As Chester gardeners greet the second week of September, they are keeping a weather eye out for a possible hurricane but, to date, the community has experienced only a warm south wind and heavy showers. Many of our favourite perennials, having outlived their terms, have vanished from local gardens but a number of hardy wildflowers, like goldenrod in its many varieties, are adding splashes of colour to the landscape.
A cloud of native asters (volunteers) brighten the edge of a more formal bed, where the sword-like leaves of gladioli stand stiffly as if defending the plot from additional invaders.
Not so welcome is the change seen on some perennials and shrubs after a nocturnal visit by the ever-roaming white-tail deer. In one garden this year, they have pruned several rose bushes, three yews, a stand of hollyhocks and a young Weigela bush, a section of which is seen in the photo below. After suffering from deer brouse in the spring, this shrub has again been assaulted this summer when another ten healthy growing shoots were recently nipped off. Sometimes we doubt it will ever grow tall.
And, despite best efforts to provide a barrier composed of a fishing line and netting, we were unable to prevent deer from reaching into a rose bed where they sampled the tender shoots of a rose named for our favourite composer – Mozart. The stark ends of several stalks show the sad result of losing yet more buds and blossoms.
Still, in every garden there are always compensations, like a rambunctious clump of bright pink superbells, spilling over a rockery wall…
Now that the peaches have been harvested, sampled and turned into jams and chutneys, we can turn out attention to the apple crop. The apples on this tree are a variety called “July Red” ( which is curious since they ripen in September). An earlier variety, the NovaMac, with its crisp tart taste, is a favourite in this area. It was especially developed as a Nova Scotian hybrid of the standard Mackintosh.
To close this post we add another photo of a Monarch butterfly, supping from the tiny blossoms of a Buddleia bush. This is by way of a reminder that the next meeting of the Chester Garden Club – September 17 – will feature a presentation on these marvellous and somewhat mysterious creatures.