We arrived in Springdale with a scraggly bush growing near the mailbox. Crepe Myrtle grows anywhere, but thrives in the sun. The plant is drought tolerant, but like cactus, thrives with more moisture.
I addressed the top, the middle, and the foundation.
- The top needed severe pruning to activate the roots and promote blooming, which arrives a bit late but lasts most of the summer. CM can re-bloom with a second complete pruning. I half-pruned last summer to spare the Cardinals nesting there, and we had a spectacular second bloom on the pruned portion.
- The middle needed all branches trimmed back to the stems, so the plant could show off its legs. LI laughed at the first version but said "Wow!" when the bloom arrived in full force. As rosarians know, pruning concentrates energy on the parts we want to flourish.
- The foundation is the soil, always the most important. Blessed with red wigglers, the plant received many bags of wood mulch, mushroom compost, and piles of leaves and grass. The base seemed to devour all the organic matter left around the base. This year I have Lily-of-the-Valley, Caladium, and Buckwheat growing around the base. I treat the plant as a rose, not as a cactus, and it already glows and dominates the block and larger neighborhood.
|Norma Boeckler's Butterflies.|
- The fungus-root network,
- The softening of the soil,
- The infiltration of rain and snow-melt,
- The feeding of all the soil microbes and creatures.
|Clethra are just starting to bloom.|