, and they are doing very well, but of course they got watered every day when I watered the vegetables and herbs in my pot garden on the deck.

So is it just water and timing? The three week stretch of no water just at the time the drumsticks were getting going? The sprinklers ran, but was it not enough? And now too much?

Water and timing -- sigh. Hurricane Arthur brings us rain and we need it, but does it really have to be on the fourth of July? And my pretty drumstick alliums are getting rained on, but not at the right time apparently. They are lost for the season.

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