I’m sitting inside with a restless dog who would rather be outside, but he can’t be out unsupervised. Yesterday Alan spotted him off in a field tugging at a carcass. Turned out to be a tiny deer. I didn’t want to look. As much as I dislike the damage deer do to plants, I have a soft spot for the fawns. Jake has had to be monitored closely ever since that discovery. We intercepted him while attempting to slink back over there several times yesterday. It was a tough call: let him stay outside and keep a watchful eye on him OR bring him inside and risk having to clean up vomit. We finally settled for the latter and fortunately Al was able to shoo him outside just in time for the vomit to land under a tree instead of on the rug like usual. This morning I caught him trying to eat the chunks of spit up meat, which are now a couple hundred yards away. I’ve been putting off relocating this mess, as you can well imagine.
Our California poppies and Lauren’s Grape poppies have been reseeding themselves freely in the raised beds and paths of our veggie garden for several years now. We even pulled more of these most welcome volunteers than usual, and still have a nice show. They apparently love the more friable soil in the raised beds and the crushed lime/cement mix we have on our paths. I have made a note to sprinkle seed in our perennial beds, however I have a feeling they will not appreciate the dense clay growing medium.
A customer recently asked how long a certain perennial blooms (can’t remember which plant we were talking about). I replied that it usually blooms for about a month, which is excellent for a perennial. This customer then said that wasn’t long enough for her, and that she was looking for perennials that bloom all summer. “Good luck!”, I told her. There a very, very few perennials that bloom all summer- I could count the ones I am personally familiar with on one hand. The magenta Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata) pictured above are my best bloomer: June 1 to frost. Right now in my garden, there is a bit of a lull. The roses blossoms are fading and the summer bloomers (purple coneflower, bee balm, daylily, etc.) and self seeding annuals (Cosmos, Cleome) have not yet begun. But the Winecups, which I have planted throughout, are covered in blossoms and they will perform until frost. This is a gem of a plant.
Back to perennials. A few bloom for several months, but most don’t and you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations of them. Plant a perennial garden with lots of variety and you’ll have a succession of blooms. Use annuals to compensate for the lulls- my favorites are Cosmos, Cleome, Bachelor Button and Zinnias. Annuals are programmed to bloom for an entire growing season and then croak. Perennials may not bloom all season, but they return year after year.