Garden Design Update: Time to Plant

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'
Remember June, when it rained so much that it seemed like the garden would be a jungle by mid-summer?

My spring planted landscape plants got plenty of water through the third wettest June in Indianapolis history.

Back then, I wondered if the "patio guys" would have rain delays like my two nephews who had worked every morning through June hauling mulch, often waiting for it to stop raining before they started, or quitting early to watch World Cup soccer because of the rain.

But July came, the sun came out, and the patio guys had not a drop of rain to stop their progress. No one worried about the lack of rain back then. After all, it was July, summer-time!

But then it didn't rain.

And August came. And it didn't rain.

Instead, we put August on the record books as the driest August in Indianapolis history.

And I watered my new plantings.

And September came. And it didn't rain, much.

And I watered.

And now it is October.

Already, we've had two days with record high temperatures and just two or three brief rainfalls. We are past our average date for a killing frost by about five days and no sign yet of such low temperatures.

But there is rain in the forecast, a predicated change in the weather pattern.

It is time to turn from the desperation of watering to the dream of planting. Soon, the garden designer's crew will plant more trees and shrubs in the back and move a few shrubs to new locations. Then I will plant spring flowering bulbs and move on to the dreaming season, winter.

Dreams, not desperation, drive people forward to plant gardens.


  1. Planting is an act of faith in the future, especially bulb planting. How exciting to think of the new design becoming reality, Carol. :-)

  2. I do hope the rain falls long and steady for a few days at a time until your reservoirs are back to full. Garden dreams becoming reality are so satisfying.

  3. I have been wondering about your new garden design plantings. I hope the rains come to get them settled in. This lack of rain is a scary situation now. I am planting a few bulbs for spring. Always hopeful as most gardeners are.

  4. You're right. I think planting symbolizes hope for the future, food, flowers, beauty, all those things. Rain does help the process, though.

  5. I'm glad you, my fellow gardener, have a decent chance of rain in the next few days. I'd been holding off on planting until we got some ... I'm still waiting!

  6. The phenomenon of weather extremes seems to becoming our norm. Sorry about your drought, we really know how hard that is. But glad you're still dreaming of more beautiful gardens to come. We're wondering what kind of winter we'll have. None, like 2 years ago, or freezing and snowy like last year!

  7. Even in India,the weather has become unpredictable. I liked your last sentence.

  8. Hope the rain comes for your garden.
    And great to see that your design coming reality.
    good luck on the coming dreaming season, hope your dreams come true

  9. This reminds me of Greensparrow Garden's post recently where he illustrated a statement that said that Vita Sackville-West planted bulbs in the fall when she knew she wouldn't live until spring.

  10. I love the last line in this post. I don't think I could explain, but it really struck a chord in me. Then again, I probably don't have to explain =]

  11. How exciting for you to see the plants going into your new design. I hope it's everything you dreamed of!

  12. Did it rain? I hope so~Then you can move on to planting those bulbs and dreaming those dreams! gail

  13. Dear Carol, With the true faith of all gardeners I can say there is always next year! Oh, and "the dreaming season" so perfectly describes winter. Pam x

  14. Yes, it's the same here. It's time to plant, but it's so dry.

    Love your asters! I cut mine back, too, at Memorial Day to encourage less flopping. Sadly, this year, the cold winter & drought have left them more pathetic than I can remember. Maybe next year I'll have a good show like yours.

  15. We've had years of drought here, so it was very welcomed to finally get lots of rain this year. It has been very dry this fall, which has been great for me since I do a lot of outdoor activities during the cool weather. Haven't had one rained-out yet.

    But now that I have over 500 spring bulbs to plant, I guess we could really use some rain.

  16. Gardening can be like your favorite sports team who loses to its rival team every year, and you reply by saying "wait til next year"..

  17. You might want to add a few cacti to the mix, eh? I'm sorry to hear about your drought, and your heat for that matter. Hope you're back to more conducive gardening conditions soon.


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