Sunday, August 19, 2012

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A Second Wind

Grace smoketree
Grace smoke tree

Something strange is happening in my garden.

The Pixie Meadowbrite® coneflowers are blooming again, although at a much lower height than the seedheads.  Ditto for two daylilies, Happy Returns and Jedi Dot Pierce, whose flowers are almost lost in the foliage.

I'm also getting sporadic blooms from my Frosted Violet heuchera, Firewitch dianthus and anemone sylvestris. Three Purple Rain salvia transplanted at the height of the drought are actually throwing some flowers. And my Grace smoke tree is finally blooming, much later than ever before.

Cooler temperatures in the past two weeks have worked their magic. There also has been some rain -- only about an inch so far this month -- but it is moisture nonetheless. My area remains in severe drought, with extreme drought just 10 miles away.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the reduced height of my flowers. A lot of the corn and soybean fields outside Chicago are much shorter than usual this year due to the drought. During a recent visit to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Joliet, Illinois, much of the restored prairie there was about half its normal height according to my tour guide.

Yes, I will take what I can get. It seems my plants are finally getting a second wind, doing a happy dance like Snoopy, giving me a sign that they're doing okay so far and will be ready to roll again next spring.

Now if I can only get all those pesky, heat-loving, water-stealing weeds out of my garden beds.....
By Karen Geisler

Jedi Dot Pierce daylily
Jedi Dot Pierce daylily

Pixie Meadowbrite coneflower
Pixie Meadowbrite® coneflower

By Karen Geisler


  1. Huh, that is interesting. Enjoy the second show! I love the Smoke Trees. I've noticed a lot of them blooming around here, too.

  2. Hasn't this been the strangest summer - the strangest year for weather? First the temperature roller coaster of spring, then the terrible heat and drought, and now what feels like an early fall? But it certainly is a relief, and it is comforting to see plants spring back in the milder conditions.

    1. Let's hope the weather keeps changing for the better!

  3. I am hoping for more blooms as well but our temps are shooting back up...we had a small bit of rain and a couple of cool we go again...I am with you regarding the weeds.

  4. Thanks. By the way, I love your Sweet Water Seas series of daylilies. You must have a lot of patience to wait four years for the fruits of your (hybridizing) labors!