October 13, 2013
I've already told you that my strawberries and blueberries were abundant. They loved the early spring rains.
I did not know how good it could all look, with just a few extra inches of rain early in the season.
But not all plants loved the wet, cool weather.
I noticed this summer that the wild Queen Anne's Lace was largely missing. In other summers the lacy white wildflowers were everywhere, all along the roadsides and running riot in the meadow behind my yard. This year there were only a dainty few. They must need drier, hot conditions to be at their best.
And this year bush clover Lespedeza thunbergii 'Ido Shibori' was a medium sized green shrub with arching branches that are open and airy. In this photo, in late September, the tiny white flowers are gone by.
What a contrast with last September when this shrub was a giant haystack, covered in a profusion of little blooms.
Yes, this is the same plant. The over-bright lighting in the photo above was terrible when I took it last year, but you can see what a monster it was. Species bush clover can be a huge mess of a plant, but this cultivar, 'Ido Shibori' is a much smaller variety. Even so, it was a big sprawly arching fountain.
The pea-like blooms don't read well from a distance, you need to see them quite close up.
Not only was the entire plant about 2/3 the size it was last year, but the flowers were brief and sparse. The overall shape was actually nicer this year than that big haystack was, and the plant is healthy and fine looking, but I missed the little flowers.
MoBot says lespedeza is drought tolerant, but this experience makes me think it is actually drought dependent for best growth and flowering. It certainly did not respond this year as it has in the previous two hot, dry summers.
What a difference a few extra inches of rain and a July below 100 degrees makes.