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The Color and the Brown

Bushes are brown, but flowers still appear, giving color and hope in this dry summer. And it rained this morning (oh happy day!).

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Trees in the Dry Summer of 2012

I must admit that I have not been a good tree keeper this summer. It has been hot. It has been dry. And I don’t usually water. A lot of times, that does not matter because many plants are pretty resilient. But sometimes I should be more vigilant. We’ve lost trees to hot and dry summers before. Several years ago one of the mountain ashes just didn’t make it to the end of the summer.

And this year several trees are showing signs of stress.

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered that the Magnolia that we planted this spring looked quite dead. This is pretty sad and I wish we had paid more attention to it. It may already be too late, but we’re trying to keep it watered now.

Surrounding the magnolia is some weedy groundcover that a friend identified as dead nettle. I usually think that weeds (by this I mean any other type of plant in a lawn that most people, other than me of course, would consider unacceptable) survive harsh conditions better than grass. I’m not so sure any more. Where there once was this dead nettle is now really dead dead nettle.

So dead that there are now patches of dirt where there were once plants.

Other trees are also having difficulties.

The redbuds have many brown leaves.

The Washington Hawthorne’s leaves are curling.

The Dogwood leaves are almost completely folded in half.

Our Lilacs, Burning Bush, and Forsythia are having difficulty.

On the other hand, the Rose of Sharon is doing quite well.

And, surprisingly, the two little figs, which looked all but dead at the beginning of the spring, seem to have recovered and are thriving.

The cycle of life and death, played out in our backyard trees.

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