May Heat Wave
We are experiencing brutal heat and dryness in the last week of May. Many sun loving plants are tolerating the heat with occasional watering. The dry shade bed is a very different story. The plants are practically flat in these extreme conditions this early in the season. The wild mock orange in the shade bed will not be blooming this year since it is in survival mode. This Sunday, May 30th, we are predicted to get some relief with much cooler temperatures (the 70s instead of the 90s) and possibly some rain. These photos were taken at the beginning of the hot period so these plants look relatively unfazed. I can't say that on May 26th. We are on track for setting a record for the driest Spring ever in Raleigh/Durham. We had something similar happen last year and then summer turned out to be pretty gentle for us. Fingers crossed that happens again.
My first peony, Inspector Lavergne
Next year we should have peony blossoms to the right of the lemon cypress as well. We planted two plants this spring. One has fared better than the other, but I think they will both be fine next year.
I've ordered peony Moonstone for Fall planting that will be placed somewhere near the snail figurine for a soft color accent next Spring. Mealy cup sage and spirea are also in bloom now.
Close up photo of the mealy cup sage. The greenery surrounding these are chinese asters. They are just about to bloom and will continue to do so until frost. They have dainty white daisy shaped blossoms with a yellow center. They make great filler plants. Unfortunately, they do not support pollinators.
The border garden opposite the peony area. These plants face East and receive some Southern sun, but are protected from the Western sun by the old garage building. White salvia, hydrangeas, woods sorrell (oxalis), dianthus,small Lemon cypress and more Love in a Mist.
The view from the garden gate as you enter the backyard. We are waiting for the Black and Blue Sage and Bee Balm to open for the hummingbirds. The red salvia and potted veronica are going strong.
Another view of this bed (better camera exposure) that is loaded with Black and Blue Sage and Bee Balms. We have also planted two dahlias, and asiatic lilies here this year. I'm getting pretty good at finding space even though it looks impossible. Anything for another plant. :) This is also beneficial for the soil. It doesn't get as baked as bare earth.
A recently transpanted red salvia in front of the herb bed.The taller brown plants are chervils that have gone to seed. I'll pull them up soon to shake their seeds into the herb garden for next year.
The first echinacea in the backyard to have its color.
The weeping cherry tree's berries look like little jewels.
Introducing a new type of plant for the herb bed: borage. I planted them from seed for the bees and a little color. They are coping with the weather, but do need a little water to keep them going. I hope that they will self seed next year.
Ian's clematis sits in an old cinder block wall on the western side of the house. The roots stay cool under the creeping phlox. The cinder block retains moisture so this another plus for the clematis. I see this cluster of flowers through the kitchen window at the sink Photo was taken on May 27th.
May 27th, up front, the lantana hedge promises to be healthy again this year.
Hopefully, just three more days of the rough weather. These climate extremes require resilient plants!