LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 53

I’m awake before dawn this morning at Red Oak House with a long task list that includes an overdue Garden Notes post. Between painting the house, ailing elderly parents, a trip to Yellowstone and preparations for my upcoming adventure, I have fallen behind in my writing. Yet, I write for pleasure and have no deadline, so it is “all good.”

Wide Wide World daylily.
Wide Wide World daylily.

Abundant rains and mostly cool temperatures have made for robust growth, both in the perennial beds and the vegetable garden. The garlic has been harvested and Jim has begun to harvest the potatoes.

Last weekend, I divided and moved a few irises that I had flagged in need of new sunnier locations. We had a downpour and hail the next day, and I haven’t been back there to check if the newly divided plants are still covered in dirt. It is just dawn here and raining, so that will have to wait.

Speaking of dividing, the hostas I divided in June are thriving, surprising me by even putting up blossoms in late July. Here is a current photo with the recently divided hostas in the foreground, in front of the Red Oak Tree.

When I’ve had a spare moment, I’ve documented how other hostas I divided last year are doing and I delight in the fruits of my labor. I bought War Party (pictured below) in 2013 from an acquaintance in Bismarck who grew designer hosta and was selling her house. She dug a small shovelful and cautioned me that while hostas will “sulk” the first few years, this one would get huge. I placed a blue ruler next to the boulder for perspective. I adore its turquoise hue and ribbed texture. Clearly, it is thriving.

Sunlight Child Hosta.
Sunlight Child Hosta.

This gal specialized in miniature designer hostas, so I brought a number of those from her as well, tiny plants in 1-inch pots. Gold Drop hosta (pictured above) was small in 2013, but I divided the healthy plant last year and now I have three robust plants.

It is the same story with Sunlight Child Hosta (pictured above) that I divided last year and have eight plants! At some point this fall, I need to make some notes about other plants I need to divide next spring.

Right now, the daylilies are glorious and each day I have a new favorite. Next week I will fly to England for a month, a dream I’ve had for 40 years. And while I know I will miss the pleasure of my garden this time of year, I will be visiting some spectacular gardens there, along with castles and museums and more. I hope your life is as full of color and happiness as is mine.

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