Arrrggggg!! Dang that hail. Our garden was hit with hail and it’s taken about three weeks to start coming out of it. This was a big hail storm, huge balls of hail, bigger than golf balls, and really shredded and beat up most of the plants. It was a sad sight. This is what it looks like a week after the big hail. There should be a lot more beautiful blooms than are here. The herb garden fared well. It is closer to the building so maybe that saved it a little.
Elsa, one of our volunteers, had her family visiting and her Mom, Susan Andersen, came with her to the garden. She did a lovely painting of our beautiful Beverly Sills iris. A garden is a great place to do plein air painting or sketching, illustrations or photographs. The garden is open for artists or artist groups to come at any time and is very inspiring. Most of our plants are identified by their common and scientific name if you need to identify plants with that information. There are many nice little vignettes tucked around in the garden. If you’re not an artist it’s still a great place to come and just sit and enjoy the beautiful blooms.
We are excited that the birds are using the nesting boxes we put in last year. Tree Swallows have been using the boxes and it appears they are going to have little ones soon. Elsa has volunteered to be our bird monitor. She will be doing this in conjunction with the Castle Rock Bluebird Society (Rocky Mountain Bluebird Society). She will be checking our nesting boxes every couple of weeks to monitor who is using the boxes and if they are nesting and how many babies are hatched.
We are going to take some of the grass in front of the building to expand the garden. The grass has a hard time growing there and it would be more beneficial and water saving to have more garden there. We dug a trench to mark the border and laid newspaper and covered with a couple of inches of mulch. It looks better already. We have a path from the shade garden down to the rock garden and we will extend that path to the front sidewalk. We plan to put a bench under the tree so people and volunteers can sit and enjoy the garden in the shade on hot summer days. Volunteers tend to sit and congregate there to get out of the sun and take a break so it will be a nice addition for relief from the heat and it will look better than the grass that takes a beating there. Ooops, There is not a picture of the finished area. Next blog will show a picture of what we’re doing there.
We are monitoring the water situation. Some parts of the garden were very dry even though they are irrigated and some parts of the garden aren’t in the irrigation path. It has been so hot we needed to do some supplemental watering. Gloria and Elsa stuck it out after others volunteers were finished to hand water some of the garden that is suffering from the heat. It’s been hotter than usual this year with stretches of 90’s and even some 100’s (unusual for us here in Colorado). Even if you have irrigation, check your areas and make sure during these hot spells they have enough water. Remember that too much water is just as bad as too little so do the finger test and get down around the roots to see if it’s dry or damp. Moisture meters are also available at your local garden center and are a great tool to test under the soil to see if it’s damp. If plants look like it’s shriveling and the soil is rock hard that’s a good indication too 🙂 New plants, even if they are XXX Xeriscape still need at least two weeks of regular watering so they can establish their roots. Just because they say they need little water they need that time to grow and stretch out their roots so they can survive. Plants need air and water just like humans so make sure they are well established before reducing their water.
Every week we continue to add a few plants and do maintenance (there is always a weed to pull and hail damage cleanup). The roses just had their dose of fertilizer and we pruned the Linden tree (no it’s not time to prune all trees and bushes so check before pruning to make sure you’re not cutting off next years blooms). Here’s to hoping that our next work day the garden will have recuperated from the hail and storm and harsh temperatures.
What’s happening in your garden?