Tending the Garden – July 3, 2015

Today I walked the garden just to see what the soil moisture looked like. I would pull back the mulch and use my handy weeder to see just how deeply the rain had penetrated. My mophead hydrangeas are the first indicators of dry soil.   If your mopheads are drooping in the morning, get that hose out. If they’re drooping in the evening, they may be just weary of the heat. Better check the soil with your weeder like I do.

When we have had a little shower, take a moment to appreciate tree bark forms.

tree bark forms - persian ironwood

Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood) tree bark

This afternoon, I could not help but admire the Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood) with the patches of exfoliated bark exposing the tan inner bark.

tree bark forms - american beech

American beech tree bark

The American beech bark looks like smooth unblemished grey striped skin.

tree bark forms - Paperbark maple

Paperbark maple tree

The bark of the Paperbark maple comes off in thin, flaking sheets of burnt caramel colors, just beautiful in low angled evening light, as I stand there with a hose in my hands.

Mike Rushing

Mike and Paula Rushing have been gardening in St. Clair county since 1990, and In Forest Park since 2007. A Jefferson County Master Gardener and course instructor at Master Gardening classes, Mike also volunteers weekly at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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