Looking back at the weather notes I have kept for the past decade, I see it every year — “Garden looks like Hell.” The early bloomers have gone to seed, have been cut down or withered. The roses have black spot and more spent flowers than fresh ones. There are dry green leaves and twigs all over the ground, pulled from the trees by the latest windstorm. A scurf of withered leaves and faded rose petals covers the pond, in which the water lily leaves are starting to die and blacken from lack of light. It’s Hell Month again.
It actually lasts more than a month, most years, from mid-July well into August, ending when we finally get rain, some years as early as mid-August, others not until September.
Remember re-enchantment? It’s really hard to achieve right now. There are days I’d rather go to the beach or stay in the house and work on this blog than venture into the blasted garden.
But I did spend a couple of hours this morning cutting things down and edging.
Remember this: when in doubt, edge. A fresh edge to the lawn adjoining a perennial border will make that border look better, even if you do nothing else. And if you manage to whack down or pull up the seedy and weedy, the results may very well stave off Hell Month for another week or so.