Thursday, August 6, 2020

After The Rain

Many of our plants have struggled to stay alive during this hot drought.  Despite the distance from running water, we have hauled water down the hill to the shade garden.  Our efforts preserved life but nothing brings plants alive like an all day gentle rainfall.  These   Rattlesnake Plantains have increased in number from last year's single purchased plant but have remained tiny.  Their response to the natural moisture was an obvious increase in the size of the leaves.  No flowers were seen last year.  Perhaps this year will be different.  This orchid does not naturally occur south of Canada in the eastern part of North America.  Its unique leaves are a visual treat and are reason enough to keep give this plant a growing area.

Fragrant Lady's-tresses grow naturally two climate zones warmer than here.  Out of place, it remained hidden in the soil for our harsh early frosts and freezes.  We were both surprised and pleased when three stalks finally appeared.  Last year the flowering spires wrapped themselves around each other creating a visual treat.  The USPS Wild Orchid stamps feature this plant.  None of the selected plants were identified by name but this one appears in the top row adjacent to the header.

Jacob's Ladder is commonly seen in established older gardens.  The lack of moisture had this specimen looking dreadful.  It is amazing how quickly recovery followed a generous rainfall.

These Cardinal Flower plants were bent over and withered prior to our water rescue.  Their short term recovery was made more permanent by the daylong rain.  The general lack of adequate moisture has limited growth to about one half of a normal year's presentation but the red blossoms are as vivid as ever..

Maidenhair Spleenwort is in its first year here.  As a new transplant, these have received more regular visits from the watering can.  Their natural growth habit places them in cracks and crevices of stone outcroppings.  We built a version of a stone ledge that seems to suit the plants just fine.  They are without question a tiny treasure.

This purchased fern was not an informed choice.  Its small size and rugged looking leaves made it a natural in front of our transplanted stump.  Yes, we do plant both stones and stumps.  How could a native woodland garden be complete without them?

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