Disappointments in the garden… and surprises


The Phlox I almost yanked out last year

Thinking today about early expectations for the garden this summer and how these change as the season turns. The month of May feels like an eon ago. Who would have expected such super lushness. August is all about pruning and surveying the wealth. It turns out that the plants I added this season are not adding much to the scheme of things. In fact it would be smart to concentrate on those that flourish, and make some notes for next year.

The Phlox which I almost pulled out last year are magnificent this year and the Sea Holly is tall and sickly looking and will probably  never do well. Although there is some morning and early afternoon sun, there doesn’t seem to be enough for certain sun-lovers. Also the Meadow Sage and Catmint died back much too early to make a pretty display with the Bee Balm, and the Echinacea are much too short (wondering now if there are two varieties) to contrast with anything. More longer lasting Lilies, maybe, for that area.

There are many surprises too. The Japanese Anemone is huge and gloriously full, the size of a shrub and drooping into graceful arcs over the front of the garden.  The Sweet pea vine is also glorious and has been blooming deep pink fragrant blossoms spilling over the deck railing since early July, while sadly the Clemitis Paniculata has died off both this summer and last before blooming. Last year it was full and beginning to flower over the deck railing and something chewed it off at the most lower stem. It too is fragrant beyond belief (another Nantucket favorite) and would be so lovely next to the table, but alas, I accept that it will not flourish here.  So much for experimentation.

New wonders to try for next  year, including treating the Endless Summer Hydrangeas so that they will be purplish blue and fade into pale panicles for drying in bundles. Also the Lacy leaf variety that I transplanted from the cape. It was sadly bug eaten and some of the blooms that had set in early June shriveled before opening. It may be that I will need to apply liquid Rose  fertilizer and bug killer early in the season, and perhaps a good dose of peat. It’s all about trial and error– mostly trial clouded by lots of error– and on occasion topped by an accidental success.


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