Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Our Oriental lilies suffered greatly from late spring cold. Some did not flower at all while others managed only damaged incomplete flowers. This cluster of Salmon Stars is the exception. This is only their second year here and youth may be a factor in how great they look. Our older Salmon Stars did not even make an appearance this year. For several years they were reliably magnificent and now they are simply gone. That may be the reality for plants that are grown so far outside of their natural climate zone.
Salmon Star features subtle colored flowers and understated scent. Many lilies are so heavily scented that being near them approaches an overpowering experience. For these, the smell is soft and sweet whether caught on the wind or with a pollen stained nose placed close. This flower could inspire a classy perfume.
This cluster of Cardinal Flowers has been undisturbed for two years. The wall shields them from the heat of afternoon sunlight and this location in a low spot between the road and a hill provides plenty of moisture. Last season insect damage left these plants with almost no leaves. This year stored heat in the wall protected them from late spring cold. This spot seems to meet the plants requirements so it will remain theirs. The clear bright red color puts Cardinal Flower at the top of our must have list.
The deeply grooved capstone to the left is another favorite here. This stone suffered repeated strikes from farm machinery before it was moved out of the field. A neighbor allowed me to pick stone from alongside of his field and this was among the group moved here. Seeing this stone reminds one of neighborly consideration that was more common in days past.
Health issues have kept us out of the gardens for the past several days. A comparatively short period of time must pass before a return can be attempted. In the meantime the plants are on their own and the weeds are firming up their hold on garden ground.