I have been very delinquent regarding my recordings of landscape garden arts at this Masterpiece Landscaping blog site. That I admit and regret. However, Nature has had something to do about that on two fronts this season:

First, I reached my 80th year of life this past Summer…..Second, the pond along which more than two hundred feet of my gardened property abuts, flooded beyond anything previously recorded from the countless torrential rains of this past May and June. It was that four inches of rain that night in June that delivered so many fatal blows to nearly 30 years of beautiful pond side plant life. Water sat idle or rising from early May to late July above the normal shore line. Dollar loss was beyond determination. Years of plant beauty disappeared.

Conifers of all ages and sizes were lost….with the exception of one inexplicably, a struggling Hetz Juniper. Its suffering caused an overloaded growth of its beautiful blue ‘berries’ in preparing for death, but thus far has cheated it. Although its suffering has been made obvious from its survival struggles, its status, its value in life in my landscape garden world has dramatically shot to the top.

Even Flamingo Willow was severely damaged and the most beautiful of my deciduous shore plants, the twenty-foot Arctic Willow finally found its way to ‘dusty death’ this past week.

What did survive nearly three months under water is the following…..all ten of the day lilies, my mature clump of purple-pink Physostegia, although foliage was a bit yellow and the blooms a pure white.

My purple loosestrife, a cherished perennial at the Ray pondside garden site survived all, but that was to be expected….Its bright pink bloom was as bright as ever…

My seedling white oak brought to life by my own acorn planted fifteen years ago also survived thus far. Fortunately almost half of its root zone remained at the level of, or above the floodwater, which gave it a chance to survive.

All hostas along the pond eventually turned to mush…..except two, both Francee. One sat entirely under water for more than a month limpishly. After one week of freedom it appeared it wanted to compete in some Hosta Society specimen show. The other Francee looked pathetic for a few weeks, yet it never appeared to have given up its ghost. Visitors don’t quite say, “Oh, what wonderful hostas you have about any of my five hundred or more hostas on my grounds. Most host slugs of one kind or another. But, my surviving pondside Francees are slugless.

Slugs aren’t great swimmers. They drown rather quickly if pressed under water. Nature can be wonderful!

I should mention that a Daub’s Frosted Juniper, in its second year pondside, survived three weeks with its root zone under water. It is beautiful.

Much of my July and August was spent cleaning up, digging out the dead and replanting, reconstructing 4,000 square feet of pond path area. This included hauling more than 350 bags of mulch through the landscaped garden by wheelbarrow, a couple hundred manageable boulders, tons of pondside type stone, sand, peatmoss, and, of course, plants, positioning and planting them in a new world.

It is amazing what the human body and mind can do when one becomes driven to create beauty.