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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Foliage Followup -- July, 2014 -- A Few Crispy Critters

When we got back from our trip to Massachusetts on Sunday, one of the first things I noticed was that my 'Forest Pansy' redbud was already dropping way too many leaves, due to drought and heat stress. Unfortunately, it was one of the plants that wasn't covered by the sprinklers that I had left on a timer. They're pretty leaves, but I would vastly prefer it if they stayed on the tree. I've noticed since the heat wave that many of the native trees around town have already started to turn. I've never noticed that happening so early before. PNW native plants often start to go dormant early, in mid-summer, an adaptation that makes them suited to our droughty summers. But 'Forest Pansy' is an eastern redbud, and I was rather afraid that it might have gotten so stressed that it was dying. I gave it a lot of water, which soaked right in, and have watered it each day since. I think it's perking back up. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Crispy, but colorful redbud leaves -- A harbinger of Fall

Much healthier-looking than when we first returned, but I'm still worried

Because it's the kind of plant that loves wet feet, my large clump of Darmera peltata/Indian rhubarb likes the low spot where it's planted, but when there's no rain for weeks, in my garden there's no such thing as a wet low spot. Many of the leaves are dry and crispy.

Fortunately, the Ricinus communis 'New Zealand Purple' and the Tertrapanax papyrifera 'Steroidal Giant' are planted where they got the benefit of the sprinkler all week.

'New Zealand Purple' and Amaranthus foliage

Canna 'Tropicanna' is fabulous, and likes wet feet too. It's planted in a container with no drainage holes.

My 'Gryphon' Begonia, which recently dropped every leaf, is starting to wake up from its short period of sleep, and is producing new leaves.

These dark elephant ears and dark-leaved Canna really stand out here in this shady spot surrounded by bright green.

My serviceberry/Amelanchier alnifolia is really quite heavily laden with fruit, and is going to provide a feast for the birds as soon as they discover them.

Bolting lettuce is trying to push its way through the bird netting that I put on to deter neighborhood cats. We were eating this just the week before we left, but not now, it will be way too bitter.

Squash plants love the heat too, they are spilling over the walls of the raised veggie beds, where last week when we left, they hadn't even reached the ground yet.

That's some of the outstanding foliage in my garden this month. How about yours? Post a comment at Pam Penick's blog Digging, so we can all come and ogle your plants.


  1. I remember several dry summers when we lived on the East coast so I'm hoping your eastern transplant can adapt to dry conditions. Love the dark elephant ears, I need to add a few out in the front garden to go with the deep canna foliage.

  2. Sorry to hear about your crispy leaves but I'll bet once the weather cools a bit and you water them, they'll perk right back up!

  3. I hope your plants recover quickly so you can enjoy them for the remainder of the summer, Alison. I love the blue fruit on that serviceberry!

  4. I'm so thrilled to see 70's in the forecast for the rest of this week! I have one vine maple in a really dry spot that has been turning in this heat. I haven't been into the woods lately to check on the older trees.

  5. A lot of beautiful different foliage in your garden, I like it.

  6. That Tropicana Canna is beautiful. Cannas are the easiest tropical look for the effort and money that you can grow, in my opinion.

    I can't speak for Forest Pansy, but the plain green native Redbuds are tough as nails. Even my well-watered Cercis are dropping leaves. If all leaves fall off prematurely leave it until next spring when it may return from the dead.

  7. I've been admiring your hot colors in bloom day posts....and now foliage.

  8. Wow those Dark Elephant ears are really pretty. I keep seeing them in photos and am getting tempted to try some in my garden. I've been toying around with the idea of doing a section of the garden with all black and dark plants. Only problem is, I'm just about out of room!

  9. I do hope you are able to rescue your Forest Pansy, what a big specimen to loose. Sending over lots of luck Alison!
    You've some super foliage combos, they all look great.


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