Summer 2018

Lily Time in the Garden

We always look forward to this time from mid-July through August when the Oriental and Hybrid lilies demand center stage in the garden. 

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    Providing a large flower in this season really adds drama to the palette at this time of year since the Peonies and Iris are now just  memories and the Dahlias haven’t quite kicked in yet.  When placed at a juncture of a path, they can perfume a journey through the garden as well as provide long-lasting cut flowers in the house.  Protect these beauties from rabbits before they are a foot tall with chicken wire cages, provide them with time released granular bulb fertilizer early in the spring, and be VERY careful not to sink the stakes too close to the bulb in the ground.  Our ’Scherezade’ Lilies we moved from Wilmette 7 years ago now have bulbs the size of small cantaloupes so we ALWAYS stake at least 6 inches from where the stems meet the ground.  Planted just about any time in the garden, if given rich well-drained soil throughout the year, these wonderful bulbs can last decades in your garden.

Summer 2018

Summer Rain

With all of the excessive heat and moisture this year, we are living in a version of Jurassic Park this summer. 

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    This said, the insects and rodents are a huge issue, as are funguses and poor drainage conditions.  In essence, we are in a water-logged state of things, particularly in heavy soil condition areas.  Please understand that it is a sensitive time of year to manage your irrigation systems and we are here to work through these issues with you. At some properties you may see signs of yellowing foliage that could be a result of excess water as opposed to not enough. When in doubt instead of turning to your irrigation system ON switch, please discuss your concerns with your gardener. Our gardeners can use soil probes to soil test the condition of your garden and identify if overwatering or excessive water is an issue.  Then we can determine if your system should be reprogrammed or turned off to alleviate the problems due to the heavy rains this season.

    Even established plants can die as a result of drowning below the surface of soil because hot and humid weather does not dry out wet soil conditions.  Plants actually suffocate if oxygen cannot get to their roots.  Yellow foliage and fungus can be a sign of overwatering, so consider yourselves warned that continued watering can cause these problems.  Remember, hot and dry conditions require supplemental watering, hot and wet conditions do not…