African Garden + woodland wildflowers

The Olympics of Gardening

Cue the trumpet fanfare, it's time for the Gardening Olympics. This epic event in the annals of garden blogging is the creation of Idaho Gardener, who will be the sole judge and arbiter of the medals.
The Squirrelhaven team's first entry is in the category of Best Use of Borrowed Foliage.

This is that star performer of the Woodland Garden, Geranium 'Rozanne' being supported by her teammate, Polemium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven.' This pair of plants has been training hard all season. While Rozanne was still a small clump of foliage, Stairway was loaded with pale blue blooms. When those faded away, Rozanne sprang into action and sprawled up, over and around the Polemium, giving it truly another season of interest. What a strong showing from these two dependable plants.

Competing in the second event for Bluest Berry is that woodland native Caulophyllum thalictroides, nicknamed "Blue Cohosh."

Its berries look outstanding this year, especially considering that its shade tree was cut down a year ago and it is still struggling to adapt to more sunlight until the replacement tree, a young Oak, grows large enough to cast this plant back into the full shade that it so desires. Blue Cohosh has certainly done a tremendous job under less than ideal conditions.

Representating Team Squirrelhaven in the final event is none other than the team captain and gardener herself, making an outstanding showing in Best Deadheading. While she may not be the most talented at design or cultivation of plants, the girl can deadhead. Showcasing her talent is a single example out of half a dozen of Campanula persicifolia, which must be deadheaded daily by cutting off each spent bloom individually.

Look at how fresh those flowers and those stems still are in photos taken today.

Yes, it's hard to believe that it truly is the middle of August and not the middle of June. If it hadn't been deadheaded so carefully and continuously, there would be nothing but brown stems by now. This plant has been continuously in bloom since June 9 and shows no signs of letting up as long as the gardener keeps up this rigorous regime.

I truly think she's going for a personal best here. She's put in the long hours of training, she's given it her all, and now it's up to the judge to decide whether she's captured the Gold.

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The Olympics of Gardening + woodland wildflowers