17 June 2011

Sometimes We Make Mistakes....

Remember the six columbines I planted flanking our (imaginary) front walkway?

Columbines like shade, so it made sense to put them right in front of the house, where they would get a bit of morning sun and then spend the long, hot afternoon in the shadow of the house.

Or so I thought.

Shortly after taking that picture, one of them started to turn yellow:

And yellower. I couldn't figure out what was going on. It was living in the exact same conditions as the others.

Except that, one day, I was outside around 5 p.m. and saw this:

Because of the shape of the roofline and the nook in front of the bunny room, that columbine was getting sun all day long, while the other two on that side managed to stay in the shadow of one of the columns. I pulled out the overheated columbine and moved it into the bunny room nook, where it was sure to have shade most of the day, but it's still pretty touch-and-go. And now, with the solstice nearly upon us and 100 degree heat every single day for as long as I can remember (can you tell I'm getting tired of it?), the others aren't looking so good, either.

Ironically, that transplanted columbine is right next to our barberry, which prefers full sun and which I thought I might have to move if it couldn't survive in the shade. It seems to be doing fine (maybe not growing as quickly as it would have in the sun, and maybe not as colorful as it could be), but it might soon find itself with six little columbine friends on life support. On the bright side, I can imagine that area becoming a bit of a tribute to Colorado, with the state flower and a river rock "dry creek bed" area to channel rainwater away (if we ever get rain again). But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Only time will tell whether any columbines will survive this excruciatingly hot, dry (and did I mention hot?) summer.

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