In one of my posts after Tropical Storm Irene, I included photos of my smashed garden. The plants did look pretty sad, so a few days ago, I went in there with my sleeves rolled up, prepared to yank out the dead stuff.
I was just about to pull the beaten-up morning glories. I actually had my hand on a stem and I was starting to pull… when I took the trouble to look at what I was pulling. Lo and behold, there were new leaves sprouting all up and down the stem! So I apologized and moved on.
The zinnias took quite a beating, and the foliage is admittedly quite yucky, but how can I pull out something with a flower like this? They’re staying.
This echinacea “Virgin” is a tough little plant – in my humble opinion, a vast improvement over “White Swan.” The flower is slightly tattered, but it’s still a flower, and there are more to come.
And my new rudbeckia “Henry Eilers” is coming back beautifully. As with the other perennials, I cut off the dead stems and staked it. It looks a bit weary, but it’s covered with new flowers.
And the verbena bonariensis, on the windward side of our house, was completely covered in salt spray. Now, there are new flowers emerging from what I assumed were dead stems.
If there are lessons to be learned here, they are: patience – something we gardeners do not always have enough of – and looking carefully at your plants to see what’s really going on. It took about a week for the plants to show signs of revival, but a revival it definitely is.