The Harder They Fall – and a Garden Book Giveaway
We have just emerged from a couple of weeks of constant rainfall, sometimes accompanied by strong winds. It’s been like living in a cloud forest, but without the exotic birds and insects. This is a situation that significantly raises the risk of someone in your household contracting IGS (Irritable Gardener Syndrome).
Between the rain and the wind, the worst thing that happened in the garden was the toppling of the best of the three Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia) that grow in the Driveway Border. This did make me pretty upset, as Mexican Sunflower is one of the flagship plants of our front garden.
Mexican Sunflower is a plant that has inspired me to go on at great length about its many virtues. However, like many fast-growing plants, it is actually quite brittle. And so it was hard to set back upright with twine and stakes without breaking off lots of stems, in addition to the ones that were already broken. So the resurrected Mexican Sunflower was just a fraction of its former self.
But being the good plant that it is, it started growing and putting on new flowers immediately.
Beyond the Mexican Sunflower, there was a lot of general flopping about. This was especially true of the Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba), Golden Glow (Rudbeckia laciniata), Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum), and New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae). These were leaning into the sidewalk and the grass paths that separate the borders of the front garden. Seeing this always makes me out of sorts.
And so I made my way to the hardware store of a clutch of tall stakes and green twine. For some reason it’s important to my peace of mind that the paths around the garden (which, truth be told, are too narrow as they are) not be blocked by plants. It didn’t take too long to put things in order.
Staking can be too obvious, and sometimes makes plants look like they are wearing an excessively tight corset. But this is not inevitable. I just try to take care not to tie plants too tightly, and to hide whatever stakes I use in the foliage of the plants.
Of course, what we’ve experienced is relatively minor irritation, as opposed to the devastation that can be wrought by floods, extreme drought, etc. I try to remind myself of this, with limited success.
On a totally different topic, I have an extra copy of a wonderful garden book to give away: Great Gardens of London, by Victoria Summerly. For a chance to win the book, you need to 1) live in the USA or Canada; and 2) writes Great Gardens of London in the comments section. Just add it at the end of your comment, or just write the name if you want the book and otherwise have nothing to say.
We’ll pick someone at random from among those who comment by Friday, September 14th.