The wet spring turned hot and dry, with barely any rain for six weeks in July and August. Who survived? This begonia ('Bubbles'?), a bit odd-looking but with this darling hidden bloom. Planted in a clay pot but never showed any sign of drooping.
The hostas did just what they were supposed to do. As summer marched relentlessly on and the summer sun beat down, they became more golden. They're particularly beautiful in the early morning or on a cloudy day, when their ripening foliage glows.
The volunteer morning glories did extremely well this year, I can only think because they had sufficient moisture in the early months, for once.
Who had trouble? The new hydrangeas, of course. 'Little Lamb' has some crispy leaves, but I think it will do fine next year. 'Annabelle' was kind of a mess - big and droopy and suffering terribly from the drought. I hope these were not a mistake. The kirengeshoma kept promising to bloom, but when I looked at it yesterday, even the last few days of rain couldn't save it. It's lost most of its leaves, and the promised buds are now tight little dried-up husks. Here it is in its glory days in mid-July:
And here's how it looks after a drought:
Sad, isn't it.
A few others that didn't make it: two of the tiarellas that I loved so much this summer. At first I thought they were drooping from lack of water, but I soon realized that the evil voles had been at work again. When you pull up the plant, you get nothing but dead leaves on the top, and no roots. Death to all voles! Here are the horrible remains.
After all, not everything in the garden is beautiful, not by a long shot...