July 24, 2011

Tiny Leaves, Transpiration, and Thyme




Not much is looking perky in the garden right now.  The hosta have heat stroke, the flowers and vegetables refuse to put out, and the hydrangea, well, let's just say they are not exactly native to Oklahoma.


So, my friends, consider if you will, the world of tiny-leaved plants. Diminutive little darlings like thyme, sedum, creeping veronica and mazus reptans.  Or the shrubbier versions such as barberry, boxwood, or euonymous.  They might not prefer the heat and drought, but they don't cower from it either.

And if you, like me, are a pruner and a snipper and a shearer (is that a word?) 


then this type of gardening is right up your alley.


They will happily (providing you give them good drainage,  soil preparation, and time to get established)

cheerily creep in between your pavers

cascade over the edge of a planter,

fill a crevice in a stone wall,  and most importantly right now,



just survive (well, 
maybe not happily...)




Keep a pair of scissors handy...I hang mine just outside the back door...

and snip to your heart's content.


Shearing little and often (and NEVER into the woody stems)




will reward you with thick, tight, closely woven mats of


living texture and color.


Let different varieties weave and insinuate themselves into each other (a favorite combination of mine is ajuga with creeping speedwell)


Then stand back and enjoy the lovely complexity and rug-like effect you've created.


Click here for a lovely explanation about leaf size, transpiration and why they can tolerate our torrid times.


They may be tiny, but they can sure pack a wallop (in a good way, of course.)





















(That little island of ground cover in this image is purslane...I am seriously considering cultivating it as ground cover as it loves this heat so....really, I am.)


























































1 comment:

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