From Linda: August 13, 2009

Today we taped two more fabulous shows for September.  Sept. 19: drought tolerant clumping (ornamental) grasses, with varieties for sun and shade, and Sept. 26: drought-hardy naturalizing bulbs.  It got us excited again, even though Tom, Ed, and I are disheartened that the rain missed us yet again.

I’m also editing several gardens we shot in spring to air this fall. When possible, I like to air gardens opposite their taping season, in case you want to achieve the same effect. So, you’ll be seeing spring bulbs, perennials, and annuals (including wildflowers) to plant in October and November.

Pink poppy

I know it’s hard to plan ahead when it’s this miserable, but one big gardening lesson I’ve learned: if you wait until you love the plant, and the weather is sweet, it’s often too late to plant to enjoy this year. For us, fall is when we need to be busy.

Narcissus erlicheer with leucojum

Big note: the gardens you’ll see on CTG this fall have been through torture before: drought, flood, sudden freeze, hail, felled trees (including on top of plants), disease, and insect rampage. These gardens are a testament to the gardeners who grew along with them and survived. Along with their own growing pains to figure out what works for them, they all learned that many of their first ideas went awry. So, they resorted to Plans B and C and D. With two years of drought, E is in the works.  Eeek!

Right now, we feel like we never want to plant anything again, ever.  But at our core, we’re gardeners!  We simply can’t resist the chance to do it better next year.  Honestly, as depressed as you may be right now, aren’t you drooling a bit at a plant that you’ve just gotta try?

Penstemon cobaea

Here’s an inspiration for you, sent by viewer Nancy: a Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla striata) blooming since June!  She’s got some magic touch.

Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla striata)

Normally these guys bloom in March to April.  Mine generally go completely underground in summer, but emerge again in winter. This year, I’ve actually still got one up with its pretty foliage.  For sure, it’s a weird year.

My best moment of this horrible summer is this song from Annie at The Transplantable Rose. Not only is Annie a transplanted gardener who shares her adventures to figure things out in a situation that rivals you-know-what, she puts them into song. In this one, she exorcises her summer woes with humor and a song I keep humming whenever I feel like I’m going to crater in this heat.

Recently, she even nabbed the guest spot at Horticulture magazine’s online post.

And check out her other super garden songs!

I hope you’ll check back on Bloom Day this Sunday, August 15, to see what’s made it through these tough times. Until then, Linda