At church this morning, Wayne, who is an older guy and fellow gardener, shook his head and said “This hasn’t been the best of years,” and I have to agree. The past 10 days here have seen huge, tree-toppling storms that somehow didn’t make much of a dent in the drought, a string of oven-like days in the 100s, and a persistent dry wind that desiccated plant life but didn’t make the humidity tolerable for the humans.
So it was with surprise as I walked through the garden–feeling like the President taking a tour of a disaster area, except that I didn’t have a helicopter to take me away–that I saw how much was doing well. Lilies are blooming, and the large hostas, liriope, sedum, four o’clocks, and the tomato plants are perky.
I’m including a number of photos of the lily Lilium henryi because this is what it looks like after a week of scorching temperatures. There is a white version of this, which I have, and an orange version. If you don’t have any lilies, you might consider starting with this one–it’s easy to grow, elegant, and heat tolerant.
Rather than showing the gooseberry bush, which is a rather nondescript bush with thorns, here is a picture of the sum total of gooseberries I managed to pick this summer, before the birds moved in. I’ll combine them with some rhubarb to serve with Greek yogurt for dessert tonight.
Another lily, an Oriental hybrid called ‘Stargazer’, is a bit more battered than Lilium henryi, but doing its best. Called “Stargazer” because it faces upward (I had to take the pictures of the downward-facing Lilium henryi lying on my back), this is a popular, easy-to-grow lily with a heady fragrance.
To go from the grand to the humble, here is the creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides). Somehow it has a fairy-tale aura to me, as though it should grow in Rapunzel’s garden, and because of this I don’t dislike it as much as I should.