Gardening Challenges Come in Many Forms

Is it between seasons for you? It is for me--the largest flowers blooming right now are the Asiatic lilies and Eremurus, but it shouldn't be long before the Echinacea, hybrid Lilium, and even Monarda start to bloom.

Outstanding in 2014; dead in 2015. 
We've had a roller coaster summer so far, and it just officially started yesterday. I've been seeing stem damage at the base of peonies that haven't had a chance to dry out in nearly a month. Plants are forfeiting a branch or stem here and there because their roots don't have enough air to breathe. I lost my Echinacea 'Sombrero Salsa Red', which put on an outstanding and very long show last season. The funny thing is, the Echinacea right next to it (probably 18" away) is doing fine.

Earwigs are smaller than normal but just as plentiful, and it's been impossible to plant in the ground. In a pinch though, I dig a hole twice as large as I need and fill it half way with dry topsoil or even potting mix to lighten it up a little.

One of my new irises bloomed. It's a spuria iris called 'Highline Coral', and it seems for now to be more of a tan. But any perennial in its first year isn't likely to do what it's capable of. It's certainly different from any other iris I've grown.

The extra moisture seems to be keeping some plants from reaching dormancy, including Dicentra 'Gold Heart', which is usually about gone by now.

The Epimedium, Heuchera and Heucherella are loving the humidity so far, and I love the way they look together.

Epimedium 'Domino' has new leaves with lots of splotching. It goes really well with Heuchera and Heucherella.
In spite of all the rain we've had with more on the way, some plants are doing just fine. Some, like the Echinacea, will just succumb to the extremes. It's all a part of this practice we call gardening. Some plants you fall in love with while others give you nightmares. Some plants fascinate us and then fade away. The most constant thing about my garden is change. And they're not all by my choice.

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