In the middle of August the garden at Glen Villa is just beginning to emerge from an unusually long dry spell. A few days ago we had rain — buckets of it that washed out our driveway and threw a section of bank into Lake Massawippi. (We repaired the driveway; the lake itself may take care of the landslide.)
Before the rain, plants were wilting badly. The leaves on a catalpa tree we planted years ago first drooped, then began to curl up and turn brown; thankfully they are now starting to recover.
The Big Meadow suffered badly as well. Grass that in previous years was tall and lush hasn’t grown. From a distance, it looks fine although not as interesting as in previous years.
But up close, it simply looks weedy. The patch of dock that normally disappears in the thick grass stands out like a rash that refuses to heal.
Not all is a loss. There is a dainty white wildflower, member of the aster family, that is adding a touch of interest.
The Cascade is lush and green.
The Aqueduct looks good although the Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ that made such a show for a month or more has been shaved back to allow for a possible second bloom.
in the reflecting pool, the tadpoles that gave grandchildren such a treat in early July have grown up into frogs.
I’m not a fan of the strong yellows and oranges that thrive in late summer so there isn’t a lot of colour in the garden at the moment. Instead, green and white dominate. By the kitchen door, white spears of clethra, or summersweet, pierce the green surroundings. Its fragrance is powerful in the sunshine, attesting to the honesty of its name.
Near the front door and in the Lower Garden, lacecap hydrangeas add another touch of white. They are blooming well now, with weeks of bloom still to come.
Near the Lower Garden, a PeeGee hydrangea is loaded with blooms.
Yet as so often seems the case, my favourite flowers are the wild ones. Arrowhead is shooting everywhere in the shallow waters of the pond by the road.
Another white wildflower is blooming at the edge of the Skating Pond.
The spires of steeplebush (Spirea tomentosa) are appearing in every field and damp spot.
The scabious in the fields has mostly finished blooming but the thistles (probably Cirsium discolor) are continuing the colour theme.
Most splendid is the field of Joe Pye weed. It covers something like an acre of wet ground and photos can’t begin to capture the impact of so many plants in full bloom in a space contained by tall trees.
A single mown path leads through the area. Yesterday, the path was almost blocked by falling stems. Moving along, touching plants carefully to avoid the bees and butterflies, was a breath-taking experience.
One of these days we may make a trail into the centre of the display, with a small viewing platform a few feet above ground. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be, to look out on the flowers spreading in every direction.
Or — more likely — we will never get around to it, relying on imagination instead.