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As summer ends…


A+ rating for drought tolerance…Yucca ‘Color Guard’ with Jackman’s Blue Rue, Succulents, Sedums and dwarf conifers. Oh yes, and the amazing yet vicious Solanum quitoense.

Not sure if I am truly sorry to see the summer of 2016 end. There have been days that I’ve thought that an early frost would be a blessing as I dragged hoses about, trying to coax vibrancy into a garden getting more tarnished looking by the day. The forecast for rain never proved to be true, and the number of very hot days set a record. Still, the optimistic gardener within always wins out. Yesterday, I walked about the garden to see what plantings held their own despite the cursed weather. Here’s what I saw.


The Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Peewee’, with flowers aging to russet brown, but with fresh foliage, despite no irrigation.


Crambe maritima (Sea Kale) thrived, and swallowed up the younger plants nearby.


Agastache ‘Black Adder’, with nearby Amsonia hubrictii beginning to turn golden for fall.


Deep rooted Lespedeza ‘Gibralter’ could have cared less about the drought.


Little Eucomis ‘Dark Star’, petty in flower and in leaf, with nearby red Heuchera


Succulents by the road fended for themselves admirably


Fruit finally formed during  the 3rd week of August on the giant pumpkin. We’ll see…..


Our overly ambitious cut flower garden….did I know I wouldn’t have extra time for fresh arrangements, ands  planted Celosia and Gomphrena which could also be cut and then dried?


You are not seeing the mildewed foliage (intentionally), of the lovely Queen Red Lime Zinnia…


The blush pink beauty of Dahlia ‘Cafe au Lait’

And so, as I prepare for fall, certainly all was not lost. The garden gave us butterflies and bees, and yes, beauty, in addition to many challenges.  I am game for next year…are you?


  1. I love the yucca/rue combination and have just the place to put it along a stone retaining wall hidden from the yard but observable from an office window. I’ve got some rue and some plain green
    yucca but I’ll be looking for the variegated.

  2. I’m enjoying the Woodland Asters I bought from you. I see them by roadsides in New Hampshire, and I can think of the White Mountains when I look at the ones that are now in my yard.

    I tried in vain to grow a number of native plants from seed this year [Woodland asters, for instance, obviously]: Bluets and Hairy lespedeza and Partridge peas , though one P.P. did come up after a month. Do you ever have plants like that for sale in pots?

    • The Wood Asters are certainly tough candidates, and tolerate dry shade which is a big plus. So glad to know you are enjoying your plants. Growing from seed has a lot of variables, the first being that the seed needs to be viable! Some native plant seed needs cold stratification (seed needs to be sown then exposed to cold temperatures followed by warmth to break dormancy).
      There is book by Norman Demo, “Seed Germination Theory and Practice” that may still be in print. Members of the North American Rock Garden Society ( who grow a lot of wildflowers) use this is their bible for seed sowing.

  3. The plectranthus you sent in the spring are and were beautiful all summer and now with the blue spikes, gorgeous!!

    • Frederique, I agree….the Plectranthus are always attractive but when they explode into bloom at the end of the season, it is such a gift!


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